and related media seem to love the idea of combining people with stuff Made Of Shiny
, hence the number of characters not just using Powered Armor
but completely encased in a metal skin. It might be an organic metal skin, "liquid metal", or perhaps a super advanced Nano Machine
suit of Powered Armor
. Whatever the cause, the visual effect is of a transformed human with skin that is metallic, often silver, and polished to a mirror-like shine. If these figures go unclothed — and they usually do — Barbie Doll Anatomy
will be in play.
These types generally have one of two power sets. They either are Nigh Invulnerable
and have Super Strength
, or are fairly high up in terms of power
, usually being Reality Warpers
or in control of some fundamental natural force.
Their appearance usually explains their power. The connotations here are that the character is "as strong and tough as steel", or that they are the cosmic/human equivalent of a Magic Mirror
, capable of "reflecting"
on the nature of existence and deriving power from it.
Compare Star-Spangled Spandex
and Sculpted Physique
, contrast Tin Tyrant
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Anime and Manga
- Wildstorm: Void and The Engineer. Void is a mysterious alien entity that bonded with a human woman, granting her teleportation and strange intuition. The Engineer is much like Iron Man, but has replaced her blood with Nanomachines which act as a Green Lantern Ring - and extrudes some of it through the pores of her skin as skin-tight armor. Yes, she is essentially running around naked. She's an exhibitionist.
- DC Comics
- Captain Atom, Citizen Steel, and the Bulleteer. Captain Atom is of the "cosmic" and "super strong" varieties, being a man with the substance of an extradimensional organism grafted to his flesh. Citizen Steel is super strong and tough, with the twist of having a very limited sense of touch due to his organic steel skin. The Bulleteer is super strong and tough, thanks to an accident involving metallic smartskin.
- Bombshell of the Teen Titans. Her powers are derived from the same source as Captain Atom.
- Captain Atom's Evil Counterpart (and also a member of Green Lantern's Rogues Gallery) Major Force.
- Silver Surfer, Colossus, and ROM from the Marvel Universe. The Silver Surfer is the epitome of the Cosmically powered Chrome Champion. A Zenn-Lavian granted a fraction of the Power Cosmic and coated with a radiation/pressure/cold-resistant metal shell, he's so powerful he's one of the few Flying Bricks who can easily best anyone in the Marvel Universe save for Galactus. (At least a few stories have shown the Surfer's outer coating removed, leaving an ordinary-looking bald guy underneath. It's suggested that he requires said protection to fly through space and survive, but it's never explained why none of the other heralds of Galactus other than Nova seem to require it...)
Colossus is a super strong and tough type, who can retract the metal skin as part of his mutation. As of Colossus' death and resurrection, he is solid steel all the way through, with a corresponding increase in durability (and possibly strength). He was originally metal all the way through, turning into "organic steel." At some point writers began referring to his "armored" form, implying that it was only external. Apparently he's reverted.
Galactus himself starts sporting this look in Ultimate Hunger after merging with his Ultimate universe counterpart Gah Lak Tus, a Hive Mind swarm of killer robots.
Mercury of X-Men is of the liquid metal variety... except her hair, which remains red for some reason. She's a Shape Shifter instead of strong.
- The element mercury is associated with the color red for a couple of reasons:
- "Everyone knows" mercury is the stuff in thermometers. Some thermometers are clearly full of a red liquid (actually alcohol with food coloring, but...)
- Mercury compounds are often red; vermilion and cinnabar are both mercury compounds.
- The Film and Ultimate versions of Doctor Doom. The former had the metal "grow" under his skin and get revealed when Johny attacked him with flames, though it's implied he's completely made of metal. The second film has him keep his powers but revert to flesh, and later return to his all metallic exterior when he steals the Silver Surfer's powers. The latter was completely mutated as well, but his internal organs got turned into poison gas. Also, his goat legs didn't get a positive fan reaction.
A rare supernatural version happened to Doom again in Universe X. Dr. Doom was redeemed after he died and helped kill Death (don't think about that too hard). In the wake of that he became one of Captain Marvel's archangels, and along with Iron Man had a completely metallic skin.
Previously on Earth X we have Iron Maiden, who sounds like an Iron Man ripoff, but she's simply coated in Vibranium, which she can manipulate. Not very shiny, though.
- Steeljack from Astro City is another super strong type. He was coated with a liquid steel that like Citizen Steel, cuts down on his sense of touch, but he's completely human underneath. Twist: He's tarnishing with age, having been a super villain for decades and going into his late fifties in the story arc he's in.
- DC's Metal Men are, well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin - humanoid robots each made of a specific metal and properties to match: Lead is slow, tough and blocks radiation, Mercury can flow through cracks, etc.
- Most of them aren't actually shiny, though... Tina/Platinum, and Copper in the newer versions, are usually drawn to appear so, but the others, even Gold, generally aren't (and Mercury is red, probably for the same reasons the Marvel character of the same name has red hair). Lead is a dull grey, Tin (and Nameless, who's also made of tin) is a dull white, and Iron is a kind of blue (presumably he's supposed to be the color of a rifle barrel).
- Spider-Man: Spider-Man's foe The Molten Man, whose skin is bonded with a golden organic alloy.
- Green Lantern villain Goldface. GL's ring doesn't work on him because, you know, yellow... gold... same dif. His protege, The Flash villain Blacksmith, was much the same.
- There's also her cohort, the slow-witted behemoth Girder, who got his powers from being thrown in a vat of molten slag from STAR Labs after trying to assault a female coworker. He also rusts painfully, and gets torn in half by Magenta's magnetic powers on more than one occasion.
- Wetworks: All members of Wetworks benefit from this trope, though they are golden rather than chrome.
- The Goon had Dr. Alloy, who was a Mad Scientist Anti-Villain Well Intentioned
- August General in Iron, of DC's Great Ten, had his skin turned into living armor by the side-effect of a cure for an alien infection. He averts Made Of Shiny, however, as his armor looks like rusted iron. He also has an extremely stunted sense of touch.
- In Adam Warren's superhero comedy Empowered, Capitan Rivet.
- Tony Stark's new bleeding edge armor.
- Legion of Super-Heroes: The Legion has Ferro Lad (or just Ferro in the Postboot version), who can become living iron at will, all the way to his core. The properties of his metal self allowed the Preboot version to make a Heroic Sacrifice by using himself as a conductor when the last-ditch weapon the Legion was using against a Sun Eater broke down.
- Avengers Academy has Mettle, who actually is a red variant compared to the standard silver.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- In the climax of Princep's Fury (the fifth Codex Alera novel), the First Lord turns into steel before flying to battle and blowing up the Citadel. Araris also pulls this in the last book. But then, he is one of the most powerful metalcrafters in the world. Bonus points for fighting the Vord Queen and surviving. At least up until the the Vord Queen, being the ridiculously Dangerously Genre Savvy bitch that she is, freezes him in place. Since his skin is metal, and it is turning brittle from the cold, it begins to cause Araris extreme pain.
- Moon Rainbow: The Exotes (or, less derisive, Citgals) from Sergei Pavlov's series were initially a group of spacemen who acquired a whole bunch of cool powers due to contact and symbiotic relationship with a lifeform that is essentially a colony of living nanomachines. One most obvious manifestation of this relationship was the need to secrete a thick ooze of these nanomachines out of the skin, turning a host into a living metal statue. It was actually a part of the symbiote's lifecycle, but this layer could be controlled and used, for example, as a protective suit, enabling a man to survive a hard vacuum indefinitely.
- Mirror of the Whateley Universe, who has a PK skintight field about his body so he's super-strong. But it reflects all light, so he looks like he's a T-1000.
- In James Maxley's Bitterwood series, some Atlantians wear their nanites as a skin, including The revived Jazz, who technically IS the skin. She remarks about it's defensive qualities, being almost invulnerable to all harm excepting underspacial weapons.. In the epilogue, the dragon known as Hex, keeps a gold-colored version that he gets from the villain and uses it to challenge any dragon bold enough to claim kingship.
- Hyperion Cantos: The Shrike and the four Nemes "siblings" in the Cantos.
- Nuklear Age: Mighty Metallic Magno Man can turn himself into solid, animated tungsten and has magnetic powers.
- A character in Pandora's Star has such an extreme amount of implants and organic circuitry tattoos that his skin is golden, which conceals built in weaponry and personal shielding.
- Just about everyone remembers the nude chrome Fembot of Viper more than the game itself.
- The titular character in The Machine Bride Of Pin Bot too. Makes sense, considering she's a robot.
- Though they're not superheroes, everyone in Silverball Mania is shiny, chrome, and naked.
- Rifts Glitterboys are powered armor Chrome Champion, being Nigh Invulnerable and having Super Strength. The brilliant silver armor was originally just a defence against laser weapons, but now that The End of the World as We Know It has come and gone, the shining appearance has made them symbols of hope for humanity in the time After the End.
- Exalted has a spell called Invulnerable Skin of Bronze. It's advised not to go swimming with that in use.
- In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Glass Walkers have the gift Steel Fur, which gives them an armor bonus while slightly reducing their dexterity.
- GURPS has the Body of Metal meta-trait which you can either have intrinsically or get via magic. Ultra-Tech has a nanobot suit of armor that makes you more durable, stronger and faster.
- The Silver Centurion, a sample of the Champion class created for D&D 3.5 by Rich Burlew.
- Magic: The Gathering has Karn, Silver Golem. A golem made of silver. Becomes a Tin Tyrant later on when possessed by Phyrexia, then goes back to being a Chrome Champion again.
- War Hammer Fantasy also has this, one of the mutations that a Champion of Chaos can get is the metal body. All of your flesh is turned into metal and you receive some really nice bonuses to toughness and strength as a result. Wizards of the Gold school also have a ritual that can turn your body into shiny, solid gold. Current leader and champion of the wizard orders, Balthazar Gelt has done this.
- Metal Mario from Super Mario 64. He also appeared in the original Super Smash Bros. as a sub-boss. As of Super Smash Bros. Melee, any character can become this using the Metal Box.
- Pokémon: Some Pokémon of the Steel type, such as Steelix, Scizor and Jirachi.
- Dural from Virtua Fighter.
- Street Fighter series.
- Seth from Street Fighter IV.
- Urien from Street Fighter III, who covers himself in liquid metal when fighting and makes metallic clongs when struck. He is a Tin Tyrant; his powers and machinations are geared largely towards destruction, unlike his brother, Gill.
- The Wheel of Fate from House Of The Dead 3.
- Flying Dragon for the Nintendo 64 featured metallized versions of the playable characters as sub-bosses.
- The second Soul Calibur game (Soul Calibur 1) has unlockable chrome skins of all the characters.
- The Bronze Colossus of Dwarf Fortress is often depicted as this.
- Fi from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is one, which fits with her being the spirit of the Goddess/Master Sword. Same goes for Ghirahim, her Evil Counterpart.
- Galactus randomly appoints two of the main villains (Wesker, Akuma, Dormammu, or Doctor Doom) as his heralds for his Boss Battle in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. All 4 characters take on a shiny metallic appearance, mimicking the Silver Surfer. The Heroes & Heralds mode in Ultimate allows everyone else to take on the same appearance. This is unusual, because in the comics, Galactus has had numerous other heralds who didn't actually change in appearance or take on a form similar to Silver Surfer's, so the trope is applied to the game because it's an easy way to show that a character has become a herald.
- The "Iron Flesh" pyromancy in Dark Souls temporarily turns the player character into one of these, sacrificing mobility for a considerable boost to defense and poise.
- In Neverwinter Nights, one possible color for both your character's skin and for armor or helms is "mirror". Unfortunately for the player, the effect is purely visual. However there is a "camouflage" spell which has the same visual effect and provides concealment.
- "Largous" in the Dragon Tails superhero arc has the power to turn his body into an indestructible metal. It...isn't as good as it sounds.
- Tempts Fate from Goblins has a belt that covers him with invincible, Colossus-style armor whenever he's jumping or falling.
- Villainous example: Sluggy Freelance's Crushestro and his wife Chestro.
- Maxima from Grrl Power is made of some kind of golden metal. All she'll say is that 1: It's not actually gold, and 2: It's classified. Though apparently no one knows what it is anyway, so it's kind of moot.
- The Global Guardians PBEM Universe features Alloy, Mercury and Chrome. Alloy and Chrome are both super-strong metal men, while Mercury is a liquid metal shapeshifter along the same lines as the T-1000 from Terminator 2.
- In the Whateley Universe, Mirror is a telekinetic brick, but his skintight energy field reflects light, giving him a chromed appearance. Pearlescent is similar, but she can turn her field on or off.
- In Darwin's Soldiers, Gustave injects himself with a Super Serum that infuses his bones, claws and teeth with metal in addition to granting him metallic skin.
- Worm features at least two: Weld, a boy literally made of metal, and Scion, who appears golden, but is sufficiently durable that his exact composition is unknown.