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Metamorpho Pt. 4: Metamorpho #2


Title: Metamorpho

Issue #: 1

Cover Date: Sept.-Oct. 1965

On Sale Date: July 29, 1965

Writer: Bob Haney

Penciller: Ramona Fradon

Inker: Charles Paris

Editor: George Kashdan

There are super-heroes galore – but there’s only one Metamorpho, the man of a thousand elemental forms and shapes – the swaggering, staggering, chemical phenom who makes them all take a back seat! So grab your front row pew for another blast-off into the outer space of cosmic thrills, when the element man faces the…

Terror from the Telstar

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Following the events of Metamorpho #1, Simon Stagg labors to bring our hero (and his nemesis) back to life…

Turning himself into an atom bomb wasn’t exactly good for his health!

No sooner does Stagg succeed than a stranger enters the lab…

The gang is whisked away to a U.S. Government command center where they learn that an international crime wave is sweeping the world.

Incredible, all our clues point to one amazing conclusion… this world crime wave’s being controlled from our orbiting communications satellite – Telstar!

They can’t repair Telstar from the ground, but they could rocket Metamorpho up to it. Understandably, Rex and Sapphire are leery…

In space, Metamorpho learns he’s got a stowaway…

The satellite crashes on the island lair of our villain, Nicholas Balkan, and his son, Gunther, who has identified Sapphire as the woman he wants to marry. Balkan defiantly states:

I will win – because I am a genius and utterly ruthless!

With the help of his second son, Lothar, and his third son, Seigfried, Balkan manages to slow Metamorpho’s brain molecules so he can’t will himself into another form.

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Simon and Sapphire arrive, and while Gunther rejoices that his future bride has appeared before him, Simon and Java attempt to revive Metamorpho by putting him in a compressor…

Simon is able to get Rex alive and kicking again…

The Element Man sinks the villain’s turtle-sub, rescues Sapphire...

As if they haven’t faced enough challenges, Balkan activates a doomsday clock and Rex transforms into a cobalt-tipped drill to churn deep into the earth to find the bomb.

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Notes

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The first four panels of the 5-panel page two in Metamorpho #2 recap events of the last issue. This is a great reminder if you missed issue #1 or have a hard time remembering it. The book is a bi-monthly title, after all.

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I love Java’s singular focus. That’s one of the aspects of the overall concept I’ve mentioned before. The motivation may be repetitive, but it is so strong that it creates a variety of entertaining situations.

And later…

It’s interesting that Java’s "our girl" comment is a “hot one for Rex,” but it might behoove him to pay more attention to the “old friend” comment. That’s potentially more threatening to our hero.

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I like that there’s some mystery to this story and it builds before bursting into action. However, I wonder if some combination of Simon, Sapphire and Java are always going to arrive at the end with the intention of helping, but the outcome of complicating the situation.

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After four adventures with the Element Man, that’s the only plot point that's becoming a trope. It’s minor, though, considering Metamorpho can turn his legs into giant copper springs to bounce across the sandy shore of a beach! Fun scenes like that are all that's needed to keep me engaged.

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