Is there a connection between Elemental Woman and Metamorpho?

On August 18th, 2014, /u/mikeman1090 asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

Is there a connection between Elemental Woman and Metamorpho? They look very similar and have similar powers. Has Metamorpho even appearsed in the New 52

Edit: Element Woman, not Elemental Woman

So, it’s a little complicated. There have been two of them, kinda.

Element Girl

Element Girl (Urania “Rainie” Blackwell) was the old one and created in 1967 through the exact same process as Metamorpho, so she was totally related. From Metamorpho #10-11:

Urania Blackwell was an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency. She attended a mission to Egypt with a fellow agent named Triangle. They found the pyramid of Ahk-Ton and Urania was exposed to the same energy that once turned fortune hunter Rex Mason into Metamorpho, the Element Man. Urania underwent a similar transformation and became the Element Girl. She recruited Metamorpho’s assistance in order to stop her ex-boyfriend, the Stingaree, who was a member of the criminal Cyclops organization. During their first encounter with Stingaree, Urania was seemingly killed, but was resurrected soon after, thanks to the scientific expertise of industrialist Simon Stagg

The two of them have a few adventures together. but eventually she is basically just forgotten:

Little is known of Element Girl’s life after this event. Years passed and she eventually pensioned out of the agency. The difficulty of dealing with her powers and the ensuing loneliness took its toll on her. Urania fell into a deep malaise and contemplated suicide. Being one of the metamorphae however, this was nearly impossible for her. The personification of Death visited her apartment and advised Urania to make a plea to the source of her powers – the Egyptian sun god, Ra. Urania did as suggested and asked Ra to take away her abilities and allow her to die. Ra heard her request and allowed Element Girl to die.


There’s also this great quote Gaimen, talking about how completely forgettable she was, on her wiki page:

Neil Gaiman: There’s one called “The Death of Element Girl”, in which Sandman probably won’t even appear. He might appear, I dunno. That has Death, and an old DC character called Element Girl, who nobody remembers any more.

Comix Experience: From Metamorpho.
Neil Gaiman: Yeah. The Lady Metamorpho. So famous she never even made it into Who’s Who. Anyway, she’s in there. Terribly sad story.

Although she did not have an entry in the original series, Element Girl received an entry in Who’s Who in the DC Universe#10 (June 1991), stamped “DECEASED” after her appearance inSandman.

Why did I bring up the sad, but forgettable, tale of Element Girl? Well, because we now have Element Woman (Emily Sung) who looks very similar and has no backstory yet!

Element Woman

I only really covered Blackwell due to the precedence that their powers were connected, but things are lot more messy with when it comes to Emily Sung.

The new Element Woman actually made her debut before the New 52. Kind of. She appeared in the Flashpoint timeline where she followed a few other heroes around, did a few thing and was declared insane by Shade, the Changing Man.

In the New 52 she appears when the Justice League is searching for recruits:

Emily Sung, the Element Woman, first appears during the “Throne of Atlantis” crossover as one of Cyborg’s new recruits for the Justice League. During a battle with a number of Atlantean soldiers loyal to Ocean Master, Element Woman nonchalantly chats with Black Lightning, expressing joy over being asked to join the League.

She is later inducted into the League alongside a new, female Atom and Firestorm.[4] Her relation to Metamorpho is unknown. However, she does reference him by first name.

After the events of Forever Evil, Element Woman joins the Doom Patrol.

But this where it gets further complicated.

Despite Sung referencing his name we haven’t met Metamorpho in the New 52 – except for one instance. It was the big splash page at the beginning of Justice League International where the UN are reviewing candidates.

A bonus image of Emily being her kooky brand of helpful

Now sure, he’s there, but so was Plastic Man who has been ignored since and then recently seemingly got a new origin story during Forever Evil that’s set well after that first JLI issue. Furthermore, Creeper wasn’t around yet either and was later introduced in the pages of the (terrible) Katana solo book.

Is it Rex? Is his origin the same? Is Element Woman’s origin tied to him as well as Blackwell’s was in the past? If Metamorpho is around and known why didn’t they want him in the Justice League ahead of the untrained Emily? Will they just ignore that cameo like they’re doing with Plastic Man and Creeper and a few others?

For now, we just don’t know. :)

Further reading:

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