Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sal Trapani Metamorpho Swipes

In his comment on my first Sal Trapani post, Mark Evanier mentioned the artist's work on DC's Metamorpho containing many swipes from Ramona Fradon's earlier work on the title. The example that hit me when I then reread the series was the figure of Simon Stagg that Trapani swiped three times. The first detail here is from Fradon's cover to issue 5 (Mar-Apr/66). She stopped doing story art with issue 4, but continued with the covers, as far as I can tell, through 8. The next three details are from the stories in 11 (Mar-Apr/67) and 12 (May-June /67) and a contest page in 15 (Nov-Dec/67). The inker on the cover and story pages is Charles Paris; Trapani may have inked himself on the contest page.

Ramona Fradon's figure of Simon Stagg with hands to head; Sal Trapani's three swipes

Booksteve posted on his blog a Trapani Metamorpho swipe from a Jack Kirby Captain America panel. In my comment I cited swipes from Kirby's Fantastic Four. To illustrate with the correct FF story (my memory was off by a couple of issues), here are details from FF 65 (Aug/67) and a tier from that Nov-Dec/67 Metamorpho 15. The Metamorpho dialogue is by Bob Haney.

Jack Kirby's figures of Fantastic Four members floating in a dream dimension; Sal Trapani's swipes with Metamorpho and Element Girl floating in a sub-atomic world

The Kirby swipes in this issue are limited to the sequence of Metamorpho and Element Girl in a sub-atomic world, including the page and a half before this one.

The rest of the issue you could take for Trapani actually pencilling for himself—I don't offhand see any more Fradon swipes—but I wonder if I don't see some of Bill Fraccio's style there, as in Dell's Super Heroes where he ghosted for Trapani. This bears further looking into!


  1. Speaking of Trapani, Metamorpho and possible ghost artists, the pages I've seen from #'s 12 and 14 have brushwork that brings to mind Chic Stone as a possible ghost artist or inker.

  2. Nick, I'll have to take a longer look sometime at those issues with Stone in mind. A cursory glance showed me Trapani inking the contest page, notably Sapphire's face, in 14 (as well as the one I mention in the post, in 15). So he had SOMETHING to do with the book!