New 52 – Justice League #28 review

The cover shows The Metal Men and that’s precisely what you get when you open up Justice League #28. Yes, Cyborg shows up briefly to ask “Who are the Metal Men?” and “Where are they now?” but other than that the entire comic is told in flashback as we explore the New 52 origin of these classic characters and thankfully it doesn’t go the grim and gritty route, but instead gives a Silver Age feel to a New 52 comic. Fans of the Metal Men are in for some lighthearted fun and some spectacular artwork by Ivan Reis who gives each of the heroes a unique and quite iconic design (though it doesn’t make much sense why the Metal Men have rivets, but why should we start questioning talking alloys now?). If you’re not at all interested in the Metal Men then you can probably skip this comic– though I think it’s good enough that everyone should give these characters a chance. Those seeking more Forever Evil development will be the most disappointed because this tie-in only advances the story maybe 1-2 minutes.

I found this comic to be a great done-in-one style read and thought Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis did a phenomenal job showcasing the powers and personality of every member of the Metal Men. Each character has a distinct look, a distinct voice, and, most importantly, they’re memorable and I left the comic wanting to see more of them. The action was also quite good and really showed off Ivan Reis at his best.

However, on the downside I’m not entirely sure how these Metal Men fit in the New 52 timeline we know considering how Platinum had already appeared in Justice League #18, but since Geoff Johns wrote that issue and this one, I’m sure he has some sort of plan worked out. Hopefully he does, but then again this comic also includes one of the most hilarious mistakes I’ve seen. During the flashback, when the scientist behind the Metal Men refuses to open the door to his lab for The Secretary of Defense he states that it would take “2 millijoules of force” to break the door of the laboratory down. To drive the point home he even says it would take a stick of dynamite just to crack the surface… but that’s not entirely true. 2 millijoules is an incredibly insignificant measurement. If it only takes 2 millijoules of force to open the door then you could likely make it explode just by knocking ever-so-gently. Ideally they’ll make a correction for the trade paperback so it at least reads “megajoules” even though that still isn’t that impressive for a fortified steel door. Another nitpick for this comic would be that the Metal Men squad doesn’t include the character “Copper” but while her absence stands out it also didn’t rob the comic of any of its enjoyment. Even with this paragraph of criticisms I think that Justice League #28 is worth buying.

Recommended If…

  • You care or are curious about The Metal Men
  • Ivan Reis is your favorite artist
  • You’re looking for something fun and lighthearted
  • You have a fondness for the Silver Age
  • You don’t have your heart set on seeing any major Forever Evil developments


It’s a really great debut for The Metal Men, but it’s only that. If you’re buying this for Cyborg or more Forever Evil development you might be disappointed because this is an origin story through and through. Fans of The Metal Men should be ecstatic.

SCORE: 8.5/10