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Metamorpho Pt. 20: Action Comics #413-415

Once he was Rex Mason, devil-may-care soldier of fortune… But by loving and being loved by willful playgirl Sapphire Stagg, he incurred the wrath of her power-mad tycoon-genius father Simon Stagg… who sent him on a mission to obtain the legendary Orb of Ra, inside a lost Egyptian pyramid where he met treachery and betrayal… Trapped within the pyramid, the effects of a glowing meteor turned him into a fantastic being unlike any the world has ever known… able to will himself into a thousand-and-one chemical forms he because that fabulous freak bitterly facing a unique and awesome destiny… Metamorpho, the Element Man!


Writer: Bob Haney

Penciller: John Calnan

Inker: Murphy Anderson

Editor: Murray Boltinoff

Issue #: 413

Cover Date: June 1972

On Sale Date: April 27, 1972

The 7 Sins of Simon Stagg

Stagg’s old friend and classmate Ulysses Bronson pays him a late-night visit and tells him about his life’s greatest project…

Simon gives him a check for $1 million so that he can finish putting faces on the statues of his “Seven Deadly Sins.” Weeks later, the gang gets a private preview of Morality Mountain...


In the lounge outside the exhibit, the floor has turned to acid. As Metamorpho feels himself dissolving, he desperately makes a platform to hold Sapphire and Java in the air...


Issue #: 414

Cover Date: July 1972

On Sale Date: May 30, 1972

Fade Out for a Freak

Metamorpho is first confused by the babbling of Simon, but then figures it out:

If only I could change the caustic lie between us… you know the base lie that soured our lives…



Title: Action Comics

Issue #: 415

Cover Date: August 1972

On Sale Date: June 29, 1972

Writer: Bob Haney

Artist: John Calnan

Editor: Murray Boltinoff


Fill My Grave with Money

It’s been six days since Harvey Weeks, ordinary citizen, entombed himself in the “Darling Sapphire” mine… six days in which the eyes and hearts of the entire nation have focused on this hole in the earth… containing a single, desperate man… a man defying fate and death itself so his beloved son might find new life! And here is the mine’s owner – tycoon and scientist Simon Stagg…

Sapphire tells Rex he must try to rescue Weeks. Reluctantly, he drills into the earth…

Stagg rescinds his promise to “spare no expense” in rescuing Weeks; so, after using money the public donated to pay for it, less the cut the government takes for taxes, Weeks is poorer than before. That is, until Weeks, in his monster-like state enters Stagg’s room at night and steals the fortune hidden under his mattress. Or does he…



The "new" Metamorpho begins a backup run in the pages of Action Comics with issue #413. Each of the stories in these three issues is 8-pages long and those in #413 and #414 are two parts of the same story. I enjoyed them all and like smaller doses of the "fabulous freak."


Something weird happens with the art between #414 and #415. Suddenly Simon Stagg no longer sports the wild wings of his hair. Both stories are drawn by John Calnan, so I'm not sure why there's a change in his appearance.


Murphy Anderson inked #414, but not #415. I wouldn't think, though, that such a stylized characteristic would be left to the inker. Plus, from day one, Simon has had those silver-gray-white horns of hair.


In #413, DC announces an upcoming price change:

Then, in #414 nearly the same box appears, but it's written in past tense. The price of Action Comics (and others) has dropped from $.25 to $.20!


Does anyone remember these:

Finally, the follow ad appears in #415. There was one similar in #414 as DC is really promoting The Swamp Thing...

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