REVIEW: 'METAL SOCIETY' #1 by Zack Kaplan, Guilherme Balbi, and Marco Lesko



Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artist: Guilherme Balbi, Marco Lesko
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 4, 2022
Cover Price: $3.99


PORT OF EARTH writer ZACK KAPLAN teams up with hot up-and-coming artist GUILHERME BALBI in a dramatic new sci-fi miniseries that's Blade Runner meets Rocky.

In an inverted future, evolved robots have resurrected humans for manual labor. When a tribalistic cultural clash breaks out, a fearless human fighter and a frustrated, displaced robot will square off in a public MMA-style sport fight of epic stakes to determine once and for all who reigns supreme: man or machine.


★★★★☆ (4/5)

'Metal Society' is the latest inventive sci-fi tale by Zack Kaplan that imagines sentient robots who rule the world and resurrect humans for their labor. It's a fascinating reversal of fortune for mankind who had their chance and time to dominate the planet but they brought about its ruin. Now, in the year 2420 upstart humans have one of their own to champion versus a robot combatant in the ring for the fight of the century.   

The first issue provides a lot of information setting up the premise of the series with even a history lesson. It opens with an excited ring announcer providing the exposition setting up the match just as real fight broadcasts do. It's very convincing as the fighters, human Rosa Genthree and robot WOL-421313, are briefly profiled.  The run-up to the fight takes a pivot to flashback to how Rosa got here. In doing so we see what life is like for humans under the reign of robots. As the minority, humans seek to have equal rights and a better way of life. There's a quiet resistance that's brewing under the radar. It makes for a classic sci-fi rebellion in the making. 

Artists Guilherme Balbi and Marco Lesko create a stunning world that's technologically driven in a futuristic landscape. The advanced skyline of Robot City is surrounded by the crumbling infrastructure left behind when humans roamed the earth. It's where the new humans live and are under robot supervision. Balbi's character designs are most impressive. The muscular stature of Rosa makes her a convincing badass and a formidable fighter. The robots vary in size and shape with the androids looking very intimidating and large. Lesko keeps colors mostly earthy and subdued except for the shiny lights of the arena. Life seems a little dreary for humans so they rest their hope in Rosa. 

'Metal Society' is a great new sci-fi series that's easy to dive into. Kaplan weaves a fascinating tale about an alternative earth where robots rule and humans fight for equality. The first issue perfectly sets up the plot and the stakes while creating a powerful leading character in Rosa. Balbi and Lesko invoke 'Blade Runner' and 'Star Wars' with their own version of a far-flung futuristic reality.  'Metal Society' #1 a worthy new series to add to your pull-list.