Have you ever wanted a lesser version of Plastic Man? Someone who can’t stretch as far or able morph shape as well? Of course not, but you get one anyway. Elongated Man, real name Randolph “Ralph” Dibny, made his first appearance in The Flash vol. 1, #112 May 1960. His creator Julius Schwarts wanted a good supporting character for the Flash, and Dibny did the job well winning an alley award in 1961 for best supporting award. Schwarts never claimed any relationship to Plastic Man.
As a young man Dinby had a fascination with contortionists, and those that showed great dexterity. While studying chemistry he made a concentrated extract of the rare gingo fruit, which was the main ingredient in a drink all the contortionists were drinking, and this gave him his powers. He has teamed up with many Justice League including Batman, Green Lantern, the Atom, and Zatanna. This lead to his eventual induction into the JLA.
I have never really been a fan of Elongated Man. Though to be honest I don’t really like Plastic man either, and I never really saw the point in having two of them. But of the two I do find Elongated Man to be a better written, and much more relatable character. He has been featured on T.V in Justice League Unlimited, as well as appearing throughout the DC Universe.
His popularity as a character could have come because of his relationship with his wife. Which from what I have read was a healthy one. They often had boughts of repartee and an occasional spat or two, but this was something that was relatable to those who were in or have been in relationships. DC decided to Kill off Sue(his wife), and this completely changed the character. During the Maxi-series 52 Dinby found a wish granting gun(yes, it was a real thing), and wished to be reunited with Sue. Rather than bring Sue back to life they made Ralph a ghost, and thus the Ghost Detectives were born.
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