A Year of Cool Comics – Day 217
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we look at Gerry Jones and Mike Parobeck’s Elongated Man mini-series!
The Elongated Man mini-series is a nice snapshot of the wonderful relationship that Ralph and Sue Dibny had, and how effective it could be as a comic book storytelling device.
In this series, Ralph and Sue are doing a tour of Europe as part of the Unity of Europe tour in 1992 (a prelude to the European Union), and Ralph, of course, can sense a mystery. Meanwhile, Sue runs into a charismatic and mysterious man from Modora..
While I thoroughly enjoyed Keith Giffen and John Marc DeMatteis’ (I threw in the correct spelling of his first name just for your edification) Justice League run, one legitimate complaint that I could see was the way that occasionally Giffen would take a decent enough villain and then just turn him into a total sad sack, thus somewhat robbing the character of future impact (or at least forcing other writers to jump through hoops to get the character back to prominence).
In this series, for instance, Gerry Jones jumps through hoops to “redeem” the lead villain in this series, the aforementioned mysterious man of Modora – Sonar!
Giffen and DeMatteis had shown Sonar as a hapless fool who, along with a bunch of other villains, lost his super-weapon in a card game. Here, Jones reveals that that Sonar was just a fake sent by the REAL Sonar to make people underestimate him – it’s not a great solution, but it gave us a strong villain in Jones’ Sonar, so I can’t complain.
Parobeck absolutely nails the charming banter between Sue and Ralph – he does such a great job at expressions, and that’s really the key to Ralph Dibny, his expressive face.
Here is a scene from the final issue, showing Sonar at his most imposing…
Jones would later use Sonar as the main villain of a storyline in Justice League Europe (in the issues leading to that series becoming Justice League International).
This series was a worthwhile read, particularly for fans of the Elongated man and his wife!