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CSBG Archive

The Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – M

We continue our tour through the alphabet, with a different cool comic book item each day, from A to Z!

Today we look at a Silver Age comic creation that is practically the epitome of the hyphenated word “off-beat”!

Here’s how awesome Bob Haney and Ramon Fradon’s creation, Metamorpho, the Element Man is.

For one, he is so awesome that Ramona Frason actually took a break from her maternity leave to draw his first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #57!

For two, he is so awesome that he was given his own ongoing series after just two issues of The Brave and the Bold!

For three, he is so awesome, Ramona Fradon drew the first four issues (sadly, she did not draw any of the rest of the series, and except for one issue by Joe Orlando and the final issue by Jack Sparling, the other artists weren’t as good)…

For four, he is so awesome, he actually was brought back TWICE when The Brave and the Bold changed to a “team-up” format!

For five, he is so awesome, he actually turned down an offer from the Justice League to be on the team!

For six, he is so awesome, Batman actually picked him out to be part of his own private superhero team, the Outsiders.

For seven, he is so awesome, he came BACK FROM THE DEAD to join Justice League Europe!

For eight, he is so awesome, he had his own Mark Waid-penned mini-series for those fans who were not pleased with Metamorpho’s development in Justice League Europe/International/America during the early-to-mid-90s!

For nine, he is so awesome, a PART of his body split off and joined a new group of Outsiders!

For ten, he is so awesome, he absorbed said dupe and joined the team himself!

For eleven, he is so awesome, when Batman re-formed the Outsiders, he picked Metamorpho for the team!

For twelve, he is so awesome, when Alfred took over the Outsiders after Batman “died,” he kept Metamorpho on the team!

That’s pretty darn awesome.


Graham Vingoe

May 19, 2009 at 2:28 am

Recently reading Showcase Presents Brave and the Bold vol 3 I realised that the team up with Batman and Plastic Man (121 I think) is very possibly the first time I’d actually bought a DC comic as opposed to reading other peoples copies. I’ve therefore got a lot of time for the Element Man and I loved the Showcase of Haney/Fradon era wackiness

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 19, 2009 at 3:07 am

Since when is the movie “Nite Owl” a part of the new “Out-siders”?

I want to know more about Lauhing Boy, he looks cool!

I was so disappointed to find out that the Owlman on the Outsiders was not, in fact, Thomas Wayne from the Anti-Matter Universe.

One of my favourite characters. I’m always a little sad that when he’s on team books (which is pretty much all the time) he never gets enough face time and Rex Mason, one of the best alter egos out there hasn’t had a look in for far too long. He really deserves a solo book as he has one of the best supporting casts around. I love Sapphire, find Java hilarious and think Simon Stagg is criminally under used.

Love me some Metamorpho

Is Metamorpho still Rex ? The last i’ve seen of him was in JLA (the Grant Morrison run) and he was dead. Superman was there for the funeral.

Metamorpho is so awesome he can convert his body into Quasarium, which is a metallic synthetic form of awesome with a very high melting point for a transuranic. It’s yellow, of course.

I laughed so hard at 9-12.

@Cteve! Yeah still Rex. His body part was “Shift” in Winick’s Outsiders but he rejoined Rex during the missing DC year. Apparently, he was feeling pretty lousy over killing some people and didn’t think life was worth it, especially after Jade and Indigo died.

Look how sad Wonder Woman looks on that Outsiders #1 cover :P

“For four, he is so awesome, he actually was brought back TWICE when The Brave and the Bold changed to a “team-up” format!”

Technically five times, but twice in rapid succession, and twice while hizzown owngoing series was still going on. (Side note: Issue 68 there? Probably the worst single issue of Brave and the Bold. But Metamorpho still rules.)

This reminds me; I should buy the Showcase. Metamorpho’s one of my favorites– you can’t go wrong with Haney and Fradon teaming up.

Metamorpho is an awesome example of the really out there stuff that has basically gone unchanged in comics for thirty or fourty years now. He’s still ridiculous, and he’s still awesome. Incidentally, Ramona Fradon is also both still ridiculous with a pencil, and a very, very nice lady to chat with. She did about 5,000 sketches at NYCC, and all of them were spread out on her table looking like solid gold.

What year did he start wearing pants?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of comic fans that didn’t like Metamorpho. The guy is just plain cool, in powers and personality. It’s disappointing that many writers/editors don’t seem to care for him, (kinda like captain marvel/photon in marvel) that they just seem to dump him in the background or get rid of him (too powerful is the rationale I think but that just indicates to me that the writer/editor would make a poor DM)

@ Capt USA
My first exposure to Metamorpho was picking up an old JLA trade and seeing him die.
Right after that, I started reading Outsiders. Winick did some depressing work with him.
The standalone issue with Metamorpho and Indigo right before everything kind of explodes is one of my favorite singles of all time, just because it’s so endearing and sweet. Now it’s depressing to read, since I know what happens. Still, solid stuff. Looking forward to Wednesday Comics Metamorpho.

For thirteen, he had a real cool theme song-
“This is the story of the Element Man…”
“Rearrange his molecules, just like that…”


What? No love for the other metamorph from the Sandman series? (with pencils by Colleen Doran, no less)

David: You may already know this, but Element Girl originally appeared in Metamorpho’s series in the ’60s, but she pretty thoroughly forgotten until Gaiman gave her that nice send-off.

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