After decades as a C-list comic relief superhero, the Elongated Man finally has his moment.
And that’s basically what the weekly 52 series was all about. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were absent for a year of DC’s continuity, allowing other characters time in the spotlight, such as Booster Gold, Renee Montoya, Animal Man, and others, even strechy guy Ralph Dibny. Different storylines featured different characters, showcasing various aspects of the DC Universe throughout the course of the year. The 52-issue series was quite an achievement in rapidly produced serialized storytelling (even if it did lead to the company’s obsession with the number 52), giving us lots of fantastic issues along the way.
While most issues made room for multiple storylines, issue #42 is almost entirely given to the climax of Ralph’s arc. And it’s a tremendous payoff that demonstrates why the Justice League kept the silly stretchy around for so many years, as a grief-stricken Elongated Man is able to employ his considerable detective skills to outwit a particularly powerful opponent.
Very nice to see a perennial C-lister get to shine, and to see an underdog triumph.
But don’t start with this issue—read the whole series.
Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, George Rucka, Mark Waid
Layouts: Keith Giffen
Artist: Darick Robertson
Publisher: DC Comics
How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; 52 vol. 4 (TPB)
Appropriate For: 12 and up