Metamorpho: Year 1

June 19, 2008

Poor Metamorpho. Being DC universe’s ugliest superhero must be bad enough as it is. Even Deadman, who’s dead, looks better than this colour-clashing shape-shifting hunk. Even Plastic Man in his red swimming costume with yellow and black stripes comes off looking like a classy model by comparison. Now, with the lengendary Dan Jurgens re-writing his origin story, this long-time JLA member and founder of the Outsiders still doesn’t get the big break he deserves. He appears once again doomed to yet another round of 2nd-rate treatment by comic readers until, perhaps, the next re-boot by DC.

It all just goes to show that not every Mr Ugly can arrive at his own pot of gold like the Swamp Thing or Guy Gardner has. I would have thought that the point of not having it big in the looks department was to take the opportunity to show depth in one’s personality. But that turns out to be a move Jurgens doesn’t bother much with, and Metamorpho ends up speaking and thinking as colourlessly as his costume is colourful.

Don’t get me wrong: this Element Man is a likeable nice guy with a bit of an inferiority complex — strange problem for a flamboyant adventurer and reality TV show host — but he’s frankly a bore. I have met people like him, so I should know. I’m not convinced that his TV ratings can be that high and his depicted Year 1 performance so sensational that it catches the JLA’s eye with an offer of instant membership. This “I’m-too-nice-to-see-evil-in-front-of-me” guy? This “saving-the-world-may-feel-great-but-I’d-rather-have-my-looks-back” guy? If I were Superman, I would have given my vote to Element Girl as told in that famous single Sandman story by Neil Gaiman. But she died, didn’t she? Curses.

Gweek gives this Year One 5 coffee breaks.

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