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John Corben (Prime Earth)

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John Corben was a Sergeant working under General Sam Lane and having harbored a crush on his daughter Lois Lane, to which she spurned him.[1] When Superman escaped from the military's custody, Corben enlisted in Doctor John Henry Irons's "Project Steel Soldier" despite risking the project's flaws while believing that stopping Superman in order to show his affections for Lois.[2] Corben is outfitted with the Steel Soldier armor, under the supervision of Lex Luthor and General Lane. However, Corben's body is taken over by Brainiac and causing his heart to burst.[3] Corben went to attack Superman before going into a rampage until he is defeated when Dr. Irons uses an armored suit of his own to fight Corben and upload a computer virus that he designed in the event of such a situation.[4]

After escaping and still under Brainiac's control, Corben continued to fight Superman until Superman was able to reason with him to fight Brainiac's influence due to his feelings for Lois Lane. In doing so, Corben attacked Brainiac until Superman was able to defeat the villain, but he subsequently fell into a coma and was taken back by the army. It was revealed that the armor was keeping him alive thanks to the alien technology, but without a heart he would soon die. General Lane told his scientists to find a way to save him since he helped to save Metropolis. He was later given a Kryptonite heart to keep him alive since it was the only energy compatible with his cybernetics.[5]

After several years, Corben recovered from his coma and returned to military service by General Lane despite protests from others in the military establishment that he was determined to be mentally unstable. Corben soon became more violent and ruthless in his actions in rooting out insurgents in the Middle East with disregard for civilian lives. General Lane, who finally realized the problems Corben had caused, had him remotely destroyed in an explosion. However, Corben survived and sought vengeance on Lane at the headquarters of Project Steel Soldier, where he espoused the conspiracy theory he formed during his coma and his long walk that Lane collaborated with his daughter and Superman to humiliate him, turn him into a monster, and then destroy him and replace him with Superman. Corben was then attacked and engaged into an intense battle with Project Steel Soldier's latest and advanced cyborg, Metal-2.0. He managed to defeat his successor and escaped from the explosion caused by Metal-2.0 that would have ensured to kill him when the Secret Society saved and offered him to join their organization, in which Corben accepted and adopted the nickname given by the people of Project Steel Soldier, "Metallo".[6]


  • Superhuman Strength: Metallo's strength level is augmented by his cybernetic components.
  • Energy Projection: Metallo could fire kryptonite radiation from his eyes or heart at will.




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