Thursday, April 14, 2011

$#*! my Elongated Man says!

Over years of publication history, Ralph has said some cool or funny stuff; so, I decided to keep track of them in this post.

Ralph's first words, from the cover of Flash #112 (not particularly notorious, but the first, nonetheless):
"Flash thinks he's about to capture me -- but by stretching out my body -- can capture him!"

One of my favorite dialogues is from Justice League Unlimited episode "The Greatest Story Never Told".
Booster Gold: Is there a chance you could stop complaining for five minutes?
Elongated Man: Hey, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, my friend. But I'll tell you one thing: I wouldn't help those ingrates now if they begged me...
Wonder Woman: We need you.
Booster Gold: It's about time.
Wonder Woman: Not you. Him.
Elongated Man: Squeaky wheel.
Skeets: Maybe they needed a vase.
Detective Comics #430
When Batman shows up, crooks quake! When I show up, they panic!
 Realworlds JLA:

Girl playing Wonder Woman: Why do you [Superman] put up with him?
Kid playing Elongated Man (proudly): Because I provide lighthearted comic relief.
 From Identity Crisis #1:
“But that’s why ice cream stores don’t just sell chocolate and vanilla. Every once in awhile, someone walks in and orders butter pecan.   
She’s met everyone. Batman, Flash, Arthur, Hal – she’s seen Hawkman with the hairy chest thing going.  C’mon, she’s looked directly into Superman’s melt-your heart baby blues–”   
And she STILL chose me”

Formerly Known as the Justice League #2:
L-Ron: Humans a species can stretch.
Elongated Man: Of course not. It just so happens that I drink from an elixir made from the essence of a rare tropical fruit and -- That sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?
L-Ron: Only if one thinks about it, sir.

Formerly Known as the Justice League #6:

Sue: [...] Well, I've got a newsflash for you, Batman! Muscleheads in funny costumes are a dime a dozen! We don' need your help!
Batman:   Living with Ralph is really getting to you, isn't it?
 Sue: Ralph! Batman just insulted you!
Elongated Man: I'll add him to the list!
Plastic Man: So, you're telling me you've never once turned into a fire hydrant?
Elongated Man: A fire Hydrant? With G'nort around?!
Plastic Man: Well, then, how about a car or a lawn chair or—
Elongated Man: Having a litle identity crisis, are we? I know this fantastic therapist on the Upper West Side who—

Flash: Mary Marvel?! He got beaten up by a girl?! BWAH, HA, HAAAA!
Elongated Man: What did you just say?
Flash: Uh-- "Bwah-ha-ha?
Elongated Man: How woefully passe.

Formerly Known as the Justice League #1:
Y'know, at some point I was so desperate, I came close to joining the new Doom Patrol!

$#*! my Susan says!

Formerly Known as the Justice League #1:

Sue: After he forum this site, I didn’t see him for a month.
Maxwell Lord: A mixed blessing, I assume.
Sue: I love him. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
$#*! people say about the Elongated Man!

I've noticed that these words from Ralph's first solo adventure (Detective Comics #327) have captured the attention of some hardcore Elongated Man fans. It's not surprising, they are kinda catchy:
Some crook: An ear -- In the fireplace!
They should use them in the next animated adaptation of Ralph!

Brad Meltzer on Elongated Man (courtesy of Wizard Magazine):  
"So underestimated, it's not even funny.  I'll go on record and say it:  I do not think Plastic Man should have ever been in the Justice League [...] people think [that] they're interchangeable, but they're not.  Ralph [Dibny] isn't this comedic character—he's a detective second only to Batman.  And he and [wife] Sue make on of the best teams since Batman and Robin pulled out their magnifying glasses."

I'll keep adding more quotes as I find them. If you find some material that should be included, please mention it on the comments section of this post (you'll be properly credited).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kid Flash Meets the Elongated Man!

Ok, time for a new post. In this case one that is long overdue:
Flash # 130, "Kid Flash Meets the Elongated Man!" (Aug 1962).
Title: "Kid Flash Meets the Elongated Man!"
Issue: The Flash No. 130
Date: August 1962
Format: 11-page second feature.
Editor: Julius Schwartz
Writer: John Broome
Penciller:Carmine Infantino
Inker: Joe Giella
Main characters: The Elongated Man (5th appearance, last seen in The Flash #124), Kid Flash (10th appearance, last seen in The Flash #127).
Supporting Characters: The Flash (last seen in The Flash #130/1).
Villains: The Weather Wizard (2nd appearance, last seen in The Flash #110).
Setting: Goldville in Oakley County (Norwest USA), Blue Valley.
Stolen Item: The spring of Oakley County.
Mystery: Why is it winter in Oakley County?
Method: Exploring the place. 
This is the first time:
  • The Elongated Man meets and team up with Kid Flash.
  • The Elongated Man has an adventure without the Flash.
If the title is not explicit enough about the content of the story, lets see if the teaser splash does the trick:
Get it? It's Kid Flash teaming up with the Elongated Man against the Weather Wizard in a story titled "Kid Flash Meets the Elongated Man!", which might or might not involve a super punch.

It's funny how the silver age writer's concept of mystery was using the word "mystery" in the title. Ok, to be fair, in many there's mystery or the protagonists, but the story gives it all away for the readers. I mean, instead of using the image of the Weather Wizard to try to make the teaser attractive, they could have done a cold opener; and instead of Flash assigning the mission to Wally, they could have shocked the kid with a creepy stretchy guy showing up in his house saying he knows he's the Kid Flash. Anyways... I'm digressing.

Back on track: this story is the 5th appearance of the Elongated Man (the second story if his fighting Flash's rogues era), the 10th of Kid Flash and the second of the Weather Wizard. Flash only appears in the introduction. I'm getting the impression writers started shuffling characters as a mean to avoid monotony. Given the title, it's needless to say this is the first time Wally and Ralph team-up; their friendship is revisited during the JLE era.

Flash goes to Blue Valley to recruit Kid Flash to join the Elongated Man on a mission. Mark Waid will establish in the post-Crisis continuity that Blue Valley is in NE, just as Waymore, the city that, at some point (I do not know in which issue, do you?), is established as the birthplace and childhood hometown of Ralph. Anyway, the story starts with a very creepy introduction.
Good thinking, Barry! A grown man wearing skin tight spandex probably shouldn't be seen along with a child in his bedroom.
But as the story starts looking like a "very special episode" of Blossom, Flash elaborates.
"The Celebrated Elongated Man"; both Flash's comment and the caption in this story reinforce the fame that the Elongated Man has within the DCU. Note how Ralph sings his regular name in the letter. Newspapers published that Sue married the Elongated Man in  Flash #119, but the status of his secret identity won't be specified until the issue after this one.
So Flash doesn't want to molest the incredibly young Wally West, he just wants to send the child in his place to fight thugs with an Elongated Man. Somewhat better. If I was Wally I'd prefer the negligence to the abuse.
Nothing like some great 60s parenting. It's remarkable how that's not negligent at all.
Anyway, Kid Flash goes to the hotel room of another grown man in spandex, to see what "aroused his curiosity".
Check out the "Ace Hight Hotel"! I love Carmine's sense of architectural design!
I have to admit that in 18 years of reading comics I never noticed that Kid Flash first uniform was equal to that of his mentor. So, in the end, Flash: Rebirth is not the first time that we have two Flashes wearing the same uniform.

By the nature of the case (which wasn't a big deal), and what Ralph has done so far to solve it (he didn't even explore the area), it's clear that he was just recruiting help to share the adventure. Then again, there's a reason cops work with partners.

They cross the frozen surroundings. Basically nothing they couldn't do alone.
 And there goes the mystery, not like the Weather Wizard in the cover wasn't a dead giveaway. So, yadda, yadda, yadda...
Once we learn the villain is just pulling a racketeering scheme, it's just a matter of a couple of pages before the villain is behind bars.

The story, as all the previous, authored by Broome, is pretty much going from A to B. Shuffling characters was a good idea, but it's not enough. Personally, I think it could have used a twist or a McGuffin. Compare it with The Space-Boomerang Trap!, for instance. One good thing I can say about the plot is that it reminds me a bit of Superman: The Animated Series' episode Speed Demons, which is a great thing. Infantino and Giella's art is flawless as always.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Top 20 Elongated Man Deviantart

Here is my favorite Dibny material from Deviantart.

Honorable mention: ME! Rafa Rivas' "Dibny Roll"

I became a fan with the Super Buddies-Identity Crisis-52 era, and this drawing was made around those times. Back then, I had just learned how to color with Photoshop and thought Ralph hugging Sue would be original (ha, ha, how naive). To me, this is one unsatisfying drawing. The feathering is weird, the "shining lights" in Sue's hair looks like gay hair, she has freakishly tiny feet, Ralph's legs are too weird. 

20. Reepicheep-Chan's "Baseball and Metahumans"

I like that this girl included Professor Impossible (The Venture Bros.) and Rubberband Man (Static Shock).

19. Jenny Park's "Ralphina is a Classy Name"
I decided to include this one because the characterization is pretty good. I love how fans always ignore what happened with Max and portray him at his best.

Ralph looks a bit old with those eyebrows. Hard to believe he's not smelling a mystery in that scene.
17. Jack's ("Perpetual Insomniac") "Blanket" 

As grouse as cute, which is often the case with a lot of stuff that Ralph does.

16. "Spider Guile's" "Elongated Man Preliml"

The pose kinda reminds me of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Like many of the people that made it to this humble gallery, I think Guile is almost a pro. It's interesting to see that out of all the artists here, he's the one with the most conventional comic book artist style. A lot of the others seem to have more animation or Japanese influences. Guile lives in France and accepts commissions; here's a link to his Comic Art Gallery @ ComicArtFans.

15. Diego Gallegos' "Ralph Dibny"

Diego loves the Dibnys and is into japanimation, consequently, the result had t be a mix. I found a lot of Japanese influence among the Elongated Man's fans. 
14. Jack's ("Perpetual Insomniac") "Practical Problems"
This is the kind of fun thing I could definitively see Ralph doing in order to spy on someone. Sherlock used to pull stuff like that too.

13. Kyle Latino's "A Ralph and Sue Dibny Romantic Mystery"

Based on a Blackshirt cover, this image has the Dibnys following closer than ever the tradition of The Thin Man. Just for reference, the Elongated Man is a character from the 60s, and his lifestyle reflected so; however, his adventures were clearly inspired by the golden age of detective fiction.

10 - 12. Jack's ("Perpetual Insomniac") "Morning", "A Very Dibny Christmas" and "I Love This Life".


I put three drawings in the same section because the same comments apply to the three, which were all done by Jack. If there's something he is brilliant at is color range. This has to be the best rendering of an elongated man drawing I've ever seen. 

Honorable Mention: "SailorBetch's" "Elongated Vase"
Ok, I just added this one because I found the Justice League Unlimited reference quite funny.

9. "DarkNailbunny's" "Elongated Man Amigurumi"

I do not know what an amigurumi is, but that's a nice stuffed doll. Yeah, it's not a drawing, but it's great fan art, so it deserves a spot here. "DarkNailbunny" went minimal with this one, but she has some impressive stuff in her portfolio. Make sure you check it out.

8. Hannah's (Busterella) "Superbuddies: TAS"

The middle row is my favorite. Just spot on for me. However, that's the best Fire costume I've ever seen and I love how Ice's boots simulate cold air flowing. This is Busterella's ideal line-up, but I can't help but notice how a lot of people include Barda in JLI crowds (she was never a member). This version of Ralph's uniform has to be one of the best. She really made the JLU collar work. Sue looks perfect. One defect of Maguire's Sue is that she looks like a soccer mom instead of the cute fashionista she's supposed to be.

7. Laura Truxillo's "Li'l League"
Cute, aren't they?
I think this girl might be a professional cartoonist. She's spot on wit her characterizations. And again, there's the Barda thing. Wally and PG were some of the longest lasting members and she's not even a member, but she certainly caught the attention of JLI fans.

6. Craig Cermak's (inks by Carli Ihde) Elongated Man

Well, that's Ralph in a nutshell: A detective stretcher.

5. Kevin A. Voith's Ryan Styles as the Elongated Man
Is there any doubt about the model for this portrait? If somebody was crazy enough to produce a Super Buddies sitcom or movie, Ryan Styles should play Ralph. Oddly enough, some of Rags Morales' art for Identity Crisis, Ralph does look like Ryan. 

The costume is a combination of the JLI era costume and the one from Justice League Unlimited

4. Jason Brown's "The Super Buddies"
This is not Ralph-centric, but it's one hell of a pic. I love the way the shading was done; kind of like an animated series. I wish comics used that style more often.

3. Jack's ("Perpetual Insomniac") "Old-Time Classy Detectives"
I find this colored sketch very interesting. It has some fairly obvious mistakes, like Ralph's hand being out of proportion (then again, he might be stretching it) or Sue's arm being too thick (then again, women were chubbier back then); but the concept is just too good, and the coloring and shading too nice (and fit for the early Victorian era). 
Tying the Elongated Man to the early years of western detective fiction is a nice idea. He's normally associated with Holmes (mostly thanks to Mike W. Barr), but he's also a big Edgar Allan Poe fan and an expert in the entire genre so this is a smart tribute.  

2. Kyle Latino's "The Phantom of the Stage"

This other image by Kyle has the same golden age of detective fiction spirit; however, I can't help but feel that there's a Scooby Doo nod.

1. Hannah's (Busterella) "Dibnys Doodledump-1"

Yeah, this girl got it right. Sue's fashion sense, Ralph's stretching, even the face expressions. The Elongated Woman  tribute indicates that she's even familiar with classic stories. This art tyle definitively works for the Dibnys.

Oh, one more thing. Does anybody know the author of this image?:
Mysterious image.
It's funny how Sue pops up more often in fan art than in official stuff.

See also:
UPDATE 09-16-12

Wunderchio and Almond077's Elongated Lass

It's Ralphina!! All grown up! I stll have to dig, but the Elongated Lass apparently appeared in an issue of Superboy, which inspired the creation of this piace. Link.

TheJason10's Elongated Man character design for Justice League
DiDio should take notes from this guy. Or better, just hire him.

BeeBoyNYCs Sue Dibny

I think it's his best work! She looks so Sue!

Steven GarcĂ­a's 'Perception'