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Ralph Dibny
The Elongated Man
Continuity: DC Universe
Notability: Supporting character
Type: Superhero
Gender: Male
Race: Altered human
Location: Waymore, Nebraska
Known relatives: Sue Dibny (wife)
Status: Deceased
First: The Flash, Vol 1 #112
Final: 52, Week #42

The Elongated Man, real name: Ralph Dibny, is a fictional superhero featured in comic books published by DC Comics. He was originally introduced as part of Earth-One continuity, but his existence and history has been maintained in the Post-Crisis era of DC's publishing history. He first appeared in flashback in "The Mystery of the Elongated Man!" story from The Flash, Volume 1 #112 in April-May, 1960.

Biography Edit

The Elongated Man's real name is Ralph Dibny. Having always been fascinated by tales of Indian rubber men, Ralph sought to learn the ways of their craft. After several failed attempts to divine their secrets, he eventually discovered a rare root called Gingo, which when distilled, altered a person's physiology to give them enhanced flexibility. Mixed with a soft drink called Gingold, Dibny experimented with the root and developed the ability to stretch any part of his body to extreme lengths. [1][2]

In addition to his newly-acquired pliancy, Ralph Dibny also fancied himself an amateur detective, and developed a passion for solving mysteries. As he would often joke, his nose would wiggle whenever a mystery was afoot.

Ralph became romantically involved with a debutante named Susan Dearbon. Sue learned about Ralph's stretching ability and the two were eventually married. Ralph became a private investigator with Sue often working as his partner to investigate strange cases. As a costumed superhero, the Elongated Man became a member of the Justice League of America. He remained with the group off and on, eventually returning to them during the Justice League Detroit era. [3] Following the dissolution of this team, Ralph and Sue became part of Justice League Europe. They remained with the group for quite a number of months, eventually leaving following the ""Breakdowns" affair. [4]

Ralph and Sue went to Paris, France to attend the the Pan-European Economic Conference. Along the way, Ralph prevented the assassin Copperhead from murdering an important French finance minister. He nearly captureed the villain, but suddenly Warp appeared and transported Copperhead to safety.

That night, Ralph and Sue attended the conference. As they mingle amongst Europe's most important financial leaders, Sue has a chance encounter with Bito Wladon, the Archduke of Modora. Neither Ralph nor Sue realized that Bito was also the costumed criminal known as Sonar.

Meanwhile, a strange super-powered terrorist named L'Escargot raided the conference and killed the French ambassador. Ralph sprang into action, but it was actually Sonar who stopped L'Escargot's rampage with undulating waves of sonic force.

That evening, Ralph and Sue retired to their hotel rooms. Sue was disturbed by some of Bito's comments concerning their marriage, and Ralph and she get into an argument. They finally made peace with one another, with Ralph asking what would make her feel better. Sue told him that she wanted to go to Sonar's kingdom, Modora. [5] Ralph reluctantly agreed to go, if only to keep an eye on Sue. Bito continued to flirt with her, and Ralph's jealousy and anger continued to grow. He eventually learned that Bito was in fact Sonar, though Wladon denided this.

The next leg of Ralph and Sue's European tour brought them Rome, Italy, where the Elongated Man fought against a costumed lunatic calling himself Il Calamari, who had attacked the Tariff Conference. Ralph met with members of the Pan-European Economic Conference, and got into another scuffle with Warp and Copperhead. Il Calamari joined the fight and together they nearly defeated the Elongated Man until the timely arrival of the Flash. [6]

The conference seemed to attract aggressors from the most bizarre walks of life, including the five-man terrorist squad of sausage enthusiasts known as the Wurstwaffe. Ralph had his back turned when the Wurstwaffe first laid siege to the conference hall and was unprepared when the leader of the group smacked him in the back of the head with a giant sausage. Believing him unconscious, they prepared to load him into their specially-designed escape vehicle, the Wurstwagen, but Ralph surprised them and managed to shape his body into a large sling that sent the corpulent villains flying out into the street. [7][8]

Ralph's carefree fun-loving lifestyle suffered great tragedy was Sue was accidentally murdered by the emotionally disturbed Jean Loring - ex-wife of Ralph's JLA comrade, the Atom. [9]

Following the death of his wife, Sue Dibny, Ralph Dibny stopped drinking his Gingold serum, and retired his Elongated Man hero identity. He came upon a mystical artifact known as the Wishing Gun. Lapsing into suicidal depression, Ralph wished to be with Sue again. He received word that his wife's gravestone at Elysium Cemetery had been de-faced. Investigating the matter, he discovered an inverted Superman symbol spray-painted upon the stone. He tracked the vandals to a group called the Cult of Conner. The Cult observed Kryptonian traditions and named themselves for the fallen super-hero Conner Kent. Counted among their number was the Teen Titan, Cassandra Sandsmark.

Ralph learned that the Cult had discovered a Kryptonian rite of resurrection. They disinterred the remains of Sue Dibny and used her in part of a mystic ritual. Ralph didn't truly believe that such a thing could work, but he remained with the Cult for a brief period just to be sure. The resurrection ritual did not bring adequate results, and Ralph was alone once again.

He began investigating new leads into the matter and learned about Whisper A’Daire and her Intergang crime-cult. This brought him into contact with the unfettered Helmet of Fate. The Helmet promised Ralph the chance to be with his wife again, but doing so required collecting several mystical artifacts including the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath.

Ralph followed the Helmet's instructions and collected the various relics. He brought them back to Fate's Tower in Salem, Massachusetts where he prepared to conduct another ritual. Instead, he actually cast a binding spell, trapping himself and the helmet inside the Tower.

It was at this moment that the true essence of Fate revealed itself. The warlock Felix Faust had been spiritually residing within the helmet and guiding Ralph along. Being a detective however, Ralph knew for quite some time that Felix had been pulling his strings and had prepared for it. After beating him to the floor, Ralph questioned Faust as to why he had been trying to manipulate him. Faust confessed that his soul was in service to the demon, Neron, and he could only be free of him if he offered up a pure soul in exchange for his own.

Neron appeared inside the tower to collect his prize, but Ralph only taunted him. Using Ralph's wedding band as a projectile weapon, Neron fired it like a bullet, killing Dibny. Ralph Dibny had the last laugh however. He was the only one who could cancel the binding spell inside the tower. Now, Neron was trapped inside along with Faust. [10]

Ralph's soul was reunited with that of his late wife Sue and together they became a team of ghost detectives. [11]

Adventures Edit

Ralph and Sue Dibny restored order to the small town of Powderkeg, which had been menaced by Buck Morton and the Morton Brothers. [12]

Notes & Trivia Edit

See also Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit



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