HALLUCINATION ALIEN METRON
Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Today's Ultramonster is among the most famous after Baltan, considered another of Ultraman's classic adversaries despite appearing only a handful of times. This particular member of the Metron people infamously attacked the Earth through the use of tainted cigarettes, implanting them with tiny, red crystals that drove smokers to random, uncontrollable acts of senseless violence! It's never known whether this is part of a natural power the aliens possess or it's simply one of their technological inventions, but it's a pretty dark invasion plan.
Ruthless though he is, Metron is also remembered for its polite, gentlemanly personality both in and out of its human disguise, even inviting the hero to a drink in its first appearance. The sight of the being hunched over an ordinary coffee table was immediately iconic, and repeatedly homaged or parodied (above) by the alien's subsequent appearances.
As for the design, Metron remains one of the more surreal looking humanoid aliens in Ultra continuity. Its tubular, white forearms end in darkened tatters that were no doubt intended to evoke huge cigarette butts, but that's about as far as its visual motifs ever relate to its villainous scheme. The rest of the alien is a multicolored humanoid whose head and torso are fused into one big, bullet-shaped, mouthless shell apparently inspired by certain saltwater mollusks. Its overall shape is intended to evoke a beached whale if the entity lies on its pink, fleshy back, which by the way is lined with octopus-like suckers, and if you look closer at the creature's eyes, they're literally just a couple of light-up barnacles.
Why all this nautical stuff? Beats me! Metron never otherwise has a single thing to do with the ocean, but it's certainly strange enough to earn the "Hallucination Alien" title.
Even Metron's spaceship is ominous, almost resembling a pair of blood red fly-eyes (if you ask me) with an interesting ability to split apart into two ships the alien controls by remote.
This last detail is actually a bit of foreshadowing, as Ultraman famously slices Metron neatly down the middle to defeat the creature...but don't worry! Decades later, a new Ultra series established that this very same Metron was perfectly fine after a doctor sewed him back together. More surprisingly, he also continued to live on Earth for forty long years, assimilating pretty well to our culture until he finally decided to attempt round two...this time using his crystals to taint cellular phones, which is a good call, because that's a far more universal possession these days than a cigarette.
In a final, bittersweet twist, Metron actually changes his mind about the whole thing, waves goodbye and leaves the Earth before fighting Ultraman...all because, according to him, we don't even need his help to doom our planet.
Well...he's got us there.