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Real Name:  Rex Mason

Voiced by Tom Sizemore

Chosen to be a guinea pig by Simon Stagg, Rex Mason was transformed into a Metamorpho, Stagg's prototype for a worker able to survive harsh climates and dangerous conditions.  Now able to shape-shift and transform his body into any element (or combination of elements), Mason chose to use his powers for the benefit of humanity as Metamorpho, the Element Man.

Rich Fogel on Metamorpho #1:  “Metamorpho is a colorful, classic DC character whose powers are especially well-suited to animation.  He's also a particular favorite of James Tucker's (courtesy of The Pulse)."

Len Uhley on Metamorpho:  “Let's face it—a lot has changed since Metamorpho started out in the comic books.  The globetrotting adventurer-thing Rex Mason did back then has been kind of done to death since [thank-you-very-much] Indiana Jones.  So we had to find something else for him to do (courtesy of Toon Zone).

nothing on Metamorpho:  “The show stays pretty close to [Metamorpho’s] origin, but [here] Stagg is trying to sell a worker than can withstand any sort of environment.  He cannot sell the idea without having a test subject, [but when] Rex and Sapphire tell Stagg their intentions, Stagg immediately knows who the test subject will be.  Also, it turns out that Green Lantern and Rex were old military buddies (courtesy of Toon Zone).”

Rich Fogel on Metamorpho's anger at Green Lantern:  ”It's not because Green Lantern had anything to do with Rex being exposed to the chemicals—Green Lantern wasn't there.  Rex is angry with Green Lantern because he's misled into believing that [he] is jealous of Rex's success.  He's also tricked into believing that Green Lantern wants to steal his girlfriend, Sapphire (courtesy of The Pulse)."

DarkLantern on Metamorpho’s kryptonite-making ability:  If a high-level outfit like Stagg Enterprises has access to illegal mutagens, then it wouldn't be too far to assume [they have] access to some kryptonite as well.  Mason may have studied the element / compound (for beneficial purposes of course) and would thus know enough about it to know how to synthesize it.

”Now, if only they could explain how a lunk like Rex Mason in the comics knows enough about chemistry to do his Metamorphic stunts (courtesy of Toon Zone).”

Rich Fogel on Metamorpho #2:  "It was fun standing around the DC booth at Comic Con [2002] in San Diego and watching fans react to the clips of our new Justice League episodes, which feature such classic DC heroes as Etrigan, Blackhawk, Sgt. Rock, and Metamorpho; it seemed like Metamorpho got the strongest reaction because his appearance is so striking and his powers are so visual (courtesy of [website name removed])."

Bruce Timm on Metamorpho (circa 2001):  “Metamorpho will not become a League member.  We have many superhero guest stars from the DC Universe, but the League’s main core will remain the big seven.  Metamorpho is a great character, but he’s not going to be a regular (courtesy of Starlog Magazine).”


Real Name:  Sapphire Stagg

Voiced by Danica McKellar

The daughter of Simon Stagg, Sapphire met Rex Mason through his employment at her father's company, which led to an affair between the like-minded, passionate individuals.  Initially deciding to keep their relationship secret from her father, they reluctantly revealed that secret as she announced that she was going with him to Chicago.  It was then that Stagg realized who his Metamorpho subject would be, as to eliminate Mason as a potential suitor for his precious daughter.

Len Uhley on Sapphire Stagg:  “Let's face it—a lot has changed since Metamorpho started out in the comic books.  You simply couldn't play Sapphire as a spoiled little rich girl (she's still rich in this version, but that whole whiny cutesy-poo routine she did in the comics is long gone).  Sapphire is [still] a babe, but in a self-actualized, 21st Century way (courtesy of Toon Zone).”



Metamorpho and Sapphire Stagg Image



As opposed to DC icons like Dr. Fate and Aquaman, the use of Metamorpho as the subject of a two-part episode no doubt raised some eyebrows among the fan community.  Created by Bob Haney and Ramona Fradon and debuting in Brave and the Bold #57 (December 1964 / January 1965), Metamorpho was created in response to the success Marvel Comics had had with quirkier, more unusual heroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men (up until this time, the majority of DC Comics' champions were all handsome do-gooders cut from the same traditional, Golden Age cloth).  Transformed by an artifact known as the Orb of Ra, Rex Mason gained phenomenal powers—he was able to transform his body in multiple ways, such as shape-shifting and the ability to morph into any element, or combination of elements—but, as a side effect of the change, he was also cursed to look like a freak.  Unfortunately, the initial series lasted only seventeen issues, after which he began making appearances in team books, most notably in Batman and the Outsiders, but success as a protagonist of his own series eluded him.  Hardly considered even a B-level hero, Metamorpho has drifted from appearance to appearance in recent years, a footnote in DC Comics' history.

In adapting Metamorpho's beginnings for Justice League, the creative team replaced his mystical origin with a more scientific one, as they did when adapting the Cheetah for "Injustice for All."  Unfortunately, by making Mason's transformation the result of a chemical accident, they unintentionally mirrored similar accidents from prior shows, such as Kirk Langstrom's change into the Man-Bat (the Batman episode "On Leather Wings"), Matt Hagen's change into Clayface (the Batman episode "Feats of Clay"), Rudy Jones' change into the Parasite (the Superman episode "Feeding Time"), and the Terrific Trio's accidental transformation (the Batman Beyond episode "Heroes").  In fact, portions of Metamorpho's initial "rampage" appear to be lifted from "Feats of Clay," such as his escape into the sewer system and, in addition, the episode also featured the predictable element of Mason seeking revenge against Stagg for his condition, just as Matt Hagen did against Roland Daggett in "Clay."

However, "Metamorphosis" thankfully departs from this cliché by utilizing Metamorpho's connections with other people, such as his prior history with Green Lantern and his current relationship with Sapphire Stagg.  By making Rex Mason a former Marine and an old friend of Stewart, the writers of the episode provide a link between the character and the framework of the series, making for a better guest star than if they just used him as-is.  As for Sapphire Stagg, her presence provides a balance to the character, allowing him to rediscover his humanity by episode's end, essentially escaping the trap that Clayface could not.  In a way, this provides for a better revenge against Stagg, as their love will continue in defiance of his will, and has only deepened as a result of his manipulation.


Images courtesy of Toon Zone, DC Comics, and Modern Masters, Volume Three:  Bruce Timm.  Additional information courtesy of Don Markstein's Toonopedia.

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