Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Element of Romance... Metamorpho!

As most of you know, I'm a sucker for the art of Ramona Fradon. So, it's no surprise I'm a fan of her work on Metamorpho. Metamorpho is a rarity in DC's Silver Age, a hero with unwanted powers. Originally a dashing soldier of fortune, Rex Mason, Metamorpho gained his powers after finding a bizarre artifact "The Orb of Ra". Unfortunately, along with almost limitless power, Rex gained a shocking and hideous appearance.

Apart from the shape-changing fun, and the marginally educational inclusion of the names of various elements and chemical compounds as plot elements (no pun intended) this series delivered something unexpected- ROMANCE.

The main thrust of the series' plot is a bizarre love quadrangle- Rex Mason loves Sapphire Stagg. Sapphire loves Rex. Rex works for Sapphire's father, Simon Stagg. Simon Stagg's henchman- a surgically enhanced caveman named Java- loves Sapphire and hates Rex. Simon Stagg loves power and hates Rex for interfering with his hold over Sapphire... Basically it's a recipe for tension and tragedy that opens the door to lots of good story.

I hope you all enjoy part one of "The Junk Yard of Doom". I know I did.


  1. Metamorpho would have/still could make for a great animated series, with character designs based on Ramona Fradon art!

  2. Thanks for posting Metamorpho and Ramona Fradon.

    Forgive me for "cross-posting," but my computer wouldn't cooperate when I tried to respond to your request for requests at the Once Upon a Time in the West in Comics blog.

    In addition to Jonah Hex, I'd like to see Johnny Thunder (especially when he encounters Madame .44), Bat Lash, and Cinnamon. It would also be a hoot to see Justice League #s 198 and 199, wherein the JLA travel back in the time to the American west and meet and have an adventure with DC's western heroes.

  3. rob!: I concur. Although I am a big fan of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, I don't care at all for their version of The Outsiders.

    Anonymous: sorry, somehow OUTITWIC was set to only take comments from followers. Weird. It's fixed now, so comment to your heart's content.

    I have some Cinnamon I can post, as to the others, the only Bat Lash I have right now is part two of his origin. But I will see what I can rustle up.

  4. No mention of Haney? Zany Haney's crazy imagination was in overdrive on this one... I loved this comic when I was a child and it's my favourite of the Metamorpho adventures. Such an inventive story, and such a nasty edge for what would appear to be a light-hearted or cartoony comic -- and Ramona's art was perfect for it.


  5. Anthony: perhaps I was remiss ? Well, I have two more chapters of this story to post, so look for a write-up of Bob Haney to come.

  6. DC did have a few superheroes in the Silver Age who were ambivalent at best about their powers. The members of the Doom Patrol and Ultra, the Multi-Alien were all bummed out about their freaky-freak appearances. Of course, this was a swipe from Marvel's Ben Grimm, aka the Thing.

  7. Pat: Well, I did say Metamorpho was a rarity, not a singularity. I loves me some Doom Patrol! I believe Bob Haney tried to take some of the credit for the DP as well. I also have an Eclipso story I plan to post...eventually.