Metamorpho Pt. 16: Aquaman #30
Issue #: 30
Cover Date: Nov.-Dec. 1966
On Sale Date: Sept. 8, 1966
Artist: Nick Cardy
Editor: George Kashdan
That mournful knell that echoes through the seven seas… those famed, sorrowful figures marching with measured thread in the underwater gloom… can it be? – can the dreaded event have happened? Are the tides themselves really tolling…
The Death of Aquaman
On a planet at the infinite reaches of space, a genius completes a machine that will control dimensional time reflex. However, before he can test it, an exploding double-star destroys his planet. The machine hurtles through space until it is triggered by Earth’s magnetic field to emit a strange beam…
The evil tyrant, Mongo, leads the warriors of Necrus against the great shimmering dome of Atlantis. During the fight…
It turns out that it was a duplicate Aquaman that sacrificed himself while the real Aquaman led the battle from the crystal cage in which he was trapped!
Metamorpho appears in an important position on the cover of Aquaman #30. That must mean he's featured prominently inside, right? Uh, no. He's nowhere to be seen in the equivalent panel on p. 21.
Maybe those are his legs in shadow behind the others, but we see Flash acting as pall bearer with Superman, Batman, and Hawkman, instead of Metamorpho.
When I saw the Element Man on the over, I immediately thought, "Oh, he's going to appear in only a panel or two inside." Therefore, I wasn't necessarily disappointed. Then I wondered if Metamorpho was actually more popular at the time than Flash since he was on the cover.
Realistically, it probably had nothing to do with anything but the fact that the editor of Metamorpho, George Kashdan, was also the editor of Aquaman, and it was simply a case of opportunistic cross-promotion.
What seems like a timeless story can sometimes be interrupted with a jarring example of the era in which it was produced, such as this panel on p. 3:
A quick note about the Aquaman story compared to an average Metamorpho story. It's a faster read because it's not as wordy. Interesting because Bob ("Zany") Haney wrote both The Death of Aquaman and every issue of Metamorpho so far.
Finally, I've got to call out one of the ads for another DC title. Here, it's The Adventures of Jerry Lewis #97. I always love it when a superhero character "meets" a supposedly real-life celebrity for a head-scratching meta-crossover: