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mygif

well-organized band of ruthless supervillains

Or someone’s randomly crazy ex-wife

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highlyverbal said on February 3rd, 2013 at 8:03 pm

“…after reading this I’m seriously convinced hat he could take Batman in a fight…”

Well, Batman has been punching above his league for decades due to writer and fan favoritism. What would a fanboi say here? Hmmm, I dunno, maybe … Batman would masterfully plan the fight so that the advantage of punching everywhere at once wouldn’t matter.

And really, punching people when you have elastic powers is absurd. Jui Jitsu isn’t that hard to learn. (Presumably, elastic powers will speed that process considerably.)

Stealth choke-holds on everyone in the room ftw.

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Tom Galloway said on February 3rd, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Small correction; while Ralph debuted in Flash and his first few stories are from there, his official, regular, backup series was in Detective, where most of the stories in this collection are from.

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mygif

I guess theoretically it might be possible to do fair play whodunits in the DC Universe with a rubbery lead character, but the readers would never trust that there wasn’t some kind of scifi shenanigans going on.

Dang but you made me miss these stories. Would it be too much to ask to just retcon everything about I——- C—– out of existence?

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mygif

If “One Piece” has taught me anything, it’s that stretchy powers can be a HUGE advantage in a fist fight. Luffy routinely compresses his arms and then shoots them out to their full length, to devastating effect. And that’s just for straight shots; if you wanted a swinging fist, you could twist your torso up and then unleash your punches in a whirlwind of fists and pain. But yes, soft-style martial arts would also benefit immensely from stretchy powers.

And I like the idea of a superhero who doesn’t have one sole defining attribute. He’s stretchy, AND he solves mysteries, AND he doesn’t give a darn about secret identities, AND he considers his wife is equal! Real people cannot be reduced to a single theme, and at least a few fictional characters should have that kind of complexity.

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mygif

There are several advantages to work with elastic body type powers. First of all, as noted with a One Piece refference, elastic materials can be compressed to store greatly enhanced force for punches when released (There’s actually a real life shrimp that uses a somewhat different mechanism of storing and releasing force to power a mace like appendage at supersonic speed. Underwater.)
The second advantage is leverage, by making limbs longer, the force of the outstretched limb is enhanced by the centripital forces.

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mygif

Also, voiced by Jeremy Piven in the Justice League Unlimited cartoons. (Which I count as a plus, but understand that others would not). Where it was said “I’m a detective, and a stretchy guy. I’m like Plastic Man and Batman combined”

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mygif

Infantino said this was one of his favorite strips and I can see why. How often does a hero get to knock out bad guys by elongating his knees?
The Showcase collection (which has almost the entire Detective run) is a pleasure to read. And yes, the plots are fun too. I remember the one where a guy wins a 50 to 1 horse race and sits there tearing up the winning ticket, sobbing (why? read on …)
One of my favorite Ralph/Sue bits occurred years later in an otherwise dreadful JL Europe arc, where the villain is hot for Sue. When Wally shows up, Sue hands him her diamond wedding ring and tells him to tell Ralph goodbye. When Ralph hears this, he starts to freak out until he sees the ring and tells Wally she was scamming the bad guy: “This is just an anniversary gift. The real wedding ring was cubic zirconium.”

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highlyverbal said on February 4th, 2013 at 9:47 am

I get that he hits harder than the average bear, obviously. The trouble is, humans are set up to absorb impacts to their noggins. A few (normal powered!) even can “take a punch” where they have to be hit really hard to knock them out; they can literally fight until they are risking brain damage.

Hitting super hard just doesn’t trump choke holds in either effectiveness or safety, sorry.

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mygif

It still kinda annoys me to think about Joss Whedon’s glowing introduction to “Identity Crisis,” which he praised for “actually making me care about the Elongated Man.” I’m paraphrasing from memory, but I’m pretty sure that’s what he said, as if Ralph was a lousy character not worth caring about. But then again, we all know what Joss thinks about happy, functioning couples, so there you go.

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mygif

I love, love, love Elongated Man. Ralph and Sue are two of my favourite characters in comics. I’ve had the Showcase Presents volume on my wish list for a while now, but this makes me want to buy it immediately.

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mygif

Egad, I miss Ralph and Sue terribly, and I’m so glad that other people do as well. The Universe needs more stretchy detectives!

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The Crazed Spruce said on February 4th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Haven’t read a lot of the Silver Age stories, but I’ve always been a fan of the characters. Too bad nobody picked up the “ghost detectives” setup they were left with after 52. (Lemonade out of lemons, I know, but it would’ve been some tasty lemonade.)

(And I’ve also been a fan of Tommy and Tuppence, too. I’ve always thought it was a shame that they were basically ignored in favour of Christie’s other, more famous creations. They had a wit and charm all their own, and definitely deserve more of a spotlight.)

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mygif

While I’m not an Agatha Christie fan, the Ben Cross/Francesca Annis Tommy and Tuppence series was a delight.

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Mary Warner said on February 10th, 2013 at 12:53 pm

The very first super hero comic book I read was a Detective Comics with the Elongated Man, so he was one of the first heroes I knew (and was the absolute FIRST who didn’t appear in a TV cartoon). Sadly, it was also the last Elongated Man story I ever read, aside from several Justice League stories in which he didn’t get to do much.
But that one story made an impression. I thought the stretching was a really cool ability. And I really liked Sue. A few years later, after reading a LOT of other comics (and being a bit older and more aware of such things) I realised how unusual it was to have this husband-and-wife team that worked together so well as equals. Even today, that sort of thing is far too rare.

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Russell Hillman said on February 11th, 2013 at 2:27 am

I’ve been saying this for years, but here’s a DC title I would buy the hell out of. Elongated Man, art by Ty Templeton, scripts by David Renwick (Silver Age DC fan and creator of Jonathan Creek).

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