The Return of the Robots!

I've been ever so nostalgic since reading Doom Patrol this week, as the Metal Men are now all set to have a scrap with another group of robots - robots with their own sassy theme, yet! This is the classic Metal Men plot, along with anti-robot racism and forbidden robot/human love. In honour of the return of one of my very favourite things, I'm going to revisit the old days and offer up another review of the various crazy elemental robots that used to pop up from time to time in the old Metal Men series.


I am left with a lot of questions after viewing this panel. Questions like: Is this a robot made of bismuth or a fountain shaped like a robot made of bismuth? If it is a robot, is this his day job or some sort of terrible punishment? Where does the water pipe come in? Is bismuth really that water soluble?

Further, how do robots feel about drinking water that another robot has just vomited out? Why would a robot child eat apples in the first place? Do green apples really give you gut pain? Did someone build a robot child and thus doom him to an eternity of condescension, or does this panel imply some sort of robot/robot sexual reproduction? If robots can have babies on their own, is humanity doomed?

I fear that I will never know these things. NOT APPROVED.


Further muddying the waters vis-a-vis the mysteries of robot reproduction are robotic temptresses like Magnesium here. Are all of the good metal men robo-taken or robo-gay, or is this evidence that love knows no boundaries or barriers, even across species positions on the Rockwell Hardness Scale.

One thing is certain, however. Based on my observations of various military-type friends, family members, etc I will without hesitation state that flares in the shape of attractive, coquettish dames would raise the rate of maritime rescue an immeasurable amount. JOHN APPROVED.


Taking a break from the mysteries of robosexuality, here's poor Steel. One panel of fame was more than most elements get, and alloys seldom even get that much, but Steel managed to screw it up. Perhaps thinking that there were already plenty of grey robots running around, Steel showed up the entirely wrong dang colour. Even his freakishly long arms couldn't save him from being blacklisted after that. It's okay, though. I'm pretty sure that Steel was the result of Doc Magnus wanting some alone time one rainy weekend - just whip up a quick robot and have the Metal Men run a series of "experiments" on it with some of your spare tools and voila! time to watch Braveheart without getting interrupted during the good parts.

Steel, of course, was melted down soon after.



Is Zirconium the only robot that I've ever seen wear a t-shirt? yes he is.

More importantly: how lucky is he that this panel was printed back when zirconium was still actually used in flashes?Although my limited research indicates that zirconium is used in all kinds of cool places like nuclear reactors and spacecraft and so forth, I'm pretty sure that the poor guy would be having his face rubbed in the chintzy fake diamond aspect of his heritage if it were to come up today.

Sorry man: NOT APPROVED.


See, now that's more like it. A robot's love for a robot, and no risk of squashing a poor hu-mon in the throes of passion (or, say, bursting into white-hot flame).

I wonder if metals that don't alloy well are discouraged from dating by their peers. Is it kind of like a zodiac thing for them or do they approach it scientifically ("Oh, gross. Your children will be all crumbly and brittle.")? Either way, I hope someone is out there fighting the power.

As for Nickel herself, well, I could never say no to a robot in a miniskirt. JOHN APPROVED.

And that's pretty much it for my stock of images from "Metal Facts and Fancies". I'll leave you with a few left over pictures of various Metal Men finding love, metal or otherwise. Next time I do this: crazy Metal Men villains!

Lead has a Mer-fan

Mercury: Evidently needs to get out of the kitchen. What I'm saying is, he can't take the heat.

Mercury again: What a lech.

This Week's Haul: Too Many Kryptonians

I tried so hard to post every day this week, but I failed yesterday. I just can't find time to do anything anymore.

I did, however, get First Runner Up in The Coast's Best of Halifax reader's poll for Best Local Blog! So thanks to everyone who voted for me. I didn't even know that was a category this year!

I read a bunch of comics this week. Here's some of them:

Robin #168

The Ressurection of Ra's Al Ghul continues. I don't know why this is "Part 1 of 7" when there were two parts last week. Does that mean there are going to be 7 issues of Robin alone that tie into this thing?

So Damian isn't so into Ra's Al Ghul's plan to use his body as a host. So he hightails it to Wayne Manor to find his dad. Instead he runs into Robin, and Tim isn't happy to see him. They get into it.

Then Damian runs upstairs and finds Alfred, who is awesome. This is actually where I start to feel kinda bad for Damian. Maybe the kid isn't pure evil.

Oh, kid. How many times have I said that?

Tim wakes up after being knocked unconscious, and mistakes Damian helping Alfred up after he trips for Damian trying to kill Alfred. Oops!

Alfred totally tears a strip off of Tim. It's rad:

The comic ends with this exciting page:

Aw, man! Continued in Nightwing? I have to read Nightwing?! Sheesh. That's like "To Be Continued in Trigonometry Class." Boooooo.

Supergirl #23

Yet another creative team for Supergirl. I really like the art. I think the writing is good...but I had no idea what was happening in this issue. I read it twice. No idea.

But I still think the writing is good, because the characterization is good. And it kinda tied into Sinestro Corps, but not enough to put that on the cover.

It started off in Supergirl's apartment, which I thought was cool. She has a mysterious present on her coffee table. It's lead and soundproofed. She finally just decides to open it. This gets her a phone call from Batman.

And here is what Supergirl is good for: calling Batman on his creepy weirdness.

She's right, Batman. Who would actually tie a box up with a big pretty bow?

SG gets the call from Superman and soars into battle.

Overall, I think there's hope for this comic.

The All-New Atom #17

Oh man, this was great! Wonder Woman makes an appearance, giving us a taste of what's to come in Simone's upcoming run on WW. I'm excited.

Especially after this awesome Picoult dig:

Ha! You tell 'im, Diana!

She looks so dope on that motorcycle!

This issue gives us more of the Ryan/Giganta relationship, which, as it turns out, is still happening. Fantastic!

Short Guy/Tall Woman, Super Hero/Villain. I love it.

I also loved this misunderstanding:

What a great comic.

Justice League Unlimited #39

You put Batman and Elongated Man together, and you know you're going to have a good time. Throw Detective Chimp into the mix, and you have a party.

Also, as I've mentioned before, this is the only comic that completely ignores all the depressing continuity and offers month after month of fun stories about dead characters. I love it.

I mean, how can you not love this?

Batman feels the same way about Ralph's gross nose that I do. I'll add it to the list of things we could talk about on our date.

The ending of this comic was solid gold:

Metal Men #4

Another beautiful issue of Metal Men, which should win awards for the covers alone! This is going to make a gorgeous book when it's collected.

Just look at this crazy steam shovel that the Metal Men join together to build:

That's just awesome.

Gold and Lead have exchanged identities, and Lead (now Gold) is trying to cheer his friend up. It's pretty cute.

God, this comic is just so beautiful! I can't stand it!

Superman #670

The Third Kryptonian...again, a very confusing concept, considering there are five Kryptonians on the cover, none of which is the "Third Kryptonian."

I thought this was pretty neat:

Batman has the job of Fortress Keeper. He plays it like John Travolta in Get Shorty:

That is a suit that Superman designed and built. It is constructed to recognize Batman's biometric signature. So in love.

Actually, this comic did come dangerously close to Jeph Loeb-levels of Superman-crushing-on-Batman-through-obsessive-interior-monologues. Superman was thinking of him almost constantly throughout the issue.

So now the Third Kryptonian is gone. We hardly knew ye, What's-her-name!

This Week's Haul: Rush Job

I gotta do this week's reviews in a hurry because I am studying for my mid-terms. Sorry in advance for the lack in quality.

Action Comics #856

We need more comics that open with a little girl being pushed off a balcony:

More Bizarro awesomeness from Eric Powell, Geoff Johns and Richard Donner.

Bizarro Lois and Jimmy:

Bizarro Mxy:

Bizarro Doomsday:

I also really liked Bizarro Lex Luthor because I picture him talking the same, sounding all dignified and smart, but with the Bizarro-style mixed-up words.

As with the last issue, the Powell art is amazing. There was so much cool stuff on this page alone:

Powell makes Superman's eye blasts look extra crazy. And that panel of Supes getting punch by four fists at once is pretty awesome. As is the one below it. Pa Kent's POV there is pretty nuts.

I can't wait to see more of the Bizarro Justice League in the next issue. The last page in this one cracked me up.

The All New Atom #16

The awesome thing about this issue is that Roger Stern was filling in for Gail Simone, and he did such a great job that I didn't even notice. It's nice to know that, if Simone ever had to abandon Ryan Choi, it's possible that someone else could write him just as well.

Ok, so this was great. Laugh-out-loud funny as usual.

The other nice thing about this issue is that, for reasons I can only attribute to perhaps an increased interest in the title since the search for Ray Palmer began, it brings the reader up to speed on everything that happened previously. But it's done throughout the comic in a way that isn't boring. I can see being confused if you picked up an issue of The Atom as to why Ryan lives with a giant, floating alien head.

Anyway, great issue. Great series.

Green Lantern Corps #16

Planet Fight!!!!!!!

Hells yeah!

Also, the guardians have decided that it's alright for the lanterns to get their kill on:

Our heroes waste no time. They just start laying waste to the Sinestro Corps immediately:

So the tide has turned in the epic space battle. And it's heading to Earth. Which we knew already from the last Green Lantern issue, but's gonna be dope!

I really liked Sodam Yat's battle-ravaged look:

He could totally patch that suit up with his ring. He chooses not to.

Countdown Week 30

I liked this issue. I think this series might be getting better. Maybe. It still has thirty issues in which it can become awesome. Right now it's pretty good...most of the time.

There was a lot of Piper/Trickster stuff in this one, which I always appreciate. And our Ray Palmer-searchers landed on an Earth where Jason Todd is Batman and the Atom is a chick and Donna Troy is Wonder Woman and Kyle is...Kyle. I couldn't really tell them apart.

"We don't know these people, Donna, stop handing out personal information." Can anyone else tell what is wrong with that sentence?

Hehe..."Happy fun-time Batman." Oh, I really hope they find that Earth.

Countdown Presents The Search for Ray Palmer: Crime Society #1

So I guess it is possible for this crazy idea for a series to be just have to get Sean McKeever to write it.

This was really enjoyable. So much better than that Wildstorm one that was out a few weeks ago. The whole comic is a really entertaining life story of the Jokester, who we met in last week's Countdown and who is now following Team Palmer around. I highly recommend.

Detective Comics #837

Not a lot of Batman in this one, but that's cool. It was a really good fill-in-the-blanks issue that explained how Harley found her way to the Amazonian women's shelter in Metropolis. Plus, Bruce Wayne hires The Riddler, who you'll recall is on the straight and narrow now and working as a private detective, to recover some stolen goods. This leads to Riddler teaming up with Harley because the thief is also at the shelter.

It's fun.

JLA/Hitman #2

This was awesome.

For one thing, I love how much Batman hates Tommy:

And I love how much Tommy loves making Batman angry.

I also love a powerless Kyle having to take a guy out with a chair:

Yes, it's all very awesome and hilarious.

But here's the twist...this comic is really very touching. It basically serves as a love letter Ennis is writing for his late character, Tommy Monaghan. And the letter is narrated by Superman, who is telling the story to a reporter. And it gets do damn sad, you wouldn't believe it. This two-part series is really great. I never expected this kind of love to be put into an Ennis comic. Particularly not a JLA comic. I'm impressed.

Metal Men #3

I'm not going to pretend to always understand what's going on in this comic, but I definitely love looking at it.

I mean, I do get what's going on. There's just so

But it's a very fun read and Magnus is adorably nerdy and every single panel is stunning:

Just look at the perfection that is this page:

The lighting and shadowing in this comic is really fantastic. Look at that panel with the flashlight!

I love Magnus practicing his marriage proposal, and trying to not bring science into it.

Supergirl #22

Hands down, the best issue of Supergirl yet. She kicked so much ass and was so cool.

And at the end she totally stands up to Superman and tells him that she can live her own life and she doesn't need him playing father figure all the time. Superman surprises her by agreeing with her.

And then the Teen Titans surprise me by walking out of that barn, where I guess they have been hiding. Which is really weird. And great.

That's the end of the Bedard/Guedes run, sadly. It kinda feels like it should be the end of the series, but they are going to keep going with it. I am curious to see where they take it. The next run sounds kind of inspired by her appearances in the Brave and the Bold, at least in terms of her taking part in some inter-galactic missions which involve JLA members. We'll see...

Blah. Alright, that's all I have time for. Back to statistics.

This Week's Haul: If I only had One More Day, I wouldn't waste it reading Spider-Man

The reviews are pretty late this week due to a combination of comics being late this week, and me being away for Friday and Saturday. But now the long wait is over.

I should mention quickly that the second podcast guest-starring me is up at The Dollar Bin. In this episode we discuss super hunks. So you can check that out here.

Alright, let's get this show on the road.

Metal Men #2

Metal Man always has been, and always will be, a very nerdy comic. And not even in the fantasy worlds and freaky alien peoples kinda way. In the way that you actually learn stuff, and if you happen to be a chemistry nerd, there are layers to the comic that only you will enjoy.

I have never been one for science. Basically anything I know about chemistry, I have learned from Metal Men comics: Mercury is liquid at room temperature, lead is heavy, and platinum is slutty.

Even though we would have nothing to say to each other, I have a pretty big crush on Will Magnus. I like guys named Magnus who build robots, and I like guys named Magnus who fight robots. It's a weakness.

Duncan Rouleau's Metal Men mini-series is so beautiful and so entertaining. When the ads said it was "exploding from the pages of Superman/Batman," I was a little worried. Nothing should explode from those pages...except my brain.

Anyway, like I say, this series is excellent. And very cute.

Look at Lead! So adorable! And look at Will! Equally adorable!

Buy this, read it, love it. I know it's science-heavy, but you can't possibly know less about science than I do, and I'm enjoying it immensely. Even if you just look at the covers it's worth it.

Outsiders #50

I am no fan of the Outsiders. Never have been. I don't care if Batman started it, they are still boring.

So imagine my surprise when I read this and really, really liked it. I haven't read any of the Five-of-a-Kind comics leading up to this, but I checked this out because it's written by Tony Bedard and had Batman on the cover. And it's the last issue of this series, as it now becomes Batman and The Outsiders.

I'll tell you what I really loved about issue #50: this guy:

Oh, Bruce. I love it when you play dress-up. Always good to see Matches.

I also really liked that the get-up didn't fool Catwoman for a second:


Woot! Ok, Outsiders. Sign me up for issue #1. You have my attention.

Supergirl #21

Sadly only one issue left after this one in the Bedard/Guedes run. I'm probably never going to be very interested in a Supergirl comic, but this run has been well-written and looks great. I have no complaints. Except the covers. I wish Guedes was doing them.

But look at the inside! Look at how bored she looks when Karate Kid chops her in the face!

That girl is tough. I like her and look forward to more of her Teen Titans adventures.

Jonah Hex #23

I read this last night just before I went to see 3:10 to Yuma, so it was a really excellent cowboy night all around.

I love every issue of this series, but I thought this one was especially awesome. The Jordi Bernet artwork certainly added to the awesome.

I really like the way he draws Hex. There have been many different levels of grossness in his face, depending on the artist. It ranges from it looking like raw hamburger, to just being a simple bridge of skin over his lip and a slightly larger right eye. I think Bernet strikes a perfect balance:

I really like the blank white eye. That's a nice touch. Hex should be hard to look at.

Anyway, excellent issue.

Countdown Week 34

I was happy that Piper and Trickster were the stars of this issue. Some JLA members finally caught up with them (most notably, Wally), and we start to get some answers:

Did anyone listen to the podcast (or go to the panel) of the Big Guns panel at ComicCon? It was pretty awkward to listen to, most notably because at one point someone asked why we're supposed to believe that Piper and Trickster are innocent when we clearly saw them beating Bart to death in The Flash? Paul Dini (I'm pretty sure it was him, anyway) answered by saying that, though they are doing their best, they aren't able to keep track of everything that is going on in every DC comic when they are plotting Countdown. This was the WRONG answer.

Dude. First of all, the correct answer to questions such as that, is always "Wait and see." Then your ass is covered while you go do your research or whatever and re-write stuff. Or so ten years down the line you can write a comic that reveals that the Piper and Trickster who beat Bart up were alternate Earth Piper and Trickster. Or whatever you want. The point is, it's a valid answer that does not reveal that you screwed up in any way. Because...seriously? I know you can't pay attention to every little detail of every comic, but the comic in which Bart Allan is murdered is probably worth a read.

Anyway, I didn't mean to go off on a whole thing there. I'm just saying, his answer surprised me. And disappointed me.

Black Canary Wedding Planner

That's just an adorable cover. Stephane Roux rocks.

Inside was fine. Was anyone else bothered by Green Arrow's flaming read hair? That was kinda weird. Also, I dunno. Maybe I just don't care about weddings. They should get married in the Watchtower. Hell, I would.

The All-New Atom #15

I was really glad to see this issue get away from the whole Countdown Jason/Donna/Monitor thing for a little bit so Ryan could fight some giant monsters. That was fun. I don't have anything in particular to say about this issue except it was, as always, very funny and great. And I want a Head action figure. That talks.

The Incredible Hulk #110

I thought this was pretty great. This whole series has had a lot of great "Woah! Neat!" moments, and this comic had a good one. Amadeus Cho, kid genius and Hulk fan, successfully argues that Hulk doesn't have the capability to kill anyone. It's pretty cool.

I am still really enjoying this series. It's so much more enjoyable than Endangered Species or One More Day (and, yes, I am making that call on OMD after only one issue).

I want Hulk to come around and stop trying to kill everyone, but not before he makes the heroes fight in that giant gladiator ring. Because that is going to RULE.

The Amazing Spider-Man #544

Well, this wasn't very good at all.

This really grossed me out:


Lucky for Iron Man he has all that armor on.

Now, I'll admit that I don't know the most about the Marvel universe, but is there a reason why Peter Parker couldn't have gone to another wealthy super hero for money for May's hospital bills besides his arch enemy? Say...Danny Rand? Anyone? Any reason at all? Was Peter just being poetic and decided Tony should be made to pay the bills?

Aw, who cares. This comic was lame.

Review of Some Robots, Part 4, By Johnathan

It's that time again: time to make critical assessments of fictional robots that were created forty years ago. We must be silent no longer! This time we're going to look at the Gas Gang - a group of evil robots based on... gases. When you get right down to it, this is an odd idea, even for The Metal Men. Let's take a look:

As you no doubt guessed, the Gas Gang were built by Doc Magnus, during a period of time that he spent as a robot, which I'm sure that we can all relate to. Since the strange space gasses or whatever it was that transformed him that particular time also made him evil (as so often happens), he set the Gas Gang on his beloved Metal Men.

I'm pretty fond of the Gas Gang because they're just total assholes. A lot of other Metal Men foes were world-conquering tyrants or twisted scientific geniuses or were in love with Tina for some reason, but the Gas Gang is mostly concerned with beating the holy hell out of the Metal Men. They're refreshingly uncomplicated, the robotic equivalent of spinach salad.

They also die oddly:

That's right, the Gas Gang - beings composed primarily of gas - are evaporated out of existence. Which, uh, seems... weird. Is there a new state of matter between gas and plasma that nobody's taken the time to tell me about? Super Gassey? Xtreme Gas? Gas Plus Plus? Whatever it's called, the Gas Gang go down like chumps.

Gas Gang Roll Call!


I always think of Chloroform as the leader of the Gas Gang, but this is possibly because he attacks first. I've got to say I've got some issues with Chloroform's design. I mean sure, he's got a great face, but he also doesn't have any arms. Arms that would be useful in a fight against robots. Robots that don't breathe and therefore can't possibly be affected by chloroform gas. Right?

Oh. I'm wrong. The Metal Men breathe, apparently. And chloroform makes you laugh before knocking you out, a fact that the Metal Men crew were quite impressed by, as seen here:

See? Arms are useful! The above image actually marks Chloroform's first appearance, on a one page collection of factoids.

Anyway, my real problem with Chloroform is that he looks like a nutmeg grater that my grandmother owns, like Evil Robot Doc Magnus had originally started work on a gang of robots called the Spice Squad (Nutmeg! Cinnamon! Pepper! Oregano! Onion Salt!) but then realized that that was lame. Rar! I am Chloroform! I have no arms! I'm riddled with holes! I dispense gases that should have no effect on shape-changing uber-bots! I'm kicking your asses! Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame.

Nonetheless, nostalgia for that nutmeg grater compels me to say JOHN APPROVED.


By contrast with Chloroform, I do very much enjoy Oxygen's design. He's got cute little limbs and an adorable hose arm. His angry little pressure gauge face is just precious. Plus, I need him in order to live. However, he shouldn't be able to do this:

Iron reacts with atmospheric oxygen to form rust, right? Well, tin, gold and platinum don't do that! They're known for it! Rar! Johnathan smash! Johnathan get worked up about scientific inaccuracy in forty-year-old comic and bitch on the internet! Johnathan sulk in comfy chair for a while!

I do love the way Oxygen looks, though. Plus the little valve that's poking up from his shoulder kind of resembles a grinning face, like Oxygen has a tiny sidekick. "Come, Thread Head, let us improbably rust some things! Take that, aluminum!"




The Carbon Brothers don't get to see much action, which is kind of a shame. Carbon Monoxide actually has a rather clever design, being represented as a Bunsen burner, of the type that offed so many scientists before they discovered the wonders of ventilation. However, he should have absolutely no effect on the Metal Men.

Carbon Dioxide is represented as a chunk of ice and would probably be really effective against some of the more brittle metals like Tin or Mercury, if any of the other members of the Gas Gang had fists with which to punch them. As it is, he's just a minor irritant. Also, he's a solid.



From the same facts page that spawned Boxin' Chloroform. Check it out:

"You're cool, Carbon Dioxide! So cool that I'm going to need multiple skin grafts! Love the hat, though."


Oh lord I love Gangster Carbon Monoxide. Gangster Carbon Monoxide is possibly the best anthropomorphic personification of a gas that I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty. Gangster Carbon Monoxide should have been a Silver Age Batman villain, seriously. They could've defeated him with ionic air purifiers. Post-Crisis he could've turned up in Swamp Thing or something as a champion of the auto industry. Grant Morrison would kill him off somehow but then another writer would get nostalgic and he'd show up in an airtight cell in Arkham Asylum. He'd totally team up with Parade Hater Horace. It would be glorious.



Helium's pretty boring, frankly. He looks like a dirigible, which is thematically appropriate, but all he really does is grow, see?

I didn't even know that that was a property of helium. In fact, I don't think it is. Helium could just as easily been Just Plain Air, which would have been cheaper, at any rate.

In the Gas Gang's second outing (in which they are resurrected by a sane Doc Magnus to combat an insane amalgam of most of the Metal Men) Helium proves himself a bit more useful:

I'm not sure why he chose to inflate the Metal Man-Woman by sticking his nozzle into the only female mouth on the thing but it creeps me out slightly (I am pleased to see that Chloroform Mark II has arms, though). It's a tribute to Doc Magnus' genius that he can invent a robot composed primarily of gas and manage to simulate human perversion, but damn.


Review of Some Robots, Part 3, By Johnathan

Hey there, robot fans! John Review here, fresh from a weekend of debauchery and recovery from the same, with another look at some of those wacky anthropomorphic elements from the pages of Metal Men comics. I was kind of thinking of reviewing the Gas Gang today but don't really have the mental stamina required to stay on one topic for so long. So: random robots it is!

First up is Potassium, who starts off strong but doesn't really stand up to heavy scrutiny. Let's watch:

Okay, so the good points of this little tableau are as follows: Potassium's a pretty sharp-looking guy. I think that he might be wearing a blazer, and he's definitely rocking one of the best Metal Men hats that I've seen thusfar. Plus, he's into gardening, so that's a plus. Wait, though... did he just interrupt Romeo and Juliet to brag about his fertilizing abilities? Yeesh, Potassium, I gotta say: that's a bit intrusive. Did you just dash in to name-drop yourself the once or hang out there all night?

ROMEO: But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

POTASSIUM: Potassium carbonate, or potash, is used in glass manufacturing!

ROMEO: It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!

POTASSIUM: Soybeans are a good source of dietary potassium!

ROMEO: Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

POTASSIUM: Potassium chloride is used in executions by lethal injection!

ROMEO: Who is already sick and pale with grief

POTASSIUM: Research has indicated that diets high in potassium can reduce the risk of hypertension!

ROMEO: That thou her maid are far more fair than she.

POTASSIUM: ... Potassium is the seventh most abundant element in the earth's crust!

If I were Romeo I'd've kicked him off of the ladder.


Potassium also has a sister:

I don't know. She seems cool, and she can use her dandruff to grow flowers with faces, but I don't trust her. I'm pretty sure that if you put her in a room with Hamlet she'd be telling him about the important part that potassium had played in the manufacture of his bare bodkin.

In contrast to the super-useful Potassium Twins comes this sorry bunch, who as of 1967 had nothing to offer mankind:

Aw. Look at the sad, unemployed elements. Not only are they not enriching the lives of everyday Joes like you and me, they can't even get the respect necessary for that security guard to get their names right. Seriously: Farancium? Rubibium? You're not making it any easier for the poor schmoes, security man.

Depending on your level of empathy for fictional robots, you might be happy to know that - according to my minimal research - the line has shrunk in the last forty years. Now it's just Berkelium, Francium and Protactinium standing out there, trying to impress each other with stories about their half-lives and tales of researchers whom they've irradiated. Sometimes Francium cries at night.

The Robot Unemployment Line is JOHN APPROVED!

This one's my favourite:

Old Uncle Technetium telling the tots about being the very first artificially synthesized element. Man, do I love his suit. And his cigar. And the fact that he wears a medallion with his name on it around his neck, which just might make him the Original Gangster, or possibly the Original Old-Timey Senator. I'll bet he can filibuster 'til the (irradiated, sickly) cows come home. Plus, those are the cutest robot kids ever. Plus plus: robot rug!


Not quite a robot but still:

There's something about a bald, yellow giant who's punching out what are apparently sentient insects that just gets me right here, you know? Look at how grim they all are: Arsenic doesn't love his job - he just does it. The boss tells him to 'take care of' some troublemakers and WHROOOSH! they're history. That's what I like about this picture: everyone's appropriately solemn in the face of death.

Not at all like here:

That's right, Metal Men. Smile and eat your robotic sandwiches whilst dozens of lives are extinguished directly above you. Why the hell are you sanctioning the sterilization of the local ecosystem? It's not like the mosquitoes are going to bite you, is it? Or are you afraid that a fly will devour one of your metal sandwiches? Seriously, guys. Just because you're hanging around with an animate can of bug spray doesn't mean that you have to have it spray every bug you see. At least wait until Doc Magnus is being carried away by fire ants or something.

Such environmental irresponsibility is NOT APPROVED.