Metamorpho Pt. 2: The Brave & the Bold #58
Title: The Brave & the Bold
Issue #: 58
Cover Date: Dec. 1963/Jan. 1964
On Sale Date: Oct. 29, 1964
Writer: Bob Haney
Artist: Ramona Fradon
Editor: George Kashdan
The Junk Yard of Doom
At a movie premiere, Rex Mason is unmasked and his “new look” is revealed. Luckily, the crowd thinks it’s a publicity stunt, but Java is not happy…
Two days later at a “huge” speedway, Rex tries to continue life as normal by participating in a race. With an accident imminent, he uses his new powers to bring the other cars to a halt…
Afterward, in Sapphire’s room, she shows him the new “Element Man” costume she designed. Meanwhile, Java, in another scheme to win the rich, beautiful girl, tells Karko, one of Simon Stagg’s henchmen, where the orb is hidden and he uses it to abduct Rex.
Karko takes him to a cavern hidden behind a waterfall in the African wilderness, guarded by a gigantic robot insect. Here, he meets Maxwell Tremaine, brilliant scientist turned WWII traitor, who welcomes him as both his guest and his servant.
Tremaine shows Metamorpho a giant junk yard containing weapons that nations dumped because they didn’t work right. The villain wants the hero to make them work. Metamorpho manages to escape…
Metamorpho uses his powers to temporarily change into various chemicals and substances to survive an onslaught of attacks by Tremaine’s weapons, or does he?
As more attacks commence, Simon, Sapphire, and Java track Rex to his location. When their plane disintegrates, Metamorpho saves them and explains what happened…
During subsequent confusion, Tremaine flees with Sapphire and Metamorpho must defeat an undefeatable mantis by transforming into a spinning carbon drill.
In Tremaine’s lair, we learn that he was in love with Sapphire’s mother and believes that, since Sapphire looks like her, he can have her for himself. It’s no surprise that the good guys win…
It's worth repeating:
Who can compete with an element man?
The second adventure of Metamorpho and company is even more promising than the first; I love it! There are multiple events during which the new hero can test his powers, all with the continuing subplots that drive the overall story:
The art by Ramona Fredon seems better, as well. It’s slightly cartoony, but should continue to be perfect for a hero that can transform into any form. I love her style. . There also stands to be a lot “we” can learn about science. It isn’t included in every one of Metamorpho’s feats, but one of them includes a mini-lesson. I’m sure this was great for kids back in the 60’s, but I bet I’ll learn a thing or two even now.
The Brave & the Bold #58 includes a full-page text-only feature with a more detailed science lesson about how a hero like Metamorpho might exist:
In case you’re worried about it like I was, we thankfully don’t see the costume Sapphire created for Rex beyond this panel. I don’t know if we will in future stories.
I had a lot of fun with this issue, and this full-page ad made me want to immediately visit eBay. It's like a checklist for Superman collectibles!
I'd say that Metamorpho earned his keep in The Brave & the Bold. Next time, we'll see how he fares in the first issue of his own title...