Rex Mason is a mysterious soldier of fortune who has done jobs for a varied group which includes Doc Savage, Victor Von Doom, Norman Osbourne, & Lex Luthor. If you need a job done nobody else wants to do, or something found that no one else can find, Rex is your man. Only thing he won't do is kill anyone. One person he has found himself working for quite a few times is multi-billionaire Simon Stagg, mainly because he is having an affair with his beautiful daughter, Sapphire. One such job he did for Simon was helping a Gorilla by the name of Java escape from a jail in the fabled Gorilla City, capital of Wundagore, an African nation inhabited by animal-humanoid creatures created by the Elder of the Universe known as the High Evolutionary. Java serves as Stagg's bodyguard, and develops a crush on Sapphire, causing him to hate Rex. This all comes to a head when Simon, Sapphire, Java, and Mason travel to Egypt and uncover an unknown burial crypt, which houses the Orb of Ra, an ancient mystical object that supposedly connects man to the Cosmic, the Creator, Ra to the Egyptians of ancient times, God to modern man. Legends say the Orb can be deadly as well, which is why Stagg let's Rex be the one to enter the chamber in which the orb lies. When Rex tries to touch the orb, it begins to radiate with energy, causing Rex to scream out in pain. Knowing now that the orb is indeed deadly, Stagg has Java use his great strength to block off the chamber's entrance with a huge piece of rubble. The 2 stand and listen to what they think are Mason's dying words and screams as he begs them to let him out. The 2 start to leave when suddenly something shatters the rubble and out walks Rex, but he has changed, becoming a being of humanoid frame but seemingly composed of mud, metal, and various other things. He grabs the beast, Java, and one of his hands turn into a diamond tip drill and he threatens to drill into the Gorilla's head, but then Sapphire, who was outside, comes in having heard the screaming of her love. When she sees what was formerly Rex, she screams, not recognizing him. This causes Rex to flee, he transforms into oxygen and blows away with the breeze. Stagg searches for the Orb, seeing now the power it can bestow, but it is gone. Later he realizes that Rex and the Orb have become one. When Sapphire is told about what happened to Rex she accepts him in his new form, much to the sadness of Java. Stagg promises to use all his resources to find a cure for Rex, but only if Rex uses his new found abilities to help him. In doing so Rex goes by the new name of Metamorpho, the Element Man, being able to turn his body into any element in the universe, but not being able to turn human again. In order for Rex to move about undetected, Stagg has the best artists in Hollywood make a face mask that looks just like Rex's former face, as well as hand like gloves. Rex, in his work for Stagg, runs into many strange villains, and battles them as Metamorpho. He soon comes into conflict with some Kree invaders while in Paris, France, which leads to him joining the JLA. The ancient one, Shazam, upon meeting Metamorpho, tells him he may be the most powerful of the JLA, because the legend of the Orb is true, and he has become one with Ra, the Cosmic. Shazam says when Rex finally accepts his fate there will be no one who can stop him. Rex tells the wizard that he will never accept being a freak, to which the wizard replies, then, sadly, you will never realize your true purpose.