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Metallix #4

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writers: David Michelinie & Bob Layton
Artists: Ron Lim (p), Brett Bredding (i)

Publisher: Future Comics

Plot:
When the Metallix group is blackmailed by a heat based villain calling himself Fevre into helping him recover a geological specimen that is buried under the molten lava at the bottom of an active volcano, we see the suit is used to recover this sample. However, after it is recovered, Fevre makes an active effort to have our heroes eliminated, and an unwillingness by a member of the group to fight back nearly gets the entire group killed.

Comments:
Since I hadn't read any of the previous issues, it took me a while to get into this story, as I was still trying to figure out which character is which, and what their various roles in the series were. Still this issue is an entertaining, if overly familiar adventure, in which our group is blackmailed by the villain into performing a task, and after they accomplish this job, the villain attempts to kill them. Now the fact that there are four characters, and only one power suit certainly makes for an interesting bit of conflict, as there's a nice scene where we see one member of the group is unwilling to employ lethal force, and this forces him to hand off the suit to a member of the group who has little problem opening up on the approaching villains. This issue also gives us a pretty good look at the abilities of the suit, as we see it is used to descend into molten lava, and we also see it's capable of firing off a barrage of energy bolts, and throwing a truck. I'm still a bit dubious about the concept of there only being one power suit though, as the appeal of having these four characters trading the suit back & forth isn't nearly as much fun as I expect this book wants it to be. As for the villain of this issue, he's has a sense of menace about him, but the success of his rather simple plan requires the members of the Metallax group come across as a bit simpleminded.

As for the art, Ron Lim turns in some solid action scenes in this issue, with the opening shot of the jet fighter raining a hail of bullets down on the group being a wonderful visual to pull readers into the story. The scene where our hero moves through the molten lava is also quite strong, as the art does a nice job detailing his early sense of panic, and the scene where the suit rises up out of the lave looks fantastic. The scene where the character escapes from the bottom of the crater is also deftly handled.

Final Word:
A fairly enjoyable issue that is hampered by the simple fact that I've been reading comic for over two decades, and as such I was able to see the various plot twists well in advance of their actual arrival in the story. Now the story is a well constructed affair, as we move from A to B with a nice sense of clarity, and there's a couple fairly exciting moments to be found, as we see a member of the cast is stranded with the suit at the bottom of a volcano, while the other find themselves facing an advancing group of trigger-happy goons. The idea that one of our cast members is unwilling to kill is also nicely handled, though the exchange where the more offensive minded member of the group gets on his case in the final pages of the issue was a bit overblown. The book does make pretty solid use of its villain though, as the character is a fairly cool customer, who is not to be trusted, and the inexperience of our heroes would explain why they were so easily manipulated.



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