Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The world-famous Elongated Man

The Comic Treadmill - Stretching Exercises
Normally a man with nerves of steel, Mag is totally grossed out by scenes wherein Elongated Man pops out his eyes.
As am I, my friend. As much as I love Ralph Dibny (I mean, isn't it obvious?), it's a long, long suspension of disbelief between the "super-India-rubber-man" he originally claimed to be and a guy who can stretch his hair and eyeballs.
In the Elongated Man solo series the criminals were, without exception, ridiculously stupid. The kind that in real life make for those great comic relief articles in the light-hearted look at the news sections of newspapers and Darwin Awards web sites. Good for a chuckle, but it doesn’t reflect well on the protagonist when all he faces are the low hanging fruit of the criminal world.
One must remember that the Elongated Man came to be in the year 1960, when there were less than a dozen super-heroes, and each of them tended to stay on his own "turf". It was a rare threat that drew Superman out of Metropolis or Batman out of Gotham City. You would sooner find either of them on some other planet than in Coast City or Midway City. Yet Ralph alone had no home base.

For this reason, he tended to run into criminals who had never encountered a super-hero before, and had certainly made no contingency plans in the event they did. They weren't stupid, at least not at first: In fact, I could make a case for their intelligence by pointing out that they were planning their activities for areas not served by resident super-heroes.

And it would have worked, too, if not for those nosy kids -- I mean, if not for that twitchy-nosed rubber man.

This also supported the plot device of Ralph being his own press agent, eager to spread the word throughout his travels that the World-Famous Elongated Man was in town.

Nonetheless, I shall be avidly following H's quest to tally every use of Elongated Man's namesake power. I'm all the more excited that next time, barring some minor miracle, he should reach the watershed event that gives this blog its name.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jason who?

Hang on. This comic is twenty years old?

Holy stunt arc, Batman!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Whose Spirit?

When my dearest friend and I saw The Dark Knight a few weeks ago, we also saw a trailer for the upcoming Spirit movie. We saw:
  • Almost abstract visuals.
  • Breathtaking women (OK, they got that right)
  • Highly improbable women's names (absolutely true to the originals, yes, but my friend turned to me and said "They're all strippers, right?")
  • One lone spot of color, a red tie
There's no doubt that this movie is going to be visually stunning. However, it appears that it will also be, as billed, Frank Miller's The Spirit.

Fortunately, thanks to DC Comics' Archives program, Will Eisner's The Spirit can always be appreciated in its pretty much original form. (The original newspaper supplements had larger pages, and the reproduction suffers in places, but it'll do.)

Graeme McMillan at io9 has a similar "unrant" entitled Why Frank Miller's Spirit Can Only Fail.