JLUCast 11: “Metamorphosis”

This is the story of the Element Man, Metamorpho (Metamorpho)! Rex Mason’s tragic tale of transformation unfolds, involving his old pal Green Lantern and the rest of the Justice League. Is he friend or foe? When the League needs help against an even more powerful elemental creature, will Metamorpho say no?

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Clip credits:

Clips from Justice League, “Metamorphosis”, music by Lolita Ritmanis and Michael McCuistion

26 responses to “JLUCast 11: “Metamorphosis”

  1. Thanks for the enjoyable listen. I enjoyed YOUR show.

    On the other hand, I was very disappointed in this Justice League episode for many of the reasons you guys brought up. Under the guidance of Zany Haney, Metamorpho stories were always fun and weird. Metamorpho himself was funny and tongue-in-cheek. Not only is he unsympathetic and unlikeable in the Justice League, the story is just too dark for him; I think. The episode is kind-of-like if Zac Snyder got a hold of Metamorpho.

    Just so you know, the Morgan and Morgan commercials air in Alabama.

    Finally, you might want to watch out giving everyone the Metamorpho theme ear-worm. To this day, my mother remembers and hates Metamorpho strictly from that song, and I know she hasn’t heard it since the 70s. I didn’t want y’all to think I was saying, “Hey mom, lets jam to a little Metamorpho” whenever she comes to visit.

    1. Wow, Zack Snyder. Harsh, but not completely undeserved, I think. I can see it.

      I was kind of worried our critique of the handling of Rex and crew came across as a bit harsh, but it’s nice to no someone else agrees.

      Morgan and Morgan for ALL the people. Not a sponsor.

      Does your Mom like the “Plastic MAA-AAN!!!” song? My parents used to hate the Man-Bat sounds from the “Robin Meets Man-Bat” Power Record. My Dad still brings it up from time to time!


      1. I don’t think you and Cindy were too harsh on the portrayal of Metamorpho and company. I thought you were down right nice. I mean, how did Cindy not hate this worse than Dr. Phibes? I don’t even know why I remember she hated Dr. Phibes, I don’t want to get you slapped, and I don’t expect everyone to like what I do….I just have never met anybody nerdy who didn’t love Dr. Phibes! Admittedly, the only woman I ever knew who saw it was my college sweetheart, and she loved it, but she had geeky tastes.

        I don’t remember if Mom made any comments about the Plastic Man song. She was the only family member who supported my super hero fixation, since she was glad it made me eager to learn to read. She must have really hated the Metamorpho song to mention that she did hate it…and to still remember it some 40+ years later. She even still knows a few of the lyrics. I think her only other Power Records memory is “He was lying there with a ghoulish grin on his face” from Batman : Stacked Cards. She busts out that quote from time-to-time.

          1. I reread my comment and realized my train of thought jumped the track. The point I was trying to make was: You were worried that you were too harsh in your criticism. There has been harsher criticism of other stuff on your shows, and that is ok. You’re not going to love everything when your covering an entire series. I was actually hoping that Cindy would “go Dr. Phibes” on this episode, and I’m sort of relieved to hear from your show and the comments here that I’m not the only person who has problems with it. I think part of the reason I really dislike this episode is it was Metamorpho’s first foray into mass culture, well outside of the Power Record, and it really didn’t do him justice.

            Oh, and I hope you didn’t think I was insulting Cindy, either. I would never diss a lady, and I always enjoy her insights. I really do enjoy listening to your shows.

            My only excuse for losing my train of thought is I posted right when I got home from work but before I had my nap. I should never do that. (Don’t get old. It stinks.)

          2. No worries, Gothos. I know what you meant. I am old, but for whatever reason, I can never nap, unless I’m sick. I’m too light of a sleeper, I guess. Also, no one will leave me alone long enough to fully konk out. Now Cindy, she has low-grade narcolepsy. When she goes horizontal…she’s OUT! 😉


    1. Because you and Shag influenced me to play it for her…even though I have the Power Records version of the Metamorpho/Plas 45″ and the JLA album in the house. Hey, my arm could use a break!


  2. When Cindy read the part about spraying Metamorpho with liquid nitrogen all I could hear is “sprayed him with liquor and nitrogen.” Man, talk about a way to bring Rex Mason down!

    Whaddya mean you guys are shocked about Metamorpho knowing how to make kryptonite? Don’t you? I mean it’s just an intense heat fusion of 15.08% plutonium, 18.06% tantalum, 27.71% xenon, 24.02% promethium, 10.62% dialium, and 3.94% mercury. Surely you could make some at home, right? Oh yeah, there’s that teeny little 0.57% unknown element. I bet it’s love. The secret ingredient it always love. Unless it’s salt.

    1. Or tar. And Cindy did kinda garble “liquid nitrogen”, but I didn’t notice it until the editing phase, and …well, I was lazy, okay. Plus, I didn’t want to get the stink eye for correcting her. 😉


      1. Well, some people would call that a pronunciation blip, but I call it an opportunity to go out and pronounce the world as “lik-rid” in everyday life, and see if it catches on and becomes a trend. What do you say, gang, we could make this happen if we commit to it! And then afterward, Cindy would be able to say she was the trendsetter of this whole big “lik-rid” movement. 🙂

  3. Hey its been awhile life kind of took my attention but I’m back and have caught up with show.

    This episode is very mixed for me I like so.e if the things it was trying to do but the flaws you brought up where pretty much I had.

    Metamorpo in this episode and the whole vibe I was getting it felt like they were trying to do a marvel story.
    Making rex sort of into a Ben grim type of character with him angsting.

    The dcau had a habit of trying to give some of the characters a marvel vibe but the episode really leaned heavy into that.

    If you think sapphire and Rex’s relationship not going to last you should see her in beware the batman.
    In that she is no better then her father and it dosent end well for her and rex.

    It’s a alright episode but not one I would go back for a rewatch.

    1. Thanks for coming back Dial C! I lost track of “Beware the Batman” when CN decided to dump it in the graveyard shift in the AM, after barely promoting it on their aborted “DC Nation” block. It’s on the DCUniverse streaming service, so I should give it another go. Or, based on what you said, maybe not?


      1. Itw ok it just really got wrapped up in trying to be dark.
        It coming out a bit after the dark night theater shooting didnt help it.
        Its pretty good and I do like they used overlooked and obscure batman villains.

        I bring up the rex Mason thing mostly cause its interesting to compare sapphires relationship with rex with the justice league take.

  4. Impressive pod cast. Most Impressive. Yeah I love that line from Star Wars. Any way the mad woman is back. Hmm sorry I missed this one. I have a few seasons on DVD of JLA and JLU. But, missed this one. Rex is pretty cool. I remember him mostly from the Outsiders. He was cool there, but Halo was my fav character. But, back on Rex. He was cool in Bat Man Brave in the bold. But, that’s mostly ware I know him, oh and the New Frontier. Which was the second place he was military but, teamed with Hal. As his buddy.

    And is only seen as Meto in the seen ware Hal and him fly into the villain of the cartoon. And it’s just for a sec. But, it was cool. This seemed like a cool one. Oh off topic I have a U-tube page. ware I talk comics, politics. Trans stuff. movies. Wrestling. M. arts. Just what I think of. Hey people can go there and watch me act a fool. Or disagree with me…. they have the right to be wrong. Kidding people having different thoughts is what makes the world go round. If we all agreed the world would be boring. Oh that’s Liz Anne Oswalt. Saying the full name cause there are oddly other Liz Oswalts. So to not be confused with them. I have the Liz Anne part.

    Ok back on topic. I want to think Rex and Sapphire just flirt with others, but mean nothing by them. If I’m wrong then…ew. Sorry met a few singers on Twitter … and I avoid them. Just not my thing. I just move away from that Polyamory not my thing, but hey people do their things. But, was cool this was a G.L. centric show. Since he was kind of the break out character. The big five already had there stand out shows, but John kind of came out as the big star. With Hawk Girl right next to him. Man Hunter didn’t really get his big time moments till Super Girl TV show.

    He became the break out character in that. Till the show went a bit… well wasn’t my fav after season 2. But, the Man hunter was great in that. Any way This looked like a fun episode. Sad that I missed it. Cool they had Rex beat the JLA the first time. But, that GL got threw to him. Would be good id GL beat him and talked him down, but glad they beat the other monster. Cool the guy from Terminator was in this. And Bull voiced Java. Trying not to laugh that the Cave Man is named after Coffee.

    Ah well EVs did co create her. So he should get credit. Back to JLA. The cartoon was awesome. Yeah had some moments waking up like Rex hear before I have my coffee. Hmm, well John was friends with frex and a fellow solder, maybe that’s why he trusts him. As for the lantern shield not working….. I don’t know maybe some yellow was in the gas? Or maybe since Bob Haney created him. This story happens on planet Haney? That might explain it. There any opps in the cartoon are explained it all happened on Planet Haney.

    Bazaaro world is shocked by the lack of Logic on Planet Haney. So that’s why he knows Kryptonite but, needs a chemical compound to beat the villain. Sapphire goes from slut to great loving girl friend to Rex. Cause again Planet Haney. We’re lucky that WW didn’t show up riding Pegasus playing an electric guitar that plugged into no ware and beating Rex with a rain bow. Cause again it’s planet Haney. Hawk Woman could be voiced for this episode by Arleen Sorkin and it could work cause…. planet Haney. What? I said I was a crazy woman.

    Any way can’t wait to hear the next podcast.

    1. I think this episode could have used a bit more of that Haney Zaniness, now that I think about it! I mean, Java’s a caveman for no reason, and Simon looks ridiculous out of context, even though Fradon’s designs are wonderful. Less angst and more Haney would have made this a lot more fun, for sure!


  5. While I don’t think that Sapphire’s love of Rex is to get back at her Dad in the comics (maybe it started off like that, but it’s been so enduring…) but here in the show that makes some sense, characterization-wise. It’s either Rex or a caveman, maybe Sapphire needs to go on Bumble or something!

    Metamorpho BEGS to be the star of an animated series, such a shame it didn’t happen in the 60s. With Haney writing cartoon episodes too, that show would have been a trip!

    I’m glad Cindy likes me. I figured but I don’t like to take anything for granted.

    1. I think Metamorpho and the Metal Men have the most untapped kids cartoon potential in the DC firmament. Right behind Shazam! (which DC should REALLY do something with now, in animated form, after the movie’s success). It’s indeed a shame Rex didn’t get to star on those 60s Filmation shows, because I bet they would have been VERY faithful to the comics, with Haney directly involved.

      And if Cindy didn’t like you, you’d know it, believe me!


  6. It seems that the producers went a little overboard with that initial Sapphire/John/Rex scene. It wouldn’t have taken much dialog to show Sapphire fascinated by a real Green Lantern which rouses Rex’s jealousy. But that’s not what I want to complain about this time. You’ve already complained about most of the sticking points, but ONE thing really bugs me!
    What train in this country offers an attendant bringing champagne to your seat???!!!

    1. Good idea on the Sapphire/John/Rex scene. That would have worked much better.

      And Stagg employees only travel first class…well, except for Java. But he’s literally a caveman!


  7. While the story and characterizations were not the best, I did enjoy the Ramona Fradon style designs. Even some of the bit characters looks more in Ramona’s style than Timm’s. Very nice, stuff.

    The rivalry/jealousy between John and Rex feels like they each think “the grass is always greener on the other side.” Greener? Get it? Hah? … Never mind.

    Wait? Tarzan is the younger brother of Elsa and Anna? I can’t … but … he … what … they … AUGH!

    Cindy, thanks for mentioning “Kiss my Math”. My daughters are starting high school this year, and it looks like there’s some books from that series that would be perfect! My girls actually do very well with math, but lack some confidence, so maybe these books could help. Much appreciated.

    Another fun episode, Franklins!

    1. Yeah, we should have honed in on the “grass is GREENER” angle with John, but sometimes things get lost in the weeds. The GREEN weeds. 😉

      And if the Frozen/Tarzan theory is too much for you Tim, all I can say is…let it go.

      I hope your local library has the “Kiss My Math” series. Cindy always brings the book-learning knowledge to the show, which I appreciate. Makes us all learn-ed and stuff. I hope the series helps your daughters out in navigating high school math waters!


  8. How many metaphors could a metaphorical Metamorpho malform if a metaphorical Metamorpho could malform metaphors? 🙂

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