"Metal Men: "The Nightmare Menace!"": After being destroyed by Manta, the world has become obsessed with the Metal Men. The news spreads to the Kremlin, where ex-Nazi scientist Von Vroom who is tasked with coming up with a superior weapon.
Appearing in Metal Men: "The Nightmare Menace!"
- Metal Men
- Will Magnus
- Colonel Henry Casper
- Manta, the Flaming Doom (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- The Nightmare Menace (First appearance)
- Von Vroom (First appearance)
- Blue Flight One (First appearance)
- Blue Leader (First appearance)
- Soviet Union
- United States of America
Synopsis for Metal Men: "The Nightmare Menace!"
After being destroyed by Manta, the world has become obsessed with the Metal Men. The news spreads to the Kremlin, where ex-Nazi scientist Von Vroom who is tasked with coming up with a superior weapon.
In Washington, D.C., Col. Henry Casper is ordered to find Dr. Will Magnus and convince him to build new heroes before the public finds out that they were robots and that they were destroyed in their first outing. The scientist is depressed from having lost his companions but ultimately agrees and sets out rebuilding the team purely for a public relations event, then to be shuttered away in Magnus Labs. These new creations lack the personalities of his first generation but they will suffice for the awards ceremony.
Von Vroom is at the Washington Monument and debuts his huge Nightmare Menace: a mammoth robot with a death ray on top. Magnus instructs Platinum to ensnare the villain but she ends up twisting around her teammates instead. Iron tosses Gold into a fighter jet attempting to secure the area and he accidentally melts Lead. After humiliating the heroes, the Menace depowers the fighter jets in mid-air and then rapidly swirls to burrow into the Earth and disappear.
The crowd jeers the Metal Men for being failures and Magnus smelts them in his lab. He looks back at his notes and notices that an intense aurora borealis occurred as he built the last robots. Casper and Magnus retrieve the old bodies of the Metal Men, still lying where they were destroyed by Manta and he restarts them to find they have the personalities and competence from before.
Tin immediately wants to prove himself a hero, Lead boasts how strong he is, Mercury reminds everyone that he is unique, Lead offers to shield everyone from harm, Gold takes charge, and Platinum embraces Magnus. He informs them that they now have to stop the villain and prove themselves to the world.
They attend a world's fair, hoping to draw out the Nightmare Menace again and find a booing public. While awaiting an attack, they assist a lost girl in finding her parents and give a few patrons stuck on a ride a golden ladder to the ground. As some members of the public slowly change their opinion, the Menace emerges from below the ground and starts to melt more jets from a demonstration. Platinum turns into a net and Lead scoops up the planes before they crash.
The split into teams but prove ineffectual at stopping the Menace: Tin hurls Gold into the larger robot's head and knocks it to the ground, only to find that a smaller Menace rests inside! Mercury performs a similar trick, smashing the robot only to have a third body emerge. Iron melts Lead into a ball and hurls it at this version of the Menace, only to have an even smaller version pop out. The team regroups and are melted by the Menace—Gold manages to shove Magnus to safety and the last of her strength, Platinum lunges at the robot and rips him in half, only to have a human-sized Menace leap out to attack Magnus.
Magnus leads the villain onto a spinning wheel ride and the robot becomes disoriented. As the ride comes to completion, the frame cracks open and a dizzy Von Vroom is inside, reeling from the fight. Magnus apprehends him and reforms the Metal Men's bodies to fight again.
- This issue is reprinted in The Metal Men Archives Vol. 1, Showcase Presents: Metal Men Vol. 1 and The Best of DC #34.
- Metal Facts and Fancies:
- There are about 80 metals, each with unique properties such as iron's strength, gold's ability to be spun into fine wires, and sodium's capacity to float on water.
- Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust, making up 7%.
- Copper is used in undersea telephone cables.
- Radium lights up clock faces in the dark.
- Plutonium is used in atomic bombs.
- Sodium is used in table salt.
- Thallium is found in insecticides.
- Cobalt coats jet parts to keep them resistant to high heat.
- A one-page text piece lists special properties of metals, including their boiling points, strengths, and toxicities.
- Discuss Showcase Vol 1 38 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Showcase series
- Images from Showcase Vol 1 38
- Metal Men Recommended Reading