Thursday, July 8, 2010

CBR Elongated Man: Europe '92


Remember my Plastic-Man review when I talked briefly about the Elongated Man's creation?

Elongated Man was created by DC Comics in the Flash issue #112 in 1960, because, and I quote, "[We] didn't think we had the rights to use Plastic Man, when in fact [we] just had bought and obtained the rights to use all of Quality Comics created series in 1956".>

Well, I thought I should give Ralph is own little spotlight here as well :'3
Here's a new review of a little forgotten mini-series!


Comic title: Elongated Man: EUROPE'92
Written by Gerard Jones
Art by Mike Parobeck & Ty Templeton
Colors by Rick Taylor

Published by DC Comics
From 1992
Lineup Elongated Man/JLI
Format: Elongated Man vol. 1 issues #1-4.

While he's never been as popular as Reed Richards nor as well loved as Plastic Man, Elongated Man is another "stretchy-superhero", this one from DC Comics.
He's never been as popular, perhaps because he's never really been much used in comics...

Elongated Man is mostly known for starting out in comics as another Flash villain, but instead of  going against the scarlet speedster again and again like the Trickster or Captain Cold, he turned into one of the good guys as soon as he could.

While Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic, may sound like a similar kind of character, his scientist and leader background made Reed shine in cosmic and epic stories.
And Plastic Man, also actually a former villain-turned-hero, ended up more of a comedic/parodic character using slapstick situations and a cartoony use of his powers.
Elongated Man wasn't made for those cartoony/parodic stories nor the more serious interstellar adventures. No, he's the detective one, like he often says himself.

Ralph and Sue Dibny travel across Europe!

Europe '92 tells the story of the early european conferences and discussions that ended up some years later with the European and Monetary unions (in '93 and '99 respectively), from the DC universe point of view!

Not fan of politics? Don't worry! This here is a fun adventure and mystery story across Europe featuring "France's favorite american super-hero!".

The story follows Ralph Dibny a.k.a. The world famous Elongated Man while he's been invited alongside his wife Susan to assist at the various conferences across different countries.
Then grotesque supervillains start to wreck havoc and target some representants and it's up to Elongated Man to figure what's going on, for what purpose and who's orchestrating the attacks...

The new world order is in jeopardy!
Politicians are dying! 

Ridiculous villains are running rampant in europe!

While Batman got the greatest crazy villains, Spidey the cult classics ones, the Flash the Rogues,
Elongated has....the EuroCrime!!

This here is a pretty fun story, light hearted and well constructed.
No need to have a serious nor deep knowledge of the Elongated Man, the DC universe nor comic books in general.

This story takes place during the BWAHAHA-Justice League International-era.
It's to this very day the only real series Elongated Man had (at least until this day).

It's a very original look at a real life event, the European Union, from the not-so-serious perspective of Ralph.
Rick Taylor is pretty good and smart writer. His story criticises and parodies people's view on the world, our different behaviours. There's fun at European's expenses, sure but at Americans' as wells. It doesn't end up being stereotypical and Ralph/Elongated Man stays our main focus and reasoning behind the other characters.

Anyway, it's something not to be taken to seriously!
With villains like l'Escargot, il Calamari, Copperhead or Die Wurstwaffe!!


Overall, it's a recommended read, that is if you wanna check out something about a strechy character, superheroes fighting colorful villains all wrapped around a European event from the 90s!

Elongated Man doesn't appear that much (and won't be that able now...) , he only shined in the JLI comic runs and during the DC event 52.
If you like the character, wanna check out is solo title (which was more of a JLI-spinoff/side story) or are just interested in a good read, it's something you should definitively check out sometime!

Sadly, DC Comics never reprinted it in paperback form, so your best chances is to find those old copies! It's not very difficult to come by nowadays and the prices should be pretty reasonable where you'll find it. (try finding it with the old issues in your comic store!)

All in all, it's a great mini-series! Elongated Man makes quite a fun detective to follow, my only complaint would be that we don't see that many countires in this "Europe '92" series... (as the covers imply)

I give it:
  2 / 3 Plastic-trophies!

2 comments:

  1. Not a lot of heroes can have a well rounded group of villains, huh? (And only Copperhead I recognise, thanks to the Justice League cartoon)

    Now this I gotta check out someday, if I run across it. The setting does sound intriguing enough to me.

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  2. Only Copperhead was a "real" DC villain! The other were all created for this miniserie! (and re-used for the JLI once or twice)
    They were mostly silly villains, like the Saussage german team "die Wurstwaffe" :P

    If you find one or two issues of this series, don't miss it out!

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