Elongated Man - Fictional Character Biography

Fictional Character Biography

As a teenager, Ralph Dibny was fascinated by contortionists, or people who displayed feats of agility and suppleness. He learned that all of the body-benders he spoke with drank a popular soda called "Gingold." Ralph set to work learning chemistry and developed a super-concentrated extract of the rare "gingo" fruit of the Yucatan, which gave him his elasticity. In his first appearance, the Flash suspects the Elongated Man is behind several crimes, but the Elongated Man helps capture the criminals, who reveal they used a helicopter to frame him.

Ralph Dibny was one of the earliest Silver Age DC heroes to reveal his secret identity to the public, and also one of the first to marry his love interest. After teaming up with several other superheroes like Batman, Green Lantern, the Atom, Zatanna and the Justice League of America, he became a member of the team. Eventually, his wife became a member as well. The couple was also notable in having a stable, happy, and relatively trouble-free marriage — an anomaly in the soap operatic annals of comic books. Fans of the characters often referred to Ralph and Sue as the "Nick and Nora Charles of the super-hero set" (a reference to The Thin Man movies). The very novelty of the Elongated Man stories was that unlike most superheroes, including the Detective Comics Batman, Ralph Dibny solved mysteries, often challenging the reader to do the same. He didn't just use his extraordinary powers or gadgets to chase criminals, but recalled the problem-solving of a genre just that bit older than superheroes: the tale of mystery and detection.

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