The Flash's Elongated Man Has a History with Barry Allen


It sounds like the CW’s Arrowverse will be changing yet another character’s backstory. This time, the character with a brand-new history is Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man. Anyone familiar with the Elongated Man’s origins might understand why the changes was necessary.

Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in 1960, the Elongated Man first appeared in The Flash Vol. 1 #112 as a potential villain, but is later proven innocent of any crimes. Ralph’s backstory is a curious one. Basically, he was infatuated with contortionists as a kid and wanted to become one. He discovered that every contortionist he knew imbibed a gingo fruit called Yucatan, so he put his knowledge of science to use and created a super-powerful extract, thus giving him hyper-elastic powers.

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According to an interview with The Flash showrunner Todd Helbing, though, when the Elongated Man makes the jump to CW’s The Flash, he and Barry will already have a history – and not a pleasant one.

“Like in the comic books, he’s a private investigator,” Helbing said. “Ralph has detective skills that rival Batman’s. We tackle his abilities, which are going to be fun to do in live-action. We’re altering his backstory a little bit. He and Barry have this shared, checkered past. The two of them don’t get along from the onset.”

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What that shared past could be is anyone’s guess at this point, but the recent news that Ralph will be something of a habitual flirt has some fans excited for the new season’s tonal shift. By the way, that detail about Ralph is also something of a change for the character. In the comics, his relationship with his wife, Sue, is unique in that it’s fairly stable and lacking in the usual comic book marriage melodrama. Hopefully that aspect of the character gets explored at some point, too.

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