Monday, September 27, 2004

Elongated Man Spotlight

A lot of fans may have been exposed for the first time to Ralph "Elongated Man" Dibny and his wife Sue through a certain high selling miniseries DC Comics is putting out. I've seen lots of comments "I don't know who these characters were, but I sure liked how they were used here." or "Ah these two never had a personality or any importance anyway." to those who have had a problem with their handling.

I just wanted to spotlight briefly a story dealing with the characters that brought them into my "heart" as favorites. Maybe someone who just found them through "that miniseries" might even want to look these up if they have interest in reading who these characters were.

Secret Origins #30
September 1998 $1.50

This issue retells Ralph's origin in a very inspiring way, as Ralph and Sue have come to Ralph's old hometown to celebrate his 30th birthday. Ralph doesn't get along with his family, and relates his troubles with them (and thus his origin) to his friend Wally "The Flash" West who is also from the area and was visiting.

The most interesting part of Ralph's life, and proving the old description "his better half", is how he met his wife Sue at her coming out debutante party. Sue's wit and sense of adventure matches well with Ralph's active life style.

I really enjoyed how when they discussed their feelings for each other. Unlike other fictional couples whose love is usually described as at "first sight" or "never ending." They admit that they didn't really love one another instantly, but saw things in each other that they liked. Detailing how their love just grew into being, making for a deeper and more realistic feel to me as a reader.

The two really compliment each other, yet I got the feeling that the two could live without each other as well. Yet they choose to be with each other because they make each other happy and are better together than when apart.

I like how rather than just detailing the bare facts of Ralph's origin, as many origins do, they surround it with a story that add something to the character. Ralph is someone that seems to instantly connect with most other heroes, so seeing him in a situation where he feels the odd man out was something new.

Seeing how it resolves itself, and how even someone as keenly observant as Ralph can misinterpret things about himself. Makes for a very enjoyable read, that I think is a must for anyone wanting to know what Ralph and Sue were about as characters.


Anonymous said...

Hey, James. I think the recently released STARMAN collection has some very fine Ralph and Sue material in it, too. Just a perfect capture of what made them unique, if this is the run I'm thinking of.

James Schee said...

Cool, I never really got into Starman so I'll have to check that out. I'm on a real Ralph & Sue jag right now, trying to track down as many stories with them as I can. (and can afford)

Anonymous said...

They appear to a lesser extent (I think) in the previous collection, STARS AS MY DESTINATION, too. Basically, Starman is headed off into space and asks a variety of heroes -- E-Man and Sue, Black Condor, some others -- to watch over his city during his absence. I think there's a solo Ralph and Sue detective story in there somewhere, and they play a big role in the conclusion of GRAND GUINGOL.