Monday, August 26, 2019

Metamorpho #4

I cannot read "Bad Chemistry" without singing it and adding "Til the day I die!"

I have had a song stuck in my head all morning as I was trying to sleep and now that I want to talk about it, I can't remember what song it was. I'm cured!

Being that this is an old comic book that I own and have read before (in 1993!), I should be able to remember how it ends. But the reality is that I probably read this in the course of five minutes in a public space while people nearby who had previously been thinking, "I want to fuck that guy," now began thinking, "What a disgusting nerd. I want to punch him in the face." Some of you kids probably don't understand that sentence but there was a time in America when being a nerd actually hurt your social life. It was this weird cycle where the nerd didn't fit in and was often teased or bullied so they retreated to other worlds like comic books and role-playing games which just caused them to get teased and bullied even more. That might be a positive feedback loop but since everything about it is negative, I want to say it's a negative feedback loop. Being a nerd doesn't automatically make you smart!

Nowadays, everybody wants to be a nerd. It's fucking nerd culture appropriation, man! Although the types of nerds that nobody likes and who we're all allowed to keep bullying and making fun of still exist! They're called Comicsgate now! See, they saw that their hobbies and interests were now things that all of the popular people like but people still didn't like them for some totally and inexplicable unknown reason. Maybe it was because they were so protective of their hobby that they wound up asking everybody who they didn't think should be part of their hobby gatekeeping questions like "Oh, you like Spider-man so much? Tell me how many times he masturbated in 'Superior Spider-man #72'!" Or maybe it was that they kept using the word pandering whenever a character that wasn't a white male wasn't kept in a supporting role in the way it always had been. Or maybe it was how when they read a statement like the former sentence, they'll be sure to point out how Marvel had Black Panther and DC had Black Lightning so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about and should shut up and die or maybe be SWATted. Or maybe it was just that they were fat and gross and greasy and smelled like an onion rotting in a dirty sock which meant, once again, they were being excluded from the popular people's nerd party. That last one was from their point of view! Nobody wants to believe that people don't like them because of their personality. They'd rather believe they're being unfairly maligned due to not being good looking or fit enough. Maybe that's true but you'd still think they'd understand showers. I mean, I've been to San Diego Comic-con three times (the last time the year X-men came out. Just so you know I was there before it was all about the movies and television! I'm a true nerd! This is exactly the sort of gatekeeping I was talking about earlier! But it's the good kind because I'm doing it to make myself seem more authentic!) and my nose hurt every year. But it actually didn't matter because it was a lot of fun and I mostly stayed out of the Magic the Gathering room.

It's almost as if I wrote that entire previous paragraph to make a whole bunch of people think I'm an asshole! But in reality, I just wrote it all so I could take a dig at Magic the Gathering players! I'll never forgive them for being horrible bastards at competitive gaming! My guess is that half the people who win at Magic tournaments do so by rushing through every turn and ignoring the whole concept of the game wherein the other player gets a chance to react to every move the other player makes. Yeah, some jerk did it to me because I hadn't memorized every fucking card in the sets that I never even had a chance to see so maybe I'm bitter about it! But this was before the Internet and if I'd never seen Feldon's Cane before, how was I supposed to know I should have immediately and quickly shouted that I wanted to counterspell it before being able to read what it does? And by the time I learned what it did, the jerk I was playing (and beating by running his deck out of cards, a specialty of mine!) had already shuffled his graveyard into his library. Fuck that guy. I should have dragged that nerd into the hotel lobby toilet and given him a swirly!

I began this entire thing trying to remember a song that got stuck in my head! No wait! That was just an instant digression. Is that a thing? Can it be called a digression if I hadn't actually started writing about the main thing I'm supposed to be writing about (you know, Metamorpho #4!)? Anyway, I was going to try to guess how this comic book ended before somebody distracted me with all that nerd stuff. Based on my rereading of the first three issues, I don't really know how the book is going to end. Metamorpho will stop Jillian from using the Orb of Ra, save Joey, and probably wind up in Sapphire's thighs. But how will it be accomplished? I bet to stop Jillian from using the Orb of Ra to cure herself (a feat that can only be accomplished once), he'll need to use it on himself. But then he'll need to re-Metamorpho himself by bathing in the meterorite's presence again so that he can save the day. If that's what happens, I only guessed it because I actually do remember how this comic book ends. If that doesn't happen, I'll think, "Man. I'm glad I don't fucking remember how a comic book I read in 1993 ends! Thank you, brain, for not letting that take up space!"

This issue is called "Criminal Element" because it was the last pun on elements that Mark Waid hadn't used yet.

That feeling when you run into an ex after a lengthy period of time and think, "Oh yeah. We're gonna fuck!"

Sapphire and Rex pursue Simon and Jillian who have gone off to the pyramid to get the Orb of Ra back. Remember Mason's claim that archaeologist's can't trust their partners? I bet Simon betrays Jillian! He's really gone daughter-fucking crazy.

When Rex arrives to stop them, Simon Stagg uses the Orb to hurt him while taunting, "Never come between a father and his special daughter!" So is that why Mark Waid pitched this story? Did he grow up reading Metamorpho comic books thinking, "Man, that old guy really wants to fuck his daughter!" Did he actually pitch that story to DC editors?!

Mark: "Pictures this: a four part Metamorpho story where we learn Simon Stagg's entire motivation is getting into his daughter's lady cave!"
DC Editor #1: "Remind me. What's a lady cave?"
Mark: "Virgin!" DC Editors #2-4: "Ha ha! Good one, Mark. Augustyn is totally a virgin! It sounds like a great idea! Are you coming to our party later? Brian isn't invited!"
Mark: "But don't you want to hear about how the Orb of Ra is a metaphor for Simon Stagg's penis?!"

"Touch it, Rex! Just touch it! Feel my cock's power!"

Sapphire falls into her dad's trap and tackles him to stop him from killing Rex. Simon Stagg gets a huge boner. Although he drops the Orb of Ra which is the symbol of his penis so maybe he actually loses his erection when he realizes his daughter has stood up to him. If Sapphire tackled me, my Orb of Ra would only get stronger! And it would probably go off instantly!

While everybody else is distracted, Jillian grabs Stagg's penis and thinks, "The orb's still potent!" See? It's totally a penis metaphor. She runs off to the chamber at the top of the pyramid where the Orb is supposed to be able to cure somebody who has been metamorphosized.

Rex manages to climb back to his feet and he notices some dust on the hieroglyphics that Conway missed. He blows it off and reads the final line of the cure and yells, "It's a cookbook! A COOKBOOK!" He then rushes off to save Jillian for some reason.

Metamorpho gets to Jillian as she's bathed in the Orb's excretions. Apparently the cure wasn't meant to reverse the transformation but to complete it! So that's why Rex and Jillian look so gross. Because they're only half baked.

Jillian turns into a pillar of salt and Rex shrugs his shoulders and goes off to find his son. Joey has made his way to the meteor room because archaeology is in his disgusting, modified blood.

Don't encourage him!

Rex and Sapphire hear Joey laugh in the chambers below and Rex realizes he's with the meteorite. So he and Sapphire run into the chamber to fetch him. Luckily Joey has turned the meteor to lead so Sapphire doesn't have to become Metamorphess. Also, Joey is cured! His skin is normal! He doesn't look like a freak anymore! And his grandfather is going to be pissed that the little brat didn't turn the meteor into gold before losing his powers.

So the Mason's are once again a family and Sapphire plans to turn Stagg in for the murder of Java. But I guess that never happens. Or maybe it does happen but Superboy's punch and/or Mr. Mind's devouring of the DC Universe brought Java back to life and made us all forget that Simon Stagg loves incest. What am I? A scholar in DC Continuity?! Does that even exist?! Nerd!

Metamorpho #4 Rating: B-. It's a decent story if not a little boring. The best part was how Mark Waid had the gall to make Simon Stagg into an incestuous murderer. It's almost as if he realized before the rest of us that evil narcissists expose themselves in their desire to fuck their daughters! It's practically prescient!

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