Metamorpho rejects Justice League, becomes skateboard

I love Metamorpho. Any creation of Bob Haney's is a friend of mine.

In Justice League of America #42, by Gardner Fox and drawn by Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, the League decides to extend a membership invitation to Metamorpho, but the Element Man is NOT INTERESTED.

But first, a charming vignette in which Metamorpho cheers a young boy by turning himself into a skateboard.


If a terrifying-looking stranger, or hell even a regular-looking dude, suddenly turned himself into a living skateboard, would you immediately jump on and start riding? I think I would hesitate.

When that heroic endeavor is over, Metamorpho suddenly loses control of his own arms, as they are stretched to the sky and start forming words out of the clouds against his will!

Ok, it's one thing for the League to use such an insane and complicated method of invitation, but COME ON! Does the message need to be that long-winded?!

Metamorpho's  immediate reaction toward the invite is, understandably, negative.

Suddenly Metamorpho is attacked by a bizarre shapeless entity that seems to really want to join the Justice League. He's one of those enemies who is such a huge fan of the JLA that they decide to prove it by attacking all of them. It turns out that this is the first appearance of The Unimaginable.

Meanwhile the boring Justice League are watching the whole fight on their monitors. Superman is flabbergasted as to why anyone wouldn't want to be a part of the boring Justice League, with their frequent tedious meetings and endless discussion in lieu of action.

"Let's show him what teamwork can do!!" God the Justice League is such a bunch of nerds.

It turns out that what the Justice League and teamwork can do is...not much. After a brief battle, everyone ends up tangled in the strange creature's...things. Green Lantern is, as usual, ass over teakettle within seconds.

Since the creature has been kind enough to dump them off at their cozy little base, the heroes take a few minutes to discuss Metamorpho's lack of enthusiasm about their invitation. This lasts until Batman makes an excellent point:

Right. The alien thing. Evil.

But first! What if Green Lantern's ring can fix Metamorpho and make him regular old Rex Mason again?

I'll tell you who: that same stupid alien. So get your fighting clothes on, it's time for Act 2!

About this next panel, I just want to point out that GL's pose is hilarious:

So here's our alien being that has been tormenting the Justice League. The Unimaginable looks like nothing, and REALLY wants to join the Justice League. But Batman is leaning toward voting 'no' on his membership:

Do you feel like maybe the artist just didn't feel like designing a new bad guy for this issue?

Threats and ultimatums usually work great with the Justice League. I think that's how the Atom got in. I like that The Flash still needs more information before he can make an informed decision.

The Justice League aren't going to let some jagged, featureless piece of space trash boss them around. They are going to solve this problem the only way they know how: by engaging in a long, boring discussion!

It doesn't even occur to them that Metamorpho didn't duck out on the fight. He ducked out on the conversation so he could just go fight the guy.

Yes! Finally! Go!

So they head to outer space and quickly find themselves inside The Unimaginable for some reason. I guess the only way to defeat him is by attacking him from the inside.

I want to give The Flash props here because I can't honestly say that I would recognize this sound if I heard it:

Anyway, they beat The Unimaginable and head home, where they revisit the original task of trying to get Metamorpho to join the League. He's still not interested (probably even less interested now that he's spent some time with them). He would like Green Lantern to give the ring thing another try though:

Sure. Why not?

Metamorpho has a great attitude about it, as usual, and even agrees to be a part-time JLA member, if that will shut them up.

Hooray! And remember, this is during a time that Element Men were still largely discriminated against in society. Well done, Justice League!

And then Metamorpho ran out and bought call display for his phone.

Shadow Thief shows that hard work and complete lunacy pay off.

We all know and love Shadow Thief, the shadow-based DC villain who used to annoy Hawkman and Hawkgirl on a regular basis.

But did you know that Shadow Thief's origin is completely stupid and hilarious?

Grab some popcorn and take a seat.

Shadow Thief, or Carl Sands, first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #36, which was among the many awesome comics collected in Showcase Presents Hawkman vol.1. Like all good villains, Shadow Thief likes to pass the time by remembering his own origin story.

"If only I were a shadow..." For most people this would be a fleeting, whimsical thought that one would be sort of embarassed about. But not this guy. He turns it into a mission.

He read up on shadow facts and legends. And then built something that he could have seen at (or, hell, stolen from) any children's science museum. But wait for this:

"I've got to do more research!" That is so crazy. That's like "Dammit! This quarter didn't really materialize in my ear! I must work harder! I must find a way!"

His relentless practice of children's science experiments and magic tricks is interrupted by one of the countless aliens who visited America during the 1960s.

My favourite thing about those panels is that somewhere in the short time that Carl met and rescued the alien, he managed to talk about how much he loves shadows.

Dude, you can have, presumably, any wish granted by this alien, and you still are sticking with the shadow thing? Aren't there better abilities than being able to control shadows?

Alright, actually, that is pretty cool.

You know who were probably really surprised are all the sensible people who were like "Seriously, Carl, enough with the shadows! It's never going to happen! Get a job!" Or his mom. "What would you like for your birthday this year, Carl? And DON'T say another flashlight!"

Once again a human triumphs over science and possibility and uses it to rob museums and banks. I salute you, Shadow Thief.

This Week's Haul:Tearing myself away from dreaming about Chris Pine long enough to review comics

Time for some reviews! Here are a few of the things I read this week. Now my review feature less cover images and more interior panels! Wooooo!

Super Friends #15

I'll tell you why I love J.Bone. It's because of stuff like this:

Look at how pleased Batman looks with himself!!! That is one satisfied detective.

This was an exceptionally good issue of Super Friends, and not just because of J.Bone's fabulous artwork. Sholly Fisch really stepped up the humour in this issue, matching it with other DC kids titles on the stands. I always felt that Super Friends was a cute-but-bland comic that was more about learning lessons than witty banter. But this issue was great. Plus the plot was actually a little intriguing. Nice!

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1

One good adorable comic deserves another! This time its one from the Marvel universe featuring a superteam of critters! AND it's written by Chris Eliopolous! AND it features a Throg origin story drawn by Colleen Coover! AND Lockjaw is adorable! AND Throg's human name was Simon Walterson!

Wolverine #73

And now we switch gears completely.

I like to think that the cover of this issue alone will make it fly off the shelves, but just in case it doesn't I'd like to emphasize how awesome it is. Jason Aaron wrote the first story, and it's drawn by Adam Kubert. It's a very entertaining examination of Wolverine's day-to-day life as it is right now, stretching himself very thin between multiple teams and solo missions. It also is full of the attitude and bad assedness that we all love and expect from Jason Aaron. The second story is by Daniel Way and features art  by Tommy Lee Edwards. Pretty awesome. Also awesome is the fact that Marvel didn't charge $3.99 for it, even though they probably could have found a way to do that. So you get a lot of awesome for three dollars here.

Booster Gold #20

Keith Giffen steps in to write this issue, and I feel that it really brought back some of the fun that this title has been missing lately. I wasn't hating it or anything, but it was getting way too serious. This issue was funny.

I don't want all the drama, I just want to see Booster Gold zipping around to different points of time in the DCU and making cute remarks. This issue had that, and it also had Booster in a three-piece suit. So that was nice.

Secret Six #9

This is as close to Battle for the Cowl as I'm going to get. I strongly doubt that any other tie-ins will be as entertaining as this one. Gail Simone rules, and this series rules and I for one would love to see Catman as the new Batman.

Zorro #13

I was recently telling the guys at The Dollar bin how much I love this Zorro series and it was pointed out that there isn't a whole action in this comic. I hadn't really thought about it before, but it's true. This comic is a lot more Bruce Wayne than Batman. But that's what I like about Matt Wagner's writing: he gives you a lot of the man behind the mask, a lot of the villain, and a lot of the supporting characters. And when the action does happen it's creative and cool-looking. Plus, in the case of this comic, Zorro is always having a great time. And I like that in a hero.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love this Zorro series and more people should be reading it. The first trade is coming out soon.

Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos (One-Shot)

Holy smokes! This was amazing! I don't know why I love war comics so much, but I do. And Sgt Fury is definitely one of the best military comic characters ever. He's just so damn manly. I love him.

The John Paul Leon artwork is beautiful, as usual, and TV writer Jesse Alexander (Heroes, Lost) that hits every beat. Every single panel is awesome. My only complaint is that this is a one-shot and not the first issue of a series that will go on forever.

Alright, that about does it. And now back to gazing longingly at Chris Pine.

This Week's Haul: Wolverine Does Not Appear in This Post

Supergirl #40

I don't know why people think I am trying to fool them when I say that this series is awesome and all superhero comic fans should be reading it. Supergirl is such a well-constructed, likable heroine and this latest storyline has been exciting and fun to read. Plus, Jamal Igle draws Supergirl with realistic proportions, strong stances, and great facial expressions. Even if it didn't tie into the New Krypton event, this series would be worth picking up on its own.



Daredevil #118

I went for the Wolverine art variant because it's pretty cute.

Foggy rips into Daredevil in this issue for being a selfish, insane idiot for the past...oh, thousand issues or so. It's really, really satisfying.

I'm really loving this Kingpin storyline because it allows us to focus on someone else's misery for a change.


Detective Comics #853

 So what did you guys think of this? I thought it was pretty neat, what I would give for some straight-up Batman.

I think Neil Gaiman did a good job of what he was trying to do here. I don't think it holds a candle to Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, because it is less crazy action and more crazy talking about crazy things. But the art is good and it's got a lot of fun references to things that Bat-nerds and Bat-amateurs will enjoy. It will make a hot-selling trade, I think. I mean, you put Gaiman's name on the cover and that'll sell a lot of copies right there.

Ghost Rider #34


 Well this was hands-down the best trucker horror comic I have ever read. Or at least the best one this year.

Tony Moore is just the perfect artist for this series. Can you imagine a funner comic to work on than this one? I can't. Redneck horror is just not a genre that is used enough in any medium.

Mighty Avengers #24

 I am sure that I have mentioned this before, but I'll say it again: I love that Marvel has the recaps on page one of all their comics. It really helps people like me get into series like this one. I hadn't been following Secret Invasion or its aftermath too closely, and I had never read Mighty Avengers before. But I do know that I love two things: Dan Slott and Hercules. I have been enjoying this series so far quite a bit, despite being a little confused (female Loki? What the hell?). I still feel like I would fail a Marvel exam if I had to take one.


The Amazing Spider-Man #592


 So last week's issue of Spider-Man had a crazy and amusing last page shocker...and this issue has an even crazier and even more amusing last page shocker!

So despite the malnourished Spider-Man on the cover, the interior of this comic (with art by Mike McKone!) was super. J. Jonah Jameson fans rejoice!


Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5


Fortunately for those of you who haven't yet picked up an issue of Michael Kupperman's hilarious Tales Designed to Thrizzle series, it's being collected into a book that will be out in July.

For those of you who have been Thrizzled before, you'll be happy to hear that there is extended Twain & Einstein content in this issue.


I also read Batman: The Brave and the Bold #4 (did somebody say SUGAR AND SPIKE CAMEO?!).