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"Metamorpho - the Element Man: "The Freak and the Billion-Dollar Phantom"": Rex Mason and Sapphire Stagg take a vacation to Washington, D.C. where they visit the Lincoln Memorial. From behind the monument's pillars, a phantom steps out and begins zapping security gu

Quote1.png Whoever that joker is... he's got wild powers and is taking apart Uncle Sam's biggest tourist attractions one by one! But never fear -- Element Man's here! Quote2.png

1st Issue Special #3 is an issue of the series 1st Issue Special (Volume 1) with a cover date of June, 1975.

Synopsis for Metamorpho - the Element Man: "The Freak and the Billion-Dollar Phantom"

Rex Mason and Sapphire Stagg take a vacation to Washington, D.C. where they visit the Lincoln Memorial. From behind the monument's pillars, a phantom steps out and begins zapping security guards with his electrified energy cane. Rex dives after the Phantom, but the spirit turns into a shadow and disappears. The two race back to Sapphire's father Simon Stagg and his loyal valet Java. They tell them of the incident, but Simon thinks that Rex is playing a tasteless joke on him.

A group of protestors gathers inside the National Mall and begins marching, when suddenly a wall of fire erupts before them. Rex discards his disguise and changes into Metamorpho. He transforms his body into fire foam and douses the flames.

Immediately thereafter, another strange incident occurs. The Washington Monument begins tilting, threatening to topple over. Sapphire sees the Phantom blasting away at the monument with his energy-cane. Metamorpho turns into a bulldozer and stops the monument from leaning over any further.

The Phantom's next target is the dome of the Capitol Building. Metamorpho turns into hydrogen and floats up to confront the phantom. The ghost wheels around and blasts' Rex with his cane, but Metamorpho gathers his strength and is able to prevent the dome from falling away from the rest of the building.

He later meets back up with Sapphire and they begin investigating the Phantom's origins. They discover from a news broadcast, that the Phantom of Washington always appears during wartime and has been witnessed by at least three American presidents. Rex and Sapphire go to the National Archives to learn more about him. They find that the Phantom was once a French soldier who offered his services to the American government against the British during the War of 1812. He possessed an ancient Egyptian artifact capable of repelling the British army, but President Madison rebuked his offer. The Phantom died soon after, and rose from the grave swearing revenge against those who refused his aid.

Rex and Sapphire later discover the Phantom sneaking up on the presidential limousine outside the White House. Rex intercepts him, but the Phantom transforms into a snake and slithers off through a drainage pipe. Rex follows him and finds the Phantom at his lair, where he is recharging his cane with the aid of a strange electrical device. Rex notices a picture of the Capitol Dome inside the chamber with a red circle around it. He knows that the Phantom plans on striking again, and follows him back to the Capitol. He spies the Phantom searching for something inside a hidden pocket at the dome. Whatever he is looking for is gone however. Someone has already stolen it.

The true culprit behind this latest crime is Simon Stagg. Simon and Java discovered that the Phantom was using an ancient artifact capable of great power. Having stolen the artifact, Stagg and Java bring it to Fort Knox, where they plan on using it to purloin the gold reserve. Java's clumsiness gets the better of him however, and he accidentally drops the device, setting it off. The device begins melting all of the gold bricks into a giant molten river. Metamorpho zooms into the room in the shape of an airplane, and snatches Simon and Java away before they are overwhelmed by the river of gold.

The Phantom arrives on the scene desperate to retrieve his artifact. He dives into the glowing morass and Metamorpho follows him. Rex causes a chemical reaction that causes the congealing bullion to explode. When the smoke clears, both the Phantom and his ancient weapon are gone.

Appearing in Metamorpho - the Element Man: "The Freak and the Billion-Dollar Phantom"

Featured Characters:

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  • The Phantom of Washington also goes by the names Doctor Destinee and Doc Destiny. He is not to be confused with the Justice League super-villain Doctor Destiny.
  • This issue includes an editorial by Bob Haney entitled "The Making of Metamorpho - the Element Man".


  • The tagline for this issue is, "The Fabulous Freak Returns".

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