Stretch Book Reading Pals: September 2020: First Appearances!

Hello my plastic pals, and welcome to our very first book discussion! I am super excited to finally spring into action with this months reading. We only have 3 books for the month, but hopefully we can get some good discussion going. With this being our “first appearance”, I thought it would be fitting if we went through the first sightings of some of our favorite elastic heroes.

books for the month

MEET the Elongated Man!

GREET Rita Farr and her friends in the doom patrol!

SEE offspring enter main continuity for the first time!

Discussion Prompts
Note: these are just for getting discussion started. You don’t have to answer them to stretch into the conversation, and in fact, you can ask your own questions if you wanted!

  1. Did you have a favorite book this month?
    If so, what did you like most about it?

  2. How do you think these characters have changed as time has gone on?

  3. Is there anything that you think sets either the characters or stories apart?

Click here to join the DCUCs first super power based book club!


I just read the Elongated Man issue. I love seeing that old, horrible mask, but the big takeaway for me in this issue was that the second feature also had a character named Ralph. Like it was Ralph month when the issue came out, and I wholeheartedly approve.

Also, Kid Flash’s school is getting a trapeze.


Ralph Durbin?


Another Ralph! We have you surrounded!


I really liked the JLA issue. Maybe because I’m more comfortable reading newer comics. But I still liked the story a bit better than the other two.

I honestly don’t know too much about these characters. What I know is from the Flash TV show and the Doom Patrol show. But they all seem to have had consistent powers since their creation. But beyond that, I don’t know.

Hmm, not sure here. Rita’s story was rough for me because of all the other characters in the issue. Ralph’s was a little better because I know The Flash and he was the other big character.
But I still liked the JLA issue the best. I think because of how it was all presented. It was an origin, but it also kinda wasn’t. We saw the origin from an outside view, which is not usually done. So I liked how the story was told and what the story was.

I’ll stop rambling now. I liked all the issues this month. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’ve read 2 out of three in this year. Will report back after I read the third.

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Ok, It May be about 21 days after I had planned to do this, but time to respond and hopefully hype discussion back up…

With EM being my number 1 favorite elastic character, I have to say flash #112, though I did really really enjoy JLA # 65, It was a good look at Plas while also giving us offspring…

Character wise, it’s the limitations and abilities of their powers that vary from character to character… partly why I love elastic characters so much, not only are they all unique personality wise, elastic powers can be a little undefined at times, meaning that what that power specifically means can be different, and I kind of love that… it really helps each character feel unique

Makes sense :laughing:

Greatly put, I think you captured what I like about it as well :grin:

Looking forward to your report!

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Moving to top of list

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Nicely done with Bats and Plas, more on them and the rest tomorrow


In reverse order.
JLA #65 is not only a nice Plastic Man issue, but it’s a great Batman story too. For once, Batman isn’t a brooding complete jerk. It’s a persona he adopts when he needs to, but he really shows his empathy to both Plas and his kid. Batman believes in Plastic Man, or at least Plastic Man’s innate goodness, than Plastic Man does.
One of the first things you look for in any Plastic Man book is whether the artists is capable of capturing Plas’ humor and insanity. Plenty here to chose from. Mahnke know how to do Plastic.
plas and bats
This is just one really small example, but that’s what makes it great. It’s just a fleeting image and it’s perfect.

Lovely Rita (not) a Meter Maid, Nothing can come between us, When it gets dark I tow your heart away.
Read the original Doom Patrol run with the Doom Patrol Club and gotta say, it was the consensus of the group the Rita was by far the best character in the book. For a Silver Age book, Rita really shines as a female character, pulling the boys butts out of the fire more than once. What’s also noticeable is how the show did a great job of taking the origins of the DP, and adding that little twist. In Rita’s case it was her banishing a cameraman who was missing part of his arm. This Rita also acts as something of a mother/sister to the boys taking care of them. It really enhances the family feel of the book.
I also dig her early outfit of green dress and brown boots.

Stretchy Sleuth Guy
Read tons of Silver Age Flash early this year for the History Club’s look at Silver Age Flash. The all-time great characters debut in issue after issue of that series, and Ralph is one of the most unique. You could, particularly as a kid reading comics at that time, see Ralph’s undercutting the Flash and basking in the glory of his exploits, as not in the spirit of a hero. They’re supposed to avoid the cameras and praise and do all this for others not their own ego. But, Ralph never comes across as a bad guy. He seems fun and you don’t mind him mildly sticking it to the Flash. Also, he looks weird with a mask.

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