In Ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II, the priest Ahk-Ton discovered a fallen meteor, from which he crafted the Orb of Ra, a powerful artifact that would be used as a weapon in the future.
Millennia later, Rex Mason, a soldier for hire, was contracted by Simon Stagg to find the Orb of Ra. When he found it, his cohort, Java, stole it and left Rex in the light of an ancient meteor. This meteor transformed Mason into Metamorpho, the Element Man.
Rex finally came to terms with his newfound powers and decided to use them for good. He started a career as a hero and he was always assisted by Sapphire Stagg Mason and her father Simon Stagg. As Metamorpho, he participated in several cases, most of them on his own, but sometimes he would help other heroes in need.
When Batman was turned into a monster, he sought the help of Simon Stagg; but as his transformation went out of control, it was up to Metamorpho to keep the "Bat-Hulk" at bay until he found a way to revert the process.
After a few years of adventures, Metamorpho was offered the chance to return to his normal state using a scientific procedure by Simon Stagg, but the experiment required that Rex spent years submerged inside a vat of chemicals. Rex agreed and Stagg started the experiment. Unfortunately, Stagg was forced to take Rex out of the procedure during the early stages when Sapphire was threatened by a hired killer known as Bounty Hunter. Metamorpho teamed up with Batman once again in order to save Sapphire, but the killer managed to escape.
Thanks to a freak accident caused by Java, Rex gained the powers and abilities of Batman and Superman and inadvertently he assisted them on the capture of an international criminal. After this, the effects reverted naturally and Metamorpho lost the super powers. Metamorpho assisted Batman on several other occasions and certain time they worked with Plastic Man in order to clear Bruce Wayne's name. When Rex decided to leave the city and relocate on a hidden retreat in the mountains, he was used by the local criminals on their gold smuggle operation and he only learned the truth after Batman came in looking for him. After this event, Rex decided to return to the city.
Rex continued his adventuring solo, until the day when Batman's associate, Lucius Fox, was kidnapped in Markovia by Baron Bedlam. At just that time, Metamorpho had been seeking a cure from Markovian scientist, Dr. Helga Jace. Metamorpho aided in overthrowing Bedlam and decided to stay on with this new group of heroes, whose name he coined: the Outsiders.
With time, Doctor Jace was on her way to discovering a way to cure Rex. In the meantime, she helped him gain access to his girlfriend, Sapphire Stagg. The reunion was brief as her father, Simon killed Rex using the Orb of Ra. Although Metamorpho was already dead, Doctor Jace knew there was a way to revive him and she asked the Outsiders for help. To restore him, the Outsiders decided to return to Egypt, in search of the meteor of Ahk-Ton. There, they were transported back in time to 1200 B.C. Metamorpho was again exposed to the ancient meteor and restored. He briefly came under Ahk-Ton's control before the Outsiders could stop him and capture Ahk-Ton. Upon their return to the 20th century, Rex learned that the second exposure to the meteor transformed him permanently, which saddened him at first until Sapphire Stagg proposed marriage to Rex, which he wholeheartedly accepted.
Later, the Outsiders foiled an assassination attempt on Simon Stagg, which earned Rex and Sapphire his blessing to their wedding. As Rex and Sapphire readied for their wedding, his former foe, Maxwell Tremaine, sent his shape-changing lackey, Even Steven to kidnap Sapphire. Even Steven betrayed Tremaine and killed the both of them. After these events, Rex and Sapphire finally got married.
After the wedding, the happy couple decided to try to find a way to conceive a baby.
Hopes for children were dashed after much physical examination. And so, Rex agreed to undergo an experiment which would infuse him with new DNA. Unfortunately, while Doctor Jace began this treatment, the Manhunters activated all their sleeper agents on Earth—including Jace! Jace captured the Outsiders and took control over Metamorpho. Sadly, before Jace could be stopped, she destroyed Metamorpho and herself.
Metamorpho laid dormant (and was believed dead) for quite some time. Finally, he was reconstituted by the Dominators' gene bomb. Soon thereafter, he resumed his heroic career as a charter member of Justice League Europe. He suffered temporary amnesia, and forgot about his family, who eventually sought him out. To his surprise, he now had an infant son Joey. By then, Sapphire had been pressured into marrying Java and Rex could not cope with such an apparent betrayal. He and Sapphire went their separate ways. During his time with Justice League Europe, he met and fell in love with Vivian D'Aramis, the Crimson Fox. Though Vivian returned his feelings, she was torn when her former husband, Rene, returned from the dead. She chose to go with Rene and the two of them faked their deaths (again).
It seemed tragedy would ever follow the Element Man, as his son, too was cursed by the meteor of Ahk-Ton. Unless contained, the boy would randomly transform the elements around him. For everyone's safety, Rex agreed to place the boy in Simon Stagg's care. Once done, Stagg forbade Rex from ever seeing Sapphire or Joey. For his son's safety, Rex abided this until he met a woman named Jillian Conway. She had also been transformed by the meteor. She convinced Rex that she knew a way to cure them of their metamorphosis. Rex hoped that this miracle would work for his son, too, and he stole Joey away from Simon Stagg. Before it was too late, Rex discovered that Conway had misread the hieroglyphics; when she attempted to reverse the process on herself, she was instead destroyed. In the confusion, Joey had escaped and found his way to the the meteor. Since the meteor transforms those who touch it, and Joey transforms the things he touches, both canceled each other out. Joey was cured of his condition, and the meteor was rendered inert.
Rex and Sapphire were once again estranged and he began to mutate even further into a more rock-like form. During this time, he was drawn once again to Vivian D'Aramis. This relationship was cut short when Vivian was kidnapped and ultimately killed.
Metamorpho has twice reunited with the Outsiders: once in Paris, and again at Geo-Force's wedding.
Tragedy struck again when Metamorpho shielded his fellow Leaguers upon reentry from space. He was rendered "inert," and was interred in Valhalla Cemetery, the graveyard of heroes. There he laid, but not peacefully. When the sixth-dimensional being called the "Id," was unleashed on Earth, it granted everyone's desires. Young Joey Mason wished for his father's "return"; the dead hero was not, however, brought back "to life." After the Id's defeat, Rex's strained form was returned to its grave.
Apparently, Rex's spirit remained alive and he knew that he could be restored using the Orb of Ra. He finally succeeded in contacting Sapphire Stagg and she used it to restore him at last. He was soon back into the swing of things. Thayer Jost recruited him to join a short-lived revival of the Doom Patrol.
The whole Metamorpho clan was involved in an explosion which altered their identities. Simon, Sapphire and Joey were all merged into a single energy being. Rex himself took on the form of the late Java. The resulting amnesia led the former into a blind rage and up against Black Canary. Canary ultimately guessed what had happened and helped them regain their individual selves. Apparently, Rex subconsciously assumed the form of Java because of jealousy; where Rex could never succeed, Java had been like a son to Simon Stagg. Stagg was rejuvenated by the affair and suggested they begin their adventuring anew.
Meanwhile, a second Metamorpho appeared. This person possessed most of Rex's memories, but suffered a measure of amnesia. This person accepted Arsenal's proposal to join the new Outsiders. The real Rex soon learned of his duplicates activities and went to re-assimilate him.
He revealed to the Outsiders that he had fallen to Earth protecting the JLA, his body dispersed into many pieces. Though most pieces were recollected, one fragment reformed itself into its own separate consciousness. Understandably, this new Metamorpho had limited memory of its past and he eventually came under the wing of S.T.A.R. Labs in California and joined the Outsiders.
The Outsiders were not so quick to allow Rex to destroy their teammate and in the end, Rex decided that this new version of himself was indeed a unique sentient being. He was allowed to continue his life with the Outsiders and choose a name for himself: Shift (he decided not to take an alter ego).
This "second" Metamorpho went by the name "Shift" and developed a relationship with Indigo. After the events of One Year Later, Shift willingly chose to be re-assimilated into Metamorpho, after killing several people. Rex stepped in to fill Shift's position in the Outsiders, while a full account of Shift's crimes was pending.
Shortly following the "Battle for Blüdhaven." the Outsiders went through an organizational change and Nightwing left the team, deferring leadership of the Outsiders to his old partner, Batman. Batman screened several known heroes to see who would be appropriate for the new roster, and Metamorpho was one of the veteran members selected for the team, beating out Aquaman.
However, Batman went missing and the Outsiders started looking for him all across Gotham. Metamorpho and Grace went to Arkham Asylum and learned from Dr. Arkham that Joker had instructed all the inmates to sing a song about Batman and gave all of them a poster with the picture of Batman's tombstone on it. Back at their headquarters, Metamorpho comes to the realization that without Batman, there is no team.
After receiving a message from a fake Batman, the team decided to play along to locate the real Batman. Unfortunately, after the message was delivered REMAC was infected with a virus that caused him to attack Thunder. Metamorpho tried to restrain REMAC and made him stop his attack, but the cyborg started an explosion sequence that destroyed their headquarters and blew Rex into a million pieces.
Powers and Abilities
- Unique Physiology: Metamorpho's physical body appears segmented with each limb appearing to be entirely made of a different elemental substance; whether it is liquid, solid or gas.
- Elasticity: Rex can stretch, bounce, elongated, control, reshape his body as if it were made of rubber or plastic.
- Elemental Transmutation: Rex can transmute his body to any of a wide variety of liquid, gas or metallic elemental compounds and form it to his will. Originally, he was limited to the elements which occur naturally in the human body. Over time, this limitation seems to have disappeared. He can alter the shapes and consistencies of these elements and combine them to form complex compounds. Rex can assume forms of gas, liquid or solid states.
- Molecular Reconstruction: Stagg once boasted that Mason possessed the potential to submolecular variance at will, more than simply changing his own molecular/atomic structure at will but altering the very chemical nature of other objects even at a distance.
- Flight: By turning into a gaseous form, Metamorpho can achieve a form of self propelled flight.
- Metamorphosis: Metamorpho can also shape parts and portions of his body instead of the whole. He can form such complex shapes as a tank and a bicycle and such simple forms as a cloud or a spring.
- Enhanced Durability: The nature of Rex's body provides him with natural body armor offering damage resistance from blunt attacks and energy attacks.
- Bio-Fission: After his absorption of Shift, Rex's powers developed so that he could create duplicates of himself from his body. They each can move and speak (although they do not seem to be able to perform Metamorpho's regular special abilities), and Rex typically reabsorbs them before engaging in combat (indicating further that Rex may not be able to use his other powers until he is whole again).
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- Metamorpho is sometimes known as E-Man and The Fab Freak.
- Metamorpho Recommended Reading
- 520 Appearances of Rex Mason (New Earth)
- 95 Images featuring Rex Mason (New Earth)
- 21 Quotations by or about Rex Mason (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Rex Mason (New Earth)
- Metamorpho #8
- World's Finest #217
- The Brave and the Bold #57
- 52 #14
- Justice League of America #42
- The Brave and the Bold #68
- The Brave and the Bold #101
- World's Finest #217
- The Brave and the Bold #123
- The Brave and the Bold #154
- Batman and the Outsiders #1
- Batman and the Outsiders #2
- Batman and the Outsiders #16
- Batman and the Outsiders #17
- Batman and the Outsiders #18
- Batman and the Outsiders #24
- Batman and the Outsiders Annual #2
- Outsiders #27
- Justice League Europe #11
- Metamorpho (Volume 2) #1
- Metamorpho (Volume 2) #4
- Outsiders: Five of a Kind - Metamorpho/Aquaman #1
- Batman and the Outsiders (Volume 2) #11
- Batman and the Outsiders (Volume 2) #12
- Metamorpho: Year One #6
- Metamorpho: Year One #5
- 52 #13
- Outsiders (Volume 4) #22
|Outsiders member |
This character is or was primarily a member of the super-hero team known as the Outsiders, in any of its various incarnations. They are a black ops team dedicated to fighting evil and taking the fall in public opinion that bigger groups like the Justice League cannot, started by Batman to avoid being crippled by public relations needs. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Outsiders members" category.
Doom Patrol member
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.