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Metamorpho Pt. 25: World's Finest #224, 226, 228, 229

With issue #223, World's Finest changed format to "100 Pages for Only .60." From here, through issue #228, only one of the five-to-seven stories in each issue were original; the rest were reprints. While Metamorpho did make repeat appearances, he was guest star in a Superman/Batman story (#226) and his only new story was in #229, when World's Finest returned to its previous format.

 

Issue #: 224

Cover Date: July-Aug. 1974

On Sale Date: April 16, 1974

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New story featuring the Super-Sons:

The Shocking Switch of the Super-Sons

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Reprints of:

Tubby Watts, Efficiency Expert (Johnny Quick)

Superman's Secret Master (Superman/Batman)

Fort Crime (Superman/Batman)


...and:

Never Bet Against an Element Man

from Metamorpho #8

Click here to read all about it!



 

Issue #: 226

Cover Date: Nov.-Dec. 1974

On Sale Date: Aug. 15, 1974

Writer: Bob Haney

Artist: Dick Dillin

Inker: Tex Blaisdell

Editor: Murray Boltinoff

Superman and Batman – failures? America in deadly danger from a killer virus? That leaves it all up to Metamorpho, the chemical crusader –

The Freak Who Never Fails

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Part 1-Mission to Mariposa

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The Pentagon receives a tape recording from Dr. Jan Vronsky, the world’s greatest biophysicist, stating that he wishes to live in freedom in America if someone will rescue him from Mariposa (a country trembling under a tyrant’s heel.) Because it might be a trick or a trap, the Pentagon sends Batman and Superman.

Our own agents might fail – or wind up dead or tortured! But the world’s two greatest super-heroes… how can you fail?

Meanwhile, Simon Stagg offers Rex Mason $1 million to go to Mariposa to inspect his mining interests. Simon has arranged for him to be a guest of ... El Jefe, the country’s dictator.

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Part 2-The Germ Bomb

Superman and Batman confront Rex, and to prove he’s no fink…

We learn that El Jefe was aware of the plan to rescue Vronsky and predicted Metmorpho’s actions. It’s all a plan for him to let them rescue a Vronsky impersonator and take him back to the United States… his body infected and acting as a “germ bomb.”

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Part 3-Even Dictators Die

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Because Superman pauses to perform other heroic deeds, he and Batman are late in rescuing “Vronsky.” When the imposter dies, they don’t realize the real doctor is still alive, leaving the job for Metamorpho…

 

Issue #: 228

Cover Date: Nov.-Dec. 1973

On Sale Date: Aug. 16, 1973

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New story featuring the Super-Sons:

Crown for a New Batman

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Reprints of:

The Broadway Posse (Vigilante)

The Menace of the Land-Sea Beasts (Aquaman)

Hideout on Fear Island (Eclipso)

from House of Secrets #64

Click here to read all about it!


...and:

The Junk Yard of Doom

from The Brave & the Bold #58

Click here to read all about it!


 

Title: World's Finest Comics

Issue #: 229

Cover Date: April, 1975

On Sale Date: Jan. 14,1975

Writer: Bob Haney

Artist: John Calnan

Editor: Murray Boltinoff

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The Strangler from the Stars

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Simon Stagg synthesizes the “newest element in the universe”: "Staggium." The next thing you know, they’re off to the Science Congress where he’s to be awarded the international chemistry prize. However, the ceremony is interrupted when Rene LaFarge claims to be the true discoverer of the element.

The next night, Bradley, one of Stagg’s employees ordered to stand-in for him, is also murdered. Metamoprho says:

After the police finish here, I’m doing a little investigating on my own as Element Man!

When LaFarge breaks in to steal the element, it comes to life and attacks him. Then…

Notes

Here's a terrific image that occupies about one-fourth of the cover of World's Finest #226:

Since Metamorpho was created, Rex Mason has sought a cure; and, he's often sought the cure from the person who created him: Simon Stagg. Has he finally accepted who he's become? He says:

Don’t pull that phony bit about curing me of being a freak! It won’t wash anymore!

I learned something about mining in this issue. "Tailings" are the leavings or residue from mine operations. I'm not sure how that's going to help me, but... the more you know...

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Most stories end with promises of more adventures, and the end of The Freak Who Never Fails hints at a change that might turn a new page for Metamorpho:

The three-part story is followed with a two-page spread:

The first page is yet another re-telling of the Element Man's origin, while the second page...

It's funny that, as the cover real estate indicates, Metamorpho has the backup story in World's Finest #229...

...but, he's the one with the original story, not Superman and Batman!

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The final panel includes the words:

It’s never too late, tigers, to get with the adventures of the merely marvelous. Metamorpho – coming up soon in his very own magazine!

While the end of World's Finest #226 didn't exactly create a fresh start for the Element Man, the end of #229 tells a half-truth. Metamorpho did return two months later, but it wasn't exactly in his own magazine. It was in 1st Issue Special #3. Savor these final pre-Crisis issues with Metamorpho as the headliner; they're not going to last much longer.

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