I’m really happy I only paid the Amazon marketplace price for this one. At $16.99, I woulda been pissed off at reading this.
Metamorpho: Year One is one of the more offensive revamps, bringing Rex Mason’s transformation up to the 21st Century rather than a nebulous time in the sixties. The covers by Kevin Nowlan, one of the great unsung artists of the past thirty years, soften the blow a bit. But the problem is that, with this single story, Dan Jurgens manages to destroy one very important and iconic facet of the Element Man’s life.
The one important thing for Rex was that his girlfriend, Sapphire Stagg, didn’t care all that much that he had been transformed into the freakish Metamorpho, and still loved him. That is no longer apparent in the tale, as Sapphire is always shrinking away from her former paramour, and takes up cavorting with a sleazy guy working for her father with ulterior motives for the last two issues. Most of Sapphire’s personality is skewed; she’s far more trusting of her father and way more fluff-headed (read: Paris Hilton) than Bob Haney and Ramona Fradon’s character ever was in the original Metamorpho series. Frankly, I’m surprised there wasn’t a little dog added to her ensemble, but I think this series came out before Paris Hilton made her justifiably short-lived pop culture waves.
Mind you, it’s not as bad as that horrid Element Woman that they added to the New 52 Justice League, but it’s still destroying an iconic character’s history for no discernable reason other than a writer to stamp his own imprint on the character.
The artwork is excellent: Mike Norton and Jesse Delperdang manage to make things look slightly cartoony, with a bit of realism. The interior art and the covers are really the only redeeming qualities of this series.
If you have a choice, read the Showcase Presents: Metamorpho book. It’s in black-and-white, but it’s much more representative of a favorite character of mine.