|SuperFriends Comic Book Character|
|Real name:||Ralph Dibny|
|Relatives:||Sue Dibny (wife)|
|Affiliations:||Justice League of America|
|Abilities:||Stretch and shape his body|
Justice League of America Team Member
On the parallel-universe of Earth-One, Ralph Dibny grew up in Waymore, Nebraska, dreaming of fame and fortune in the big city. He would do anything to get attention, always a showoff and a prankster. As a teenager, Ralph was fascinated by the "india-rubber men" (contortionists) that he saw at carnival side shows. Curious about their powers of contortion, he discovered that they all drank popular soda called "Gingold." This soda contained "gingo", a rare fruit from the Yucatán to which most people are severely allergic. Ralph set to work learning chemistry and developed a super-concentrated extract of the rare "gingo" fruit of the Yucatan, which gave him his elasticity. He does have to continue drinking the "gingo extract" every few days to maintain his power.
He subsequently moved to Central City and created a costume for himself. In his first outing, Ralph calls himself the 'Elongated Man'. While out, the Flash suspects the Elongated Man is behind several crimes, but Ralph helps capture the criminals, who reveal they used a helicopter to frame him. While in Central City, would became good friends with Barry Allen. Ralph also became an amazing detective, although he is not formally trained.
He was one of the few heroes to reveal his secret identity to the public. Ralph soon became rich and famous from publicity appearances nationwide. While traveling, he met and fell in love with Sue Dearbon. They were later married. He and his wife effectively became partners, solving mysteries and participating in Justice League adventures as equals. The League had many members at this point, and Ralph's main role seemed to be comic relief, combined with his sharp detective skills (although he was often in Batman's shadow in this regard). Even so, Ralph became a League mainstay. A while later, Ralph's wife Sue, gave him his new red and black costume as a birthday present.
Continuity from SuperFriends Comic Book
Powers and Abilities
- Elasticity: As his name suggests, the Elongated Man can stretch his limbs and body to super-human lengths and sizes. These stretching powers grant the Elongated Man heightened agility enabling him flexibility and coordination that is beyond the natural limits of the human body. He can contort his body into various positions and sizes impossible for ordinary humans, such as being entirely flat so that he can slip under a door, or using his fingers to pick conventional locks. He can also use it for disguise by changing the shape of his face, although this is painful and difficult for him.
- Enhanced Durability: The Elongated Man's powers also greatly augments his durability. He is largely able to withstand corrosives, punctures and concussions without sustaining injury. It has been demonstrated that he is resistant to high velocities that would kill an ordinary person and that he is also more resistant to blasts from energy weapons that would kill ordinary humans.
- Master Detective: The Elongated Man is professionally trained as a detective and is highly skilled in deductive reasoning. Often considered one of the most brilliant detectives world (second only to Batman and perhaps the Question), his name is also a play on The Thin Man detective serial.
- Skilled Chemist: He is a talented amateur chemist as well.
- Multingual: Ralph Dibny is a native English speaker, but can also speak French. He can understand Interlac well enough to translate.
Elasticity Vulnerability: Ralph's physiology has greater physical limitations than Plastic Man; there is a limit to how far he can stretch his finite bodily mass. His physiology is more like that of an ordinary human than Plastic Man and as a result he does not share Plastic Man's nigh invulnerability.
He also needs to semi-regularly drink Gingold in order to maintain his elasticity.
Gingold Formula: This formula gives Ralph the ability to stretch his body. He essentially made it into a soft drink containing gingo. 'Gingo' is a rare fruit from the Yucatán to which most people are severely allergic. He distilled the 'raw essence' of the gingo fruit, and lo and behold, he had the powers to stretch his body.
Justice League Team Members
|Members of the Justice League of America|
Aquaman (founding member) • Batman (founding member) • Superman (founding member) • Flash (founding member)
The Elongated Man did not appear in any episode of the Superfriends TV Show.
- Super Friends, #7 (October 1, 1977)
- Super Friends, #8 (November 1, 1977) -- indirectly referenced
- The Elongated Man never appeared on the series. He only appeared in the comic book.
- His first appearance was in The Flash, Vol. 1, #112 (May 12, 1960).
- Elongated Man was created by writer John Broome and penciler Carmine Infantino, with significant input from editor Julius Schwartz.
- Schwartz has gone on record stating that he only created the character because he didn't realize DC Comics had acquired Plastic Man in 1956.
- His first television appearance was in the animated TV series, Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006).
- Ralph was one of the earliest Silver Age DC heroes to reveal his secret identity to the public, and also one of the first to marry his love interest.
- Ralph and his wife Sue were also praised as having a stable, happy, and relatively trouble-free marriage — an anomaly in the soap operatic annals of comic books. Fans of the characters often referred to Ralph and Sue as the "Nick and Nora Charles of the super-hero set" (a reference to The Thin Man movies).
- The very novelty of the Elongated Man stories was that unlike most superheroes, including the Detective Comics Batman, Ralph Dibny solved mysteries, often challenging the reader to do the same. He didn't just use his extraordinary powers or gadgets to chase criminals, but recalled the problem-solving of a genre just that bit older than superheroes: the tale of mystery and detection.
- See the Elongated Man disambiguation page at the DC Database
- See Elongated Man at the Wikipedia.org
- Site devoted to Elongated Man
Appearances in Other Media
- ↑ Background Information is from Silver Age continuity.
- ↑ As revealed in The Flash, #112 (May, 1960).
- ↑ As revealed in Justice League of America, #105 (May '73).
- ↑ As revealed in Detective Comics, #350 (April, 1966).
- ↑ Go to the DC Database for more on The Flash, Vol. 1, #112 published in May of 1962.