Metamorpho:The Element Man

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Track Listing

  1. Main Title
  2. The Accident in Egypt
  3. The Villain at Work
  4. First Confrontation
  5. Love Theme
  6. Grand Ballroom Waltz
  7. The Hostage
  8. Metamorpho to the Rescue
  9. Up the Towers
  10. Reflections
  11. Fight to the Death
  12. End Credits

Liner Notes

Metamorpho's story began in the 57th issue (Dec-Jan, 1964-65) of The Brave & the Bold (a title DC had formerly used for trying out new concepts before committing itself to a full-scale launch, but more recently had been devoted to crossovers of characters from different series). The origin story in that issue was written by Bob Haney (who co-created The Doom Patroland >Eclipso ) and drawn by Ramona Fradon (who also did Aquaman and The Super Friends for DC, and later took over Brenda Starr's newspaper strip).

Metamorpho was originally Rex Mason, a handsome young adventurer working for Simon Stagg, an eccentric and unscrupulous zillionaire with a penchant for weirdness. Mason wasn't any too fond of Stagg, but was quite fond indeed of Stagg's drop-dead gorgeous daughter, Sapphire. Complicating the situation was the fact that Java, a member of a near-human species of hominid left over from an adventure that had occurred before the series started, was also in love with Sapphire.

Mason got to be a goofy but reasonably successful superhero by means of prolonged exposure to The Orb of Ra, an incredibly valuable magical artifact he'd attempted to retrieve for Stagg from an an ancient pyramid. Stagg, for reasons of his own, had decided to trap him in the pyramid, and Java was only too glad to carry the order out. But Rex managed to extricate himself because radiation from the Orb gave him an entire suite of super powers. Thereafter he was Metamorpho, the Element Man, able to alter both the chemical composition and the shape of his body — it was as if Plastic Man could make himself actually be the things he was mimicking the shapes of. Metamorpho could even turn his body into liquid or gas, and reconstitute himself when the need passed.

The drawback was that he'd become a repulsive freak. Sapphire wasn't too put off by the fact, especially when he wore his super-realistic Rex Mason mask, but it still caused him a certain amount of discomfort. Also, Stagg had tried to kill him, Metamorpho was bound to Stagg as his only hope (through ability to fund research) of returning to normal. Java, of course, was consumed with unrequited love. The whole family knew Rex was Metamorpho, of course, but the rest of the world didn't.

If being a superhero while in the direct employ of a guy who would qualify as a villain by most standards doesn't make Metamorpho offbeat, the fact that he was offered membership in The Justice League of America, but turned it down, certainly should.

The series quickly caught on with readers, and Metamorpho had his own comic as of July-August, 1965. All went well until the fourth issue, after which Fradon left the series. Joe Orlando (Inferior Five, EC Comics) took over for a few issues, followed by Sal Trapani (who had extensive credits at Gold Key, ACG and elsewhere). Fradon's inker, Charles Paris (highly regarded for many years of inking Batman over Dick Sprang's pencils), stayed on, minimizing the impact on the comic's visuals — but apparently, buyers could see the difference, because sales dropped. It was the first time a change in creative personnel had ever had an immediate and noticeable impact on a comic book's circulation. Though she never benefited from it herself, Fradon was a harbinger of creator-driven promotion, as opposed to trying to sell the comic on the strength of the characters or the cover, without which the comic book landscape would be very different today.

Composer's Notes

Early summer of 2006 I began sketching out a heroic theme for a possible “Superhero” work. I liked the idea simply because I’d never done anything like this and I wanted to end the year with a bang and wanted to do something fun.

From the beginning I wanted to make a variation on Abraham’s theme from my “Prophet” Album. I continued working with the idea and at the same time researching a ‘superhero’ story. After searching through many DC and Marvel comic stories I finally came upon “Metamorpho”. I felt that the subject matter was both different but at the same time kept all the classic comic book story structure like Batman, Superman, and Spiderman. Throughout the summer of 2006 it progressed steady but then around November suddenly came to a conclusion. All the elements and themes were now in place. The love theme is also a variation on ‘Khadija’s theme from the “Prophet Album” as well. The work was completed on December 10th, 2006.

Production Credits

United Media Productions, Ltd.
A DC Comic/Atlas - Filmworks Production
Original Motion Picture Score

Recorded at UMP Studios, December 11-15th, 2006, Austin, Texas, USA

Associate Producers:
Barbara Ann Green and Michael Kintz

Digital Equipment by Sony

A & R Coordinator:
Chad Canadey

Inspired by the DC Comic story released in 1964 by Bob Haney (writer) and Ramona Fradon (artist).

Front Cover Illustration and Graphic Design by
Brian Williams

Music Composed, Orchestrated, Performed and Produced by
Casey Winn