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Origin

Pre-Crisis

Not much is known about pre- Crisis Balloon Man, except for fact that he was a thief focused on bank robberies and stuff like that. Metal Men first confronted him when they were flying across the sky in the jetaway. He was mistaken by them for the ordinary toy balloon man, but when they came closer, he suddenly grew to enormous size and then hit the jetaway sending it down. Metal Men almost crashed, but Gold saved their lives. When situation was in full control, there was no trace of him. They returned to their headquarters, but said nothing to Magnus: he was too busy with devising a special responsometer for the Sizzler. Later they heard a broadcast on the radio about criminal activity of the Balloon Man. They went to patrol the city and came across the laughing crowd. These people were poisoned by the laughing gas. Of course, it was the Balloon Man again. When they tried to capture him, he emitted some amount of the gas and escaped while they were laughing. They were tricked by the Balloon Man second time and, frustrated, returned to their headquarters. Doc Magnus was still busy. Metal Men went to the exercise room where they were approached by the delegation who offered them to participate in concert with the goal to aid needy children. They readily accepted the offer. Their performance was just brilliant, people adored them. In the middle of festivities one of watchers noticed the Balloon Man who stole the money that was meant for poor children. They started a pursuit but after being reached he emitted a cloud of black smoke which disoriented the Metal Men. Back again in their headquarters, they decided to separate - this would make search for the Balloon Man easier. Mercury faced him first and tried to restrain, turning himself into giant handcuff and closing on the enemy. But his attempt was fruitless - the Balloon Man inflated himself so much that Mercury's bonds broke. After few minutes, he met Iron on nearby parkway. The latter extended his hands so he could grab the villain. But the Balloon managed to escape from Iron's grasp by reducing himself to the size of the balloon and them reinflated himself again. Then he attracted the attention of Platinum who was helping a little girl not far off. She tried to spike him by taking the form of giant harpoon. She pierced through the Balloon Man's body, but it didn't stopped him: he instantly sealed the holes and continued his flight. Next members who faced the Ballon Man's threat were Tin and his girlfriend, Nameless. They turned their hands into giant cups in hope that they could catch him, but their attempt were nothing but nuisance - they only caught themselves. At last, Lead, who was on the coast, saw the Balloon Man and tried to grab him, but he was too slow and didn't pose any threat to the villain who effortlessly flew away. So, their plan failed. Gold (the only one member who didn't encountered him during their last try) offered to look for him using their jetaway. After long search they finally found him fleeing from some factory with loot. He started to boast about his invincibility, but it didn't stopped them: Lead restrained him while Gold stretched himself from the high voltage wires to the body of the villain (using him body as a conductor), thus giving him an immense blast of heat that turned his body into steam.

Post-Crisis

A new version of the Balloon Man appeared in the post-Crisis DC Universe. Now called the Balloonatic, the villain was created by Magna-Tech Industries as marketing stunt to unveil a new nanotechnology called "smart gas". Unfoturnately, the situation went out of control and unleashed creature started to terrorize the city by capturing citizens using countless bundles of ballons. Will Magnus, Professor Morrow and Helen Garin were among the captives too. Of course, the one team who could deal with this thing was the Metal Men. At first they tried to pierce him by transforming themselves into giant crossbow and using Mercury as arrow. This was unsuccessful: the Balloonatic simply repelled Mercury back. Their next plan was more complicated: Iron, who took the form of the spring, threw Lead and Platinum towards the Balloonatic. Lead pierced its "skin" while Platinum stretched herself and sew a hole. Inside, Lead, now exposed to chlorine gas, broke down into lead sulfite which condensed the gas into a solid, making the mass of the Balloonatic so enormous that he fell from the sky to the ground.

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