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Metamorpho Pt. 6: Metamorpho #4


Title: Metamorpho

Issue #: 4

Cover Date: Jan.-Feb. 1966

On Sale Date: Nov. 25, 1965

Writer: Bob Haney

Penciller: Ramona Fradon

Inker: Charles Paris

Editor: George Kashdan

 
Hola, muchachos! Drop your suedes, grab your gauchos and come on down south of the border with one and only Element Man! As he tangles his tremendous molecules with the kookiest, deadliest foe yet! Si, screw your sombreros down tight, ‘cause we’re taking off right now on…

The Awesome Escapades of the Abominable Playboy

Java asks Simon to promise that he’ll never cure Rex because he’ll never win Sapphire if he returns to his normal self. Simon responds:

Don’t worry, you lovesick ape… as an element man, he’s too valuable to me. As for Sapphire, she will marry someone worthy of the daughter of Simon Stagg!

This someone appears to be Cha-Cha Chavez, the “Playboy of the Pampas,” with whom Sapphire is already engaged the next day. He woos her with flowers from the sky and a trip to Mount Rushmore into which he has sculpted her face.

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For once, Java and Metamorpho agree:

Rex, old amigo – how can our girl Sapphire see anything in this oily playboy?

When a submarine appears and fires upon Cha-Cha’s yacht, and Metamorpho tries to protect them, he explodes into pieces.

Convinced that something fishy is happening, Metamorpho converts to gas and explores the ship, finding “a hold full of enough weapons and ammo to stage a small war!”

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When they’re then attacked from an airplane, Cha-Cha unconvincingly (to Metamorpho, anyway) says it’s just his “eager countrymen’s quaint way of welcoming” them.

Now let us sing, dance, play, drink, dine, laugh, smoke…

…and be attacked by rebels trying to overthrow the wonderful government, led by Cha-Cha’s friend, the “great leader,” El Lupo. When the rebels abduct Simon and Java, then place them in front of a firing squad…

Ultimately, we learn that Cha-Cha was smuggling weapons for El Lupo and while the others are distracted, he takes off with Sapphire. The rebels accept Rex, Simon, and Java into their ranks and learn that Cha-Cha has placed a booby-trap for them in the arena where El Lupo is appearing.

Metamopho utilizes a number of creative transformations to fight the bull and prevent the booby trap from exploding, leaving a final panel for Rex and Sapphire to kiss and make up:

Notes

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This is one of the sillier stories we’re read (yet) in Metamorpho. With the Element Man, though, sillier may be better! It’s fun to see him use his powers to fight a more down-to-earth foe, a rampaging bull.

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The humor of the characters continues to grow as we get to spend more time with them. Simon Stagg fares best in this story with his unaware arrogance:

Hmm – appears I was wrong about that rascal, Chavez! But I’m right so often, it was getting boring!

I’ve yet to grow weary of the formula and am interested to see what happens in Metamorpho’s next appearance, not in his own book, but in the pages of Justice League of America!

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