DC Makes a Surprising Change to a Fan-Favorite Villain

DC's Rebirth relaunch has been going strong for several years now, all while introducing new takes on characters that fans know and love. In the process, the DC Comics continuity has gotten some major shake-ups, most notably as a result of the Dark Nights: Metal and Dark Nights: Death Metal events. DC's Metal Men maxiseries, which is currently two-thirds of the way through its run, has been dealing with the repercussions of the Metal event in some surprising ways, while also adapting the ongoing adventures of Will Magnus and his robots. One through-line of the event has involved a villain who has been oddly-beloved since he debuted in the Silver Age -- and his latest appearance might have just given him a new status quo. Spoilers for Metal Men #8 below! Only look if you want to know!

The issue sees Magnus continuing to work with his new Metal Men, a series of animal-inspired robots who draw their names from various gasses. Magnus and the team take off to fight a disturbance, which they later learn is Chemo attacking New York City. The team - and most of the original Metal Men, who have peeled off after a rift with Magnus - arrive and fight Chemo, but things don't go exactly as planned. At one point in the fight, Chemo began to speak full sentences, as opposed to his usual "Oop" and "Glurg" sound effects. He asked for the Metal Men to stop fighting him, and explained that he had no way of expressing himself before.

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(Photo: DC Comics)

Chemo then explained that "something touched [his] mind", providing him with more of a sentience than he'd previously had, not only allowing him to speak, but to figure out what to say.

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(Photo: DC Comics)

Chemo then tried to reason with the team (giving us the truly fantastic phrase "You cannot allow the toxic waste that fills my form to define me"), only to turn on them. Chemo then sprays a bit of his toxic waste over the new Metal Men, killing them as Magnus watches in horror. The issue then ends with Ithe original Metal Men returning to continue the fight.

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While it's still unclear exactly how Chemo gained the ability to talk (or how long it will end up being a permanent change), the fact that he can do so definitely shifts who he is as a character. Over the years, Chemo has largely been portrayed as a sort of brute in the DC universe (albeit one with the extra ability to barf toxic waste), and giving him a chance to have more of a three-dimensional characterization is certainly a welcomed change.

What do you think of Chemo being able to talk now in Metal Men? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.