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Metamorpho Pt. 29: The End... for Now

One and two-thirds years after we last saw Metamorpho in DC Comics Presents #40, he became a charter member of The Outsiders. The team debuted in a backup story in The Brave & the Bold #200, its final issue...

Cover Date: July, 1983

On Sale Date: April 21, 1983

Writer: Mike W. Barr

Artist: Jim Aparo

Editor: Len Wein

 

Commissioner Gordon laments that Gotham’s crime rate is higher than ever… "I wish the Batman were here!"

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Halo, Metamorpho, Katana, and Black Lightning encounter five terrorists at the hospital where criminal Miklos is being held. But Batman sees footprints for six. The other one is inside with a bomb strapped to his chest, ready to become a martyr.

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When the bomb explodes, Geo-Force disintegrates the debris with his lava blast.

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Commissioner Gordon thanks the new team…

 

The story that takes place prior to this 16-page special sneak preview launched the “new group of heroes for our troubled age” in Batman & the Outsiders #1 a month later.

Cover Date: August, 1983

On Sale Date: May 19, 1983

Writer: Mike W. Barr

Artist: Jim Aparo

Editor: Len Wein

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When the Justice League refuses to help Batman rescue Lucius Fox in Markovia…

Batman & the Outsiders told a serialized story, so you’d have to read more than just #1 to learn the full origin of the team. In fact, Batman meets Halo for the first time in #1 and Geo-Force makes his first appearance.

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Batman & the Outsiders became Adventures of the Outsiders with #33 (May 1986) and ran concurrently with Outsiders, which began in November, 1985, and ran through the end of the pre-Crisis era. Speaking of Crisis on Infinite Earths, that event happened throughout 1985 and the Outsiders made an appearance in a Crisis-crossover in New Teen Titans #13 (October 1985.)

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At other times during their pre-Crisis run, the Outsiders guest-starred in: New Teen Titans #37 (December 1983), World’s Finest #300 (February 1984), Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 (1984), and DC Comics Presents #83 (July 1985.) Metamorpho also appeared with teammate Katana in issue #3 of the Red Tornado mini-series in September 1985.

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The character of Metamorpho maintained his sense of humor, but the stories in which he appeared with the Outsiders were more serious than I bet creators Bob Haney and Ramona Fredon would ever have imagined. Therefore, it’s appropriate that we end this series with one of the Element Man’s goofiest appearances.

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Metamorpho is the star of his own story, "Fumo, the Fire Giant," on a 1975 children's record from Peter Pan/Power Records. The total play time is 6:31; however, 2:10 of that is his very own theme song and unforgettable ear-worm.

Simon Stagg bursts into the room and identifies the huge man that is a "mountain of fire" as some kind of fire god spawned by a supposedly dormant volcano that erupted in the jungles of Mexico.

Here's where little ol' Rexy goes into action!

When "Fumo, the Fire Giant," as he's named, tells Metamorpho to bow down or be destroyed, the Element Man creates a giant cobalt fist to strike first. However, it goes through the monster like air.

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Metamorpho then turns himself into a fire extinguisher and tries to put out its flames with carbon dioxide. That is about as effective at stopping it, which is to say, it isn't effective at all.

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The Element then realizes that Fumo is producing a thermonuclear atomic fire. He turns into oxygen and blends with the giant's hydrogen in just the right proportion. Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen makes... water!

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As Simon looks at Fumo, now a man of ordinary size lying unconscious or dead, he says...

Rex, you're wonderful!

Thus ends our series on Metamorpho... for now. A character that "Zany" (Bob) Haney created in 1964 as a parody endures, surviving crisis after crisis to return to the DC universe in sometimes new and original ways.

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Up next: Red Tornado!

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