I was a kid in the 1960s. (I know, I'm old.) I loved, unironically and completely, things like Magnus, Robot Fighter and Challengers of the Unknown and Angel and the Ape and The Inferior Five.
And I loved the Metal Men.
They were goofy, you bet. They probably don't hold up to close examination now: Any kind of "realistic" modern treatment would have Tin quitting to seek self-actualization and Mercury doing something awful and poachers stealing Gold and Tina becoming a prostitute (well, if Frank Miller were writing it).
(In fact, the Morrison reboot had a bunch of real-body angst that I'm not sure I want in there. And I liked some of the stuff in the reboot. "Death Metal Men." Heh.)
Their schtick was that adventures usually ended with them being destroyed (except for their responsometers) and Dr. Will Magnus rebuilding them. I loved them anyway.
Anyway, my mind drifted to the Inferior Five the other day and thence to the Metal Men, and I contemplated how to write them up...and realized that all of the Metal Men are (ahem) stamped out of the same mold.
They all have:
- Artificial (with Supreme or Fantastic Life Support)
- an Amazing amount of Transformation (objects)
- a point of Immortality, because so long as their responsometers were saved, they could be rebuilt
- the quality "Robot like <metal>" which they use for justifying certain stunts
Each one has a Quality or two for personality ("Unrequited love for Dr. Magnus" or "Inferiority complex" or "Natural leader").
Everyone gets Alternate Form at some level, to reflect that they're made of that metal, and the limit "Constant."
And all of this is done without double-checking the write-ups in DC Adventures.
Prowess and Coordination might be a bit high, because the Metal Men weren't really into punching, but they could grab quite well, and I don't recall that they got caught often (unless it was dramatically appropriate).