Follow TV Tropes


Magazine / Heavy Metal

Go To
Heavy Metal is an anthology magazine, originating in France under the title Métal Hurlant ("Howling Metal"), featuring various sci-fi and fantasy comics.

Works that have appeared in Heavy Metal include:

There have been several adaptations in other media, including the Heavy Metal animated movie, its sequel Heavy Metal 2000, and the live-action TV series Metal Hurlant Chronicles. The animated series Love, Death & Robots originally began life as a reboot, but it ended up being a Divorced Installment.

At the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con, Heavy Metal publications unveiled the creation of their own production company, with plans to produce a slate of various series and films, both live-action and animated.

Provides examples of:

  • Breakout Character: Druuna was a massive hit with audiences who were attracted to the voluptuous beauty and wanted to see more of her. While Morbus Gravis was intended to be a standalone story, it spawned a decades-long comic series.
  • Cheek Copy: An issue has a comic in which office workers at a party do this, including other body parts. Somehow, this leads to a being made of all these parts running around the building. The cops are called, they don't find anyone, but getting into the spirit of the party, one of them copies his gun.
  • Criss-Cross Attack: One illustrated Science Fiction story has Earth astronauts venture from their space station into an alien environment seeking vital resources. Always they come away empty-handed, many times with colleagues having limbs sheared off by nearly-invisible, lightning fast creatures. The last two intact astronauts make a foray, only to end up cut into sections like beef cattle after this kind of attack.
  • Disintegration Chamber: A one-page comic by Chantel Montellier features industrial workers being told their factory is being shut down, and that they should therefore now "proceed to the disintegration chamber".
  • Exact Words: In one Richard Corben story, a swordsman and his female adventuring partner are on a quest to track down and slay a necromancer. They get separated, and when the man finds her he's too late, and she's already a zombie...but the necromancer is lying dead nearby with a split open skull, and there's a goat wandering around. The woman tells him that he zombified her and then made her help with a sacrificial ritual, holding a goat, giving her a sword, and saying "When I nod my head, strike it!" She explains "He... nods head... I... strike it!"
  • Fanservice Cover: The magazine, which features fantasy and science fiction comics, used various cover subjects in its early years. But it found that issues with pin-up covers sold better and gradually all of its cover subjects became scantily attired women. It helps that Editor-in-Chef at the time Kevin Eastman was married to the late B-movie maven Julie Strain, as 90% of most of these covers seem to be modeled after her.
  • Grand Theft Me: An excellent story: in a certain land, a tournament is held every so often to choose the strongest man to be the new king. Entrants must be vital and free of diseases. Every winner becomes a cruel tyrant, but the hero of the story (called weak and frail all his life) wants to become ruler and end the reign of evil. He wins, and at his "coronation", he's drugged, bound, his skull is cut open by robot surgeons (after he wakes up), his brain is crudely removed over his screaming protests, and the brain of the previous king is transplanted from his freshly-dead, used up, obese corpse. In death, however, the hero is victorious. The stress of the surgery sets off his congenital heart defect, and the tyrant is slain.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: The 1976 short comic "Approche Sur Centauri” from the French magazine Metal Hurlant (translated as "Approaching Centauri" when published in the American version of the magazine, Heavy Metal, in July 1977), scripted by Philippe Druillet and illustrated by Mœbius, featured a hyperspace pilot who briefly experienced a hellish dimension when the generator overloaded and he was "thrown outside the T/S continuum". Upon return, he insisted "I saw nothing...nothing..."
  • Leg Cling: Simon Bisley with an illustration.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Heavy Metal magazine has nothing to do with the music genre of Heavy Metal music. It's an anthology of adult-themed comics, many of them fantasy and science fiction. Its original French name is Metal Hurlant (Screaming/Howling Metal) and it was co-founded by the French artist Mœbius. The movie adaptation attempted to incorporate some examples of the music genre into the background music but the film score was still clearly dominated by Elmer Bernstein. And even when rock was incorporated, the majority chosen for whatever reason, definitely non-metal acts like Journey, Grand Funk Railroad, Stevie Nicks, Cheap Trick, and Devo. (Grand Funk was considered metal in The '70s, however.)
  • Porn with Plot: The magazine is pretty heavy on Fanservice to begin with, but there are a number of sexploitation-centric issues, featuring stories from noted erotic artists such as Milo Manara, Horacio Altuna, and Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri.
  • Remote Vitals Monitoring: One short story by "Azpiri" is about a project that can transmit the conscious mind of an explorer into the body of another person, even one that died centuries ago. The explorer is sent into Galilee, and awakens in the body of Jesus Christ, who shambles out of his grave. The science team for the project closely monitor the subject's vital signs, including his emotional state. The explorer can somehow transfer his consciousness to bystanders, and ends up in the body of someone wracked with guilt and fear. This fellow flees the throng around Jesus, and goes to hang himself. The project team anxiously await an opportunity to retrieve the explorer before Judas Iscariot ends his own life, presumably taking the explorer's life with him.
  • Scenery Gorn: At least once per issue of the magazine is a story set After the End or in a still-functioning Dystopia that begins with an Establishing Shot displaying all of its wretched beauty.
  • Seemingly-Wholesome '50s Girl: In the Horacio Altuna story Cat, the protagonist Jessica Hampton-Brooks is a seemingly wholesome girl (blonde, blue-eyed with Youthful Freckles) from an upper society family, but is in fact a stellar example of The Vamp and The Sociopath.
  • Sextra Credit: In the Horacio Altuna story Cat published in Heavy Metal, its Villain Protagonist, a nymphomaniac sociopath, at one point seduces one of her professors to bump up her grades. They're later caught, but she threatens the dean with making sure that her wealthy father's handsome donations to the school will dry up and gets off scott-free.
  • Villain Protagonist: Jessica Hampton-Brooks, the protagonist of Cat. She only cares about her own gratification, ruins the lives of people who she cames in contact with and gets away with everything scot-free.

Alternative Title(s): Metal Hurlant