Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artist: Guilherme Balbi
Colorist: Marco Lesko
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Release Date: May 4, 2022
Reviewer: Lukke Sweet
Thousands of years in the future, robots are the dominant race and humanity has died out… At least until the robots began bringing humans back, growing them in labs, to do all of the jobs that they no longer want to do. Culminating in a boxing match, a physical fight, between a human and a robot, Metal Society #1 by Zack Kaplan begins to answer the big question, “Who will reign supreme: Human or Robot?”
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Zack Kaplan introduces a complex, intriguing world in Metal Society #1. Kaplan takes the common science fiction battle of Robots vs Humans and turns it on its head. This issue opens with the two fighters getting ready for the match with narration provided by the announcer. Readers will be immediately introduced to the fighters and the larger conflict that surrounds them. From there, Kaplan proceeds to dive deep into the world that he’s built and introduces the larger issues facing this futuristic society.
Kaplan introduces a great cast of characters throughout this issue, but mainly focuses on the human fighter, Rosa Genthree. Rosa is a genetically enhanced human, created to clean up the trash fields leftover from humanity’s abuse of the Earth. Throughout the issue, readers are shown how Rosa went from a trash collector to a human rights activist and her will to fight. It also shows the struggle as humanity works to accept its role in a world ruled by robots. One reoccurring line in this issue sums up this future humanity’s place perfectly, “We fight to survive and our spirit is strong.”
This issue provides a solid base from which Kaplan can shape the rest of the story. Solicitations for future issues indicate the story will become more rounded and balanced, giving us insight into the robot’s society and what would drive a robot to enter into a fight with a human. Kaplan has set up a great story that looks to examine a common trope in a new light.
Guilherme Balbi has an art style that works extremely well with this setting. There’s a grittiness to Balbi’s linework that conveys the notion that this is not a utopic future, which is further complemented by Marco Lesko’s colors. Balbi and Lesko further increase the divide between humanity and robots through their art. Scenes of the robots or their city are often very clean with smooth lines while colored in cool tones whereas human scenes are warm and rough. This is especially apparent in a beautiful splash panel that juxtaposes their living conditions.
With Metal Society #1, Zack Kaplan has created a really promising world that examines the relationship between humans and robots in a new light. Guilherme Balbi and Marco Lesko work well together to create a beautiful and dynamic setting for the story. As a first issue, it will leave readers asking questions and wanting to learn more about this futuristic world. This issue lays the groundwork for what promises to be an exciting character-driven story and I can’t wait for the second issue!