Dibny Dirt: Mistakes and IncongruitiesBetween writers who just didn't have the proper facts at hand, and Keith Giffen who just doesn't give a rat's @! about continuity, several mistakes and mis-characterizations have occured in Elongated Man's 30+ years. I'm going to attempt to catalog them.
In many cases, I believe Gerard Jones' interpretation of Ralph to be the most loving of the character, and generally fault in favor of any issue he's written with a few exceptions!
Lllllllllllllllllllllllet's get ready to quibblllllllllllllllle:
In JLA (Second Series) #60, Sue reminisces about being married by a judge and spending their honeymoon in Vegas in direct contrast to the church wedding and scuba-diving honeymoon in Secret Origins #30. I don't know who's wrong here, since I haven't read the original marriage/honeymoon issue in Flash, but I'm betting it's Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis in JLA. Keith and J.M. are great writers but lousy at research. BUT we do have a way out, here. First, Sue says there was a judge at the wedding, but she doesn't say that he conducted it; the judge may have been a friend of the Dearbon's. And the newlyweds may have spent four days in a cheap Vegas hotel before departing for their scuba diving vacation. (Come on if you'd just married a guy who could stretch any part of his body, would YOUR honeymoon's first priority be boating?)
These "errors" are just my opinion, really based on Elongated Man's powers as defined in Who's Who and by their portrayal in every other EM story I've seen. Many other readers are of the opinion that anything published must be canonical. I feel that a majority of contradictory evidence should outweigh one or two stories, and I'm not afraid to take even the most respected of Elongated Man authors to task to wit:
In the final issue of the JLE "Deconstructo" saga, Ralph tries to confuse Deconstrucfo by becoming a post-modern warped art figure. Fine except that, as you can see, Ralph opens holes in his body! He even has a hole through his head! This is clearly beyond Ralph's abilities. Ralph is a human with super-stretchable and somewhat-formable abilities, but his insides contain an actual skeleton, guts, a brain, etc. He's not a shapechanger like Metamorpho, J'onn J'onzz or Star Trek's Odo, who are able to restructure themselves at a biological/chemical level. This is the big difference between Ralph and Plastic Man, too; Plastic Man has been chemically transformed into a big ball of actual putty, so that (for instance) bullets can pass through his body and the holes can seal themselves.
Now, this may have been an interpretation on the part of artist Ron Randall, who let his creativity get the better of him. I hope this is the case, because I'd hate to think that Gerard Jones was really making the case that Ralph can do this!
If you STILL don't think I'm right here, ask yourself this how does he make holes in his costume?
Now, here's something I KNOW he can't do!
In Elongated Man: Europe '92 #3, Ralph transforms his hand into a bulldog and gives this poor wiener dog a heart attack.
Now, when I first saw this, it was final proof that Mike Parobeck's interpretation of Elongated Man was just too cartoony for my tastes. I've appreciated Mr. Templeton's work on other projects, but I was hoping this series wouldn't just be a humor comic. Because let's face it, humor comics die a quick death in today's market and a main character who's funny doesn't necessitate a farcical approach. Gerard Jones' story is actually quite serious (Eurocrime villains aside), and I can't help but wonder how it would've fared with artwork by another EM artist such as Carmine Infantino or Alan Grant (who did a superior job in Detective Comics #572). Back to my quibble here:
First, I don't think Ralph can get THAT detailed with his "hand puppets"; as I explained above, he can expertly manipulate his muscles but he doesn't control his cellular structure. More to the point, an incredible hand puppet would still resemble a hand!
I may be getting way too serious about this, so let me ask a simple question: how does Ralph get his hand to growl?
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