So according to the internets, Barry Sonnenfeld is going to helm the film version of The Metal Men. In case you don’t know, The Metal Men are the creation of Dr. Will Magnus who, thanks to his “responsometers” imbued his creations with various (and often wacky) personalities. The Metal Men (and Woman) have special abilities derived from the alloys (or ya know…metals) they are made from. Sooooo Gold can stretch super far, Lead can stop harmful radiation, and so on and so forth. Here’s the wiki if you care to know the rest. The bottom line is they are a crazy bunch of super robots and are a lot of fun to read. When they actually have a comic book that is.
You see, the Metal Men began in 1962 in issue #37 of Showcase which garnered their own title named…wait for it…The Metal Men. That book started in 1963 and was published until 1970 but was then brought back in 1976 to be canceled yet again in 1978. It ran for a total of 56 issues (even though three of those issues were reprints but who’s counting…oh right, that would be me then). It was then brought back as a 4 part mini-series from 1993 to 1994 and then again as an 8 part mini-series in 2007 and 2008. During this time they were also featured in a handful of other DC books as well. So basically, the last time The Metal Men had their own book was in 1978 and since then they have only been able to support two mini-series.
Mini-series in comics are often looked upon as back-door pilots of sorts and if either of those mini-series had been a breakout hit they, most likely, would have been given another full fledged series. Unfortunately, it seems to me that The Metal Men is just one of those properties that can’t support their own book for very long. This is not a slight to the characters in any way really, it’s just the way it is. Some properties are stars and others are supporting characters. That’s not to say that these, or any other, supporting characters don’t deserve a film to be made of them eventually of course, but not a time when Warner Bros. and DC Comics needs a win or rather 1,436,200,000 wins.
I really do love The Metal Men and I have no problem with the idea of a Metal Men movie in general. It’s just that right now, at at time when one of Marvel’s most popular comic book properties just made a hundred bajillion dollars in the box office you’d think that Warner Brothers would want to concentrate on DC’s more popular characters. Not that that particular tactic works every time either…*cough* Green Lantern *cough* Superman Returns *vomit*…I mean *cough* again. Getting back to the point, I think that it would be logical to try to adapt comic book properties that currently have a book with a successful following to at least increase the chances of its success as a film.
So with that line of reasoning I just made up, here is a list of 10 other DC film properties I think Warner Bros. should focus on instead of The Metal Men based on how many issues their corresponding comics have had (which is generally a good sign of their popularity and renown). I’m going from lowest issues to highest for suspense.
CAN YOU FEEL THE SUSPENSE?!? Oh, well…here’s the list anyway!
Over 50 Issues since 1950. Currently featured in a publication.
Over 80 Issues since 2003. Currently featured in a publication.
Over 170 Issues since 1964. Currently in publication.
Over 240 Issues since 1962. Currently in publication.
Over 270 Issues since 1941. Currently featured in a publication.
Over 440 Issues since 1966. Currently in publication.
Over 620 Issues since 1940. Currently in publication.
Over 630 Issues since 1942. Currently in publication.
Over 680 Issues since 1940. Currently in publication.
Over 700 Issues since 1960. Currently in publication.
Source: The DC Comics Database
So, you know, math and stuff. I mean, we are dealing with a business here so it makes sense to me that they are paying attention to numbers and figures from SOMEWHERE. Now, I understand that some of these characters haven’t had many issues on their own which is why I said a characters popularity is generally indicative of how many issues they have had. But for some characters Martian Manhunter, we have to look a bit deeper. Even though he’s had very few issues on his own he’s also starred in the Justice League. I know this technically makes him a supporting character and I’ve stated earlier that Warner Bros. shouldn’t focus on them at this time BUT in this case we should also recognize that Martian Manhunter is widely recognized as a founding member of the Justice League and has starred in nearly EVERY incarnation of the League. This increases his number of appearances by, I dunno….a bunch. To me, this makes him less a supporting character and more a member of the most high profile team in all of DC Comics. The same thing can be said of characters like Hawkman and Aquaman who have also starred in Justice League numerous times. All three of these characters have also been featured fairly recently in the Smallville television show. These characters may not be A-listers but, hey, neither was Iron Man up until his films became a smash hit. And like the DC characters I just mentioned, Iron Man may not have had the largest solo following but he was still on Marvel’s most high profile team at the time of his movies release.
For all I know, a movie based on The Metal Men could be just as successful as any other blockbuster super hero movie. I just don’t see why Warner Bros. would want to take the risk of making a movie out of a property that the majority of general audiences, let alone avid comic book readers, barely even know. DC Comics has a bevy of superhero properties that are much more well known than The Metal Men and Warner Bros. needs to focus on them instead for the time being. Most of the characters on this list are or were members of the Justice League at one point or another which brings me back to a point I’ve already made before, Warner Bros. needs to start building towards a Justice League film. Is it really so complicated Warner Bros? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
So, what do YOU guys think? Is my list garbage? Do you have a list of your own? Let me know!