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Metamorpho Pt. 10: Metamorpho #5

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

Title: Metamorpho

Issue #: 5

Cover Date: March-April. 1966

On Sale Date: Jan. 27, 1965

Writer: Bob Haney

Penciller: Joe Orlando

Inker: Charles Paris

Editor: George Kashdan

Look, you happy hordes of Metamorpho fans – we’ve given you the one and only Element Man, in all his glorious grandeur in half a dozen magnificent mags! So we wracked our skulls to do better than the best! Impossible?,,, Never – because now you’re getting two Metamorphos for the price of one! So Double your pleasure, double your fun – read the story you’ll be talking about at least until tomorrow morning – and join the sweaty-palmed, goose-pimply swarms who are screaming—

Will the Real Metamorpho Please Stand Up?


When someone leaves a ticking time bomb inside a Christmas package on the train..

When Metamorpho and Sapphire return home, Simon introduces their guest, the greatest architect of the time, Edifice K. Bulwark and his latest idea:

Yes, the changes are unlimited – all performed by chemical elements fed through special tubes in the building’s framework! A building that is the Metamorpho of skyscrapers, as it were!

Sapphire thinks, “it’s just too fab,” but Metamorpho is suspicious, especially when Simon tells him that it must be built by him. Later, Simon has a solution:

We don’t need that lout, Rex Mason… I shall create another Element Man!

Simon succeeds and Metamorpho is perplexed when he sees a billboard about the skyscraper being built by him. At home, the imposter pays Sapphire a visit…

Simon appears in the doorway…

Surprised, aren’t you, you ungrateful freak? I don’t need you anymore! You’re finished, done-for, kaput!

On opening day, “in the hidden tubes of the bizarre structure, chemical elements are released from storage containers, begin to circulate,” and…

…mix, react, fume, hiss, boil and fuss!

This leads to the inevitable fight between hero and villain…

…and this leads to the inevitable mystery of which one survives…

It’s Rex that survives as Edifice K. Bulwark is returned to human form and it’s back to the drawing board for both him and Simon.




A very funny issue of Metamorpho starts out with a laugh. Really? The only thing you can do is transform your mouth into a vacuum cleaner to "inhale" a bomb?!? Love it!


I don't, however, love the art by Joe Orlando. Close-ups of the characters are fine; they resemble those of Ramona Fredon. However, most panels are much more detailed, making them look crowded. Metamorpho will always be "cartoony," but Orlando's style doesn't always go with it. I believe this was the start of his long career with DC, having begun it at EC, then Marvel.


We're reminded that Metamorpho is a popular hero when he's by adoring fans seeking his autograph after he saves the train from exploding.


Finally, there's a funny panel with Java, who just before was watching the two Metamorphos and Sapphire through her bedroom window, hoping the situation would somehow result in him finally getting his beloved Sapphire...

Another great issue! Next week, Rex pays another visit to Justice League of America. Oh, and don't forget:

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