Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ralph and Sue's legend is still strong 1000 years later!

... In the form of a themed Grill & Bar.

There are many interesting things going on with the above image from the fantastic third issue of  Justice League 3001. I'm sure Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis were just having fun, but that's what happens when you have talented craftsmen on the job.

Among the extras we can see the somebody looking like Ambush Bug, a creation of Keith, and another guy resembling the Shadow (perhaps an homage to Andy Helfer?). The Chrysler Building seems to be on the background, which would mean we are seeing the New York City of 3001 AD, when Earth is a dumpster called Takron-Galtos, a place for criminals and low lives.

The restaurant sign alone reveals that there is a Ralph and Sue themed bar and grill, which might lead us to assume a number of things. Until we see the next panel!

You are thinking "is that Wolverine next ot Clark?", but in this picture,
there are a couple of DC regulars hidden in plain sight as well.

There's something funny going on. Let's take a closer look.

Those are freaking Ralph and Sue!! 

I won't get ahead of myself. We have two great options. In the worst case, those are not resurrected Ralph and Sue, which means their legend was so strong it lived as a franchise for almost 1000 years. But let's be practical, if Barry was resurrected for the 3rd time, and we know Firestorm (in control of Cadmus) is now reviving even guys like Gardner, odds are those are resurrected Ralph and Sue and they own a place now. Only Keith and J.M. know the answer and future plans for the characters.

This is a great year for Dibny fans.

By the way. I cannot recommend enough to buy this series. The creative team is a guarantee, and, after a great start, it has been getting more and more entertaining with every issue. The art is fantastic, the story is great and it's impossible not to care about these characters. Not because they are beloved DC icons, but because the compelling way they are written. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


It took four years, but Ralph and Sue Dibny are finally revealed as part of The Secret Six title. 

Secret Six, vol. 4, #5.

This is all thanks to Gail Simone. I'm really glad she did this. detectives are always a perfect fit for a title like Secret Six, I think Ralph and Sue can work great with the team and are perfect enemies for the Riddler.

Part of the charm of Catman was the way he worked when paired with Deadshot. Both of them are tough alpha men. With his partner gone, I think Ralph is a great replacement. It's different: Ralph is a bit of a geek, always optimistic and assertive and while he never misses a thing, he can be quite laid back and a bit of a class clown. That's nothing like Deadshot, but changing dance partners is always interesting (it's what keeps so many people hooked to Game of Thrones). So, the switch is interesting and I think along with Sue, Ralph can be key in moving Catman forward in his way to become a full hero.

Sure, with Scandal and Rag Doll outside the roster it's possible to speculate that Big Shot and Black Alice won't stay. Then again, without Deadshot, the book needs high profile characters, and being detectives Ralph and Sue fit the bill just fine.

I borrowed this pic from Bleeding Cool, which borrowed it from Secret Six, vol. 4, #5. 
The background story of the Dibnys seems a little changed. I hope they figure out a way to tie it with Barry Allen again. However, as long as the characters remain true at the core, I think this is a good thing. This is not classic DCU, just the New 52 (I don't know about my kind readers, but it's not one of my favorite continuities, anyway), and stories are different.

The Flash # 138
It's possible that the story is going to have Sue brainwashed to become the Riddler's girlfriend or lover and it might elongate the drama for a while. I guess that might get kind of rapey (it depends), which is not precisely cool with Dibny fans, but at least is not Identity Crisis rape, and, again, it's the new 52, so, I take it with a grain of salt. A writer has to take some risks in order to make a good story and Gail has a lot of talent.

Something that is worth noticing is that "the Star of India" is an obscure and classic plot device from Flash #138, in which the Pied Piper stole it and Ralph and the Flash had to recover it. I love that Gail included it in this story. It means that she knows her Elongated Man. I'd love to see revivals of any of the other classic elements like the birthday mysteries, Billy Warner (president of the Elongated Man fan club), the visits to France (Ralph is even more popular there), the Batman and Flash crossovers, Amos Hurd "the Cowboy Millionaire", the Elongated Evildoer, the circus performances, the nods to Doyle, Christie, Poe and everything about the Thin Man and I think this list went on for too long.

So, yeah, with Convergence, Justive League 3000 and Secret Six, 2015 is the year of the Dibnys. I really hope Gail elevates them both to high profile status, like she has done with many characters in the past.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Elongated Man in Multiversity

According to Grant Morrison's The Multiversity, at least a couple of versions of Ralph are still around in DC's multiverse.

The Multiversity is a limited series that explores multiple universes of the current continuity of DC Comics. In later years, the Elongated Man didn't even make cameos, however, that changed with The Multiversity Guidebook, the sixth issue of the series, which goes into detail of the entire multiverse and shows a list including most of its universes.

On Earth 44, as shown in page 57 of The Multiversity Guidebook, the equivalent of both the Justice League of America and the Metal Men is The Metal League. Created by Dr. Will Tornado, Gold Superman, Iron Batman, Platinum Wonder Woman, Nth Metal Hawkman, Lead Green Arrow, Mercury Flash and, yes, Tin Elongated Man.

They are all robot versions of the Justice League, the fun part is that is that the only human member is the equivalent of the only robot member of the actual league. 

Another version of the Elongated Man can be seen on Earth 26, which is the equivalent of what used to be "Earth C", during the early 80s. A world populated by anthropomorphic animals, including Captain Carrot and his amazing Zoo Crew, a superhero team. They are original characters rather than analogues of the Justice League, but it's worth noticing that one of the most prominent members, Rubberduck, has the exact powers of the Elongated Man and nicknames like "the ductile duck" or "the malleable mallard", equivalent to Ralph's "the ductile detective" and "the malleable marvel". 

In the old stories, the focus of the stories is Captain Carrot, and he is a comic book artist in his civilian identity. The title he draws is Just'a Lotta Animals, which features anthropomorphic animal versions of the Justice League of America. However, as it always happens in the DC multiverse, what is comic book fiction in one universe is reality in another. So, those Justice League parodies turned out to exist in their own universe, called Earth C-, and they even met Captain Carrot and his friends "The Zoo Crew" in some stories. 

In The Multiversity #2, during the crisis across the multiverse, the Zoo Crew is seen fighting Just'a Lotta Animals. Which, again includes a version of the Elongated Man, in this case, the Elon-Gator.

It wasn't specified if the new Just'a Lotta Animals and Zoo Crew live in different universes like they used to do (Earth C, and Earth C-). We only know that they have a fight on Earth-26, which belongs to the Zoo Crew, but no universe was listed as belonging to Just'a Lotta Animals. However, in the Multiversity series, 7 universes were left unknown, including Earth-25 and Earth-27. 

Most of the 52 universes include a version of the Justice League, commonly based on the 3 incarnations: the original "big 7", the new big 7 (with Cyborg replacing Martian Manhunter) and the satellite era. Clearly both the Metal League and Just'a Lotta Animals are based on the satellite era. However, it can also be argued that Elon-Gator was probably included to provide a visually interesting counterpart to the more recognizable Rubberduck.

Oddly enough, I don't remember a single Plastic Man in any Justice League analogue, despite the fact that Morrison himself made him a member. The exception might be Morphin' Man, a parody of the completely obscure Polyman, who is, in turn, a pastiche of both Elongated Man and Plastic Man.

I don't really know if the old realities are back after Convergence, (yet another miniseries in which characters from old or erased time lines get a second chance), but, so far, this year I have seen the return of the classic, pre-Crisis, Elongated Man, as well as the pre-Flashpoint one, the version from the Giffen-DeMatteis stories in Justice League 3000 (another unidentified universe), the Elon-Gator, Rubberduck, and Tin Elongated Man. Plus, on the main universe of DC Comics, Earth-0, there is a mysterious character called Ralph Dibny, despite the fact that he doesn't look anything like the real deal.

Some other universes like Earth-22 (Kingdom Come) are known to have a Ralph Dibny. Due to their connection with Juistice League Unlimited, in which he was a character, Earths 12 and 50 probably have other versions of him. It's also safe to assume that many of the other universes feature him, specially those with versions of all the characters of Earth-0 or Earth-1. 

All of this isn't really a comeback for Ralph Dibny, since he is not really part of a team with an ongoing title. However, at least his existence is acknowledged and he becomes available for any writer who might want to use him in upcoming stories. 


Monday, June 29, 2015

If I'm not mistaken... Ralph and Sue lived longer in JL 3000!

It all depends on this picture from Justice League 3000 #14. That's a flasback with (left to right) Ralph, Max, Oberon, Ice and Sue, showing a moment, way after the Super Buddies issues, sometime after Fire exchanged places with Ice at hell.
The story also states that Ice never saw Fire again, however,
a. that's not how Ice revived in the pre-Flashpoint continuity, as seen in Birds of Prey #105 (July 2007),
b. Fire and Ice reunited and teamed up in Justice League: Generation Lost (2010),
c. by the time Ice was resurrected in the pre-Flashpoint continuity (July 2007), both Ralph and Sue were dead and Max had turned evil.

If I'm correct and those are Ralph, Max and Sue, it means we have our first post-Flashpoint continuity in which they are still alive at the present time!!

And here is a cool picture of the whole gang. Just because:

Update: I've confirmed it at J.M. DeMatteis blog, CREATION POINT (actually, he did said so in an interview that I missed before I asked). By the way, that blog is really awesome, J.M. is incredibly cool and gives honest answers to about everything.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Steve García's 'Perception'

I just found this piece of art by Stephen García in his pinterest 'Super Silhouettes' page. He defines many comic book characters in one word.
I think he nailed the one thing that defines Ralph as character. I love how he looks like a detective in a suit. I think spandex should only come out when is action time in his stories.

Ralph Dibny rides a horse into a bar...

Convergence has been good to Elongateers (I'm coining that) everywhere. This new mention is from Convergence: Justice League of America #2.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Dibnys revindicated!: An image says it all.

...And it's not this one...

Click HERE if you don't mid a bit of a spoiler (last image) for Convergence: Justice League of America #2,

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Secret of the DC Kaiju: A list of the Giant Monsters of the DCU

Everybody knows Jack Kirby made a big deal of awesome giant monsters for Marvel Comics, but what about DC? It turns out they are not as recurring but the the DC Universe features a great number of the type of fictional creatures that Pacific Rim popularized as 'kaiju'. Here are some of the best known:

Mr. Atom

We start with a giant robot built by a mad scientist. A bit silly-looking, but he fits the trope.
First appearance: Captain Marvel Adventures #78 (1947), "Capt. Marvel Meets Mr. Atom". Story by Otto Binder, art by C. C. Beck.


A huge, artificial intelligence with a humanoid body created by Darkseid to conquer Earth or something. He can generate fire and is incredibly strong.
I prefer the DCAU version.

First appearance: Legends #1 (November, 1986), "Once Upon a Time...!". Story by John Ostrander and Len Wein, art by John Byrne.

The Centre

It turns out the Centre is Dinosaur Island, has been here longer than us and it wants us out. That's good enough to gather the entire superhero community.

First appearance: DC: The New Frontier #1 (March, 2004), "Our Fighting Forces". Story and art by Darwyn Cooke. 


Chemo is the most recognizable enemy of the Metal Men. So much that his popularity rivals theirs. He is not a mastermind like Starro, but when it comes to gigantic havoc makers, along Validus, he is go-to kaiju of DC Comics.
First appearance:  Showcase #39 (July - Aug. 1962), "The Deathless Doom!", story by Robert Kanigher, art by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.


Some how he tends to be overlooked as a generic robotic villain, but not only he has the right visuals (ok, a bit too 70s), he has the perfect sci-fi story: "an artificial intelligence created from the electromagnetic spectrum broadcast from Earth, the Construct has an inherent hatred of humanity due to his lack of a physical body".
First appearance: Justice League of America #142 (May, 1977), "Return From Forever!". Story by Steve Englehart, art by Dick Dillin.

Faceless Hunters

Can't help but love how 50s they looked. I'm so glad they became a thing. They come from "Klaramar - a world revolving within an atom on the planet Saturn". How about that? 
First appearance: Strange Adventures #124 (January, 1961), "The Face-Hunter From Saturn". Story by Gardner Fox, art by Mike Sekowsky.


These are some of the most recurring enemies of Aquaman. I think they qualify both as kaiju and invader races (I'll do a post on that later).
First appearance: Aquaman #1 (February, 1962), "The Invasion of the Fire-Trolls". Story by Jack Miller, art by Nick Cardy.

Giant Frogs

It's probably just because of the cover, but these guys get a lot of attention on the web. They never returned, but Jim and Rhonda Trent, the "scientists" from this silver age story, appear in a previous issue.
First appearance: Strange Adventures #130 (July, 1961), "War With The Giant Frogs". Story by Jack Miller, art by Nick Cardy.


DC's resident 50 foot woman can actually grow bigger than that at will. If that wasn't enough, she used to be a gorilla.
First appearance: Wonder Woman #9 (June, 1944), "Evolution Goes Haywire". Story by William Moulton Marston, art by Harry G. Peter.


I can't believe it's not Cthulhu. No seriously, I think it would have been more awesome. The Ghostbusters did it, anyway.
First appearance: Justice League, season 2, episode 39 (Original Airdate - November 15th 2003), "The Terror Beyond". Story by Dwayne McDuffie.


Bruce Timm loves Lovecraft. Not surprisingly, when the White Martians became weird, awesome gooey things, their leader became a creepy, floating balloon with tentacles.
First appearance: Justice League, season 1, episode 3 (Original Airdate - November 17, 2001), "Secret Origins, Part III". Story by Rich Fogel.

Jimmy Olsen, the Giant Turtle Man

Yep, [among many other things] Jimmy Olsen became a Giant Turtle Man. 
Because silver age. 

And because stealing.
First appearance as Turtle Man: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #53 (June, 1961), "The Giant Turtle Man!". Story by Jerry Siegel, art by Curt Swan.
By the way, as awesome as it would have been, this is not Jimmy (or Gamera), but it the intention doesn't get more explicit than this.
First appearance: Justice League Unlimited, season 2, episode 3 (Original Airdate - September 24th 2005), "Chaos at the Earth's Core". Story by Matt Wayne.

Mageddon, the Anti-Sun

If you think Kirby was creative, check out this jewel from the mind of Morrison: "Mageddon is an ancient weapon created by a race of now extinct Old Gods. It is a huge (larger than the planet Earth) semi-sentient orb with a squid-like face that incites hatred and violence in life forms as it approaches the heart of a galaxy".
First appearance: JLA #15 (February, 1998), "Rock of Ages, Part Six: Stone of Destiny". Story by Grant Morrison, art by Howard Porter.

Millenium Giants

Meh. I really find them boring. If somebody can offer me a shot with all of them, maybe I'll put them.


A kaiju based on cancer and all life comes from it. That's a happy thought.


An entire sentient planet. Good thing he is a good guy. 

The Monster that fished for men 

Only four pages. Being on the cover goes a long way. These creatures were created by Jack Miller and Murphy Anderson. 

Mr. Nebula

This guy is as silly as it gets for the Justice League International. He is just like Galactus, only he wants to redecorate the planet.


As Kirby as it gets. A defense weapon that reacts to energy, created by an alien race that couldn't handle him.

The Rainbow Creature

As ridiculous as this monster looks, he has had a revival thanks to Grant Morrison and even Batman: The Brave and the Bold TV series.


A creature that doesn't require food or rest and just wants to destroy anything that moves. There goes your average 50s monster film.


Moore did a freaking planet, so Morrison had to top it with a sun (even if it is a small one). And since it can't get more epic than fighting the sun itself, Solaris makes a great foe for Superman. 

The Stone Sentinels of Giant Island

One shot characters that never returned. However, being brainchildren of Jack Kirby and with the story reprinted a couple of times these guys get a great reputation. The concept is pretty good: Mindless guardians left by an alien race to protect the island from the living. I think the island could still return with them.


Starro is silly and creepy at the same time. He became one of the most recurring enemies of the Justice League and one of the most recognizable giant monsters of the DCU.


Superman vs. King Kong on an even field. Titano is a landmark of the Superman mythos. They should make a graphic novel about it.  In the 50s, it could have been an interesting movie, now it would be tricky.  


...I think I prefer the regular size lovable octopus.

Ultra-Humanite (T-Rex)

A mad scientist on the body of a kaiju, two archetypes in one.
I don't think the albino gorilla is big enough to count in this list.


A human mutated in to a giant, super strong, invulnerable monster who can project "mental lightning". Along with Chemo, Validus is the most recognizable of the giant monsters of DC.

Volcano Man

A giant made out of lava. He is an enemy of the Challengers of the Unknown.

The World Wrecker

A jaeger gone out of control, thus becoming a giant monster. With a crowd of 7 controlling the robot from the head, this guy might have been one of the earliest examples of mechas.

Only appearance: Strange Adventures #50, "The World Wrecker", story by Otto Binder, art by Carmine Infantino, cover Murphy Anderson. The story was reprinted in "From Beyond the Unknown" with another Anderson cover.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Girls get Sue Dibny

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to marry Ralph Dibny. I’m actually not sure if that’s true, or if I just want to be Sue Dibny. Though her appearances in various Justice League International titles have kept her modern, Sue still possesses a certain air of old-fashioned glamour; you just know she talks like a heroine from a noir or screwball comedy. (It helps that her relationship with Ralph was famously based on Nick and Nora Charles from the Thin Man books/movies.) She’s always witty and self-possessed; even in the Silver Age she could banter with the best of them. 
On her own, Sue is brilliant, funny, brave, and forthright, whether she’s slugging a supervillain or putting the moves on the dashing (well…dashing-ish) Elongated Man. She’s the brains of the Superbuddies (okay, that’s a bit of a tallest hobbit situation, but still) and the heart of the JLE. She once encouraged an entire nation to rise up against their supervillainous dictator. And no one can wear an outrageous hat like she can!
That's from a post in Dimestore Dames, a column by Jessica, on the blog. Jessica focuses on many female characters in comics, who are all too often pushed aside in favor of male heroes and villains. She has gone as far as declaring that she wants to be Sue, be married to the Elongated Man and punch Hal Jordan in the face... Which girl wouldn't?

Don't read it. The picture is good, the content is just wrong, ha. ha.
Sue makes a great case. Modeled after Nora Charles, she had a defined, interesting personality from the start. However, after she joined the Justice League Europe, she also developed as a multi-talented woman. We already knew she has an amazing taste and was a great fashion designer, but her time in the league showed that she is also a great hacker, a leader and a top notch PR manager. Later, Gotham Knights #41 revealed she is also a great mystery writer and a talented amateur detective, rivaling with Batman and her own husband. Can Lois Lane pull all that? Didn't think so.

So, yeah, feminist girls should look up to this fine fictional lady.

CLICK HERE to read the full article. I fully recommend in order to understand about one of DC's most talented women.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The 6 Birthday Mysteries of the Elongated Man

"The Elongated Man's Other-Worldly Wife" (Detective Comics #332) started one of the earlier traditions of the Dibny: The birthday mysteries.Every year, around Ralph's birthday, March 21, Sue prepares a mystery for him to solve. She does so many of those that, at some point, the Daily Planet runs an entire section on them.

Some of his partners in crime include the Sue's uncle Jim, Flash, Green Lantern, Alfred Pennyworth, the entire Justice League International and his last was going to be Green Arrow.

Since Ralph turned 55 on Tuesday, in order to keep the celebration going, I decided to make the list of birthday mystery stories.


Detective Comics #332 (October 1964), "The Elongated Man's Other-Worldly Wife" - Ralph discovers that Sue is the beautiful leader of an alien invasion. Written by Gardner Fox, with art by Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene.
This is the one that started the tradition. Epic art, Carmine is the master of design Sue looks incredible as an alien queen. This is by far, her most elaborated scheme.


Detective Comics #350 (April 1966), "Green Lantern's Blackout" - Hal can't remember that he is the Green Lantern, so, since Ralph and Sue are in Coast City, Pieface recruits him to save the day.
This birthday Ralph got a very memorable present from Sue (and Paul Gambi?).
Written by 
Gardner Fox, with art by Carmine Infantino.
Somehow, this one has a dark feeling, a bit hardboiled for an Elongated Man story.


Detective Comics #375 (May 1968), "The Face That Stopped Clocks" - In Wayside City, a man can stop clocks by staring that them. Even though Ralph is expecting Sue's mystery and his nose doesn't twitch, he agrees with her to follow him. 
Written by Gardner Fox, with art by  Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos.
Out of all the DC superheroes of the 60s, the Elongated Man feels the most like a sitcom of that era. This story is just like watching Bewitched, The Dick Van Dike Show or My Favorite Martian


Detective Comics #449 (July 1975), "The Mystery Man Who Walked On Air" - Sue spots an old man walking on air outside their hotel room in Key West, FL.
Written by 
Mary Skrenes, with art by Dick Giordano.
I don't know if its the 70s, or the "old man", but the only thing missing is a scary monster to make it a Scooby Doo story.


Justice League Quarterly #6 (January 1, 1992), "Take My Wife--Please!" - Sue goes missing in Seaside City and the Ralph gets help from the Justice League International to find her.
Written by Mark Waid, with art by Eduardo Barreto, this is often considered the best birthday mystery by fans. Personally, I have to agree; this one feels like Ralph and Sue take the JLI gang on a roller coaster of mystery, keeping both the Giffen-DeMatteis line of humor and the silver age vibe of the Elongated Man stories. 
Ralph is perhaps the only silver age superhero that kept his mid-60s spirit, this feels like a celebration of that.


Identity Crisis #1 (June, 2004) - "Chapter One: Coffin" - Ralph thinks Sue is only going to get him a magnifying glass he saw in Belgium, but at their Opal City home, she has a bigger surprise and a mystery set with Green Arrow on board... We end on a sad note...Written by Brad Meltzer, with art by Rags Morales.
It's controversial... I'm not touching that one with a 60-feet pole.

And that was the last one. Hopefully, the new DC horizon will bring us many more.


OR IS IT? (Update: 06-30-2015)

Nope, it wasn't. And that's great news.


The pic is from Justice League 3000 #12 (feb 2015), and it shows the Blue Beetle and Booster Gold of what I like to call "Earth-Bwah-Ha-Ha" (hey, the term kind of got a blog laugh from J.M. DeMatteis), a continuity in which the events after I Can't Believe It's Not The Justice League are completely different from what was published by DC. This means that Identity Crisis, Countdown, 52 and all the stories that turned the lives of Ralph and Sue, along characters like Maxwell Lord, Blue Beetle and Rocket Red into deaths and tragedies didn't happen. Instead, we get a number of extra birthday mysteries for Ralph, including the one Blue Beetle is talking about in the picture.  

In this continuity, sometime after the events of  I Can't Believe It's Not The Justice League, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, disappear when the Super Buddies were having a surprise party for Ralph and wake up some 3000 years in the future. This means that, although they didn't plan it, their disappearance became the 7th published birthday mystery, and, since Ralph obviously didn't find them, we can assume it's the only one he never solved...