Sunday, September 30, 2007

If An Elongated Man Falls in the Forest...

So it's been, what, over six months since our beloved Ralph Dibny died? And has anyone mentioned him anywhere? Even in passing, like "Hey, have you seen Ralph Dibny?" "Nope."

Does anyone know that he is dead besides, like, Faust? If they do know, then where the hell is his funeral? Why is everyone all "Bart Allen...the greatest hero who ever lived. Ever." and not sending Dibny any love? Did he not die heroically? People are still talking about the tragedy that was the rape and eventual murder of Sue Dibny, but why doesn't Ralph's death matter? Elongated Man is a great character with a long proud history of solving mysteries in the grossest way possible. Didn't he have any friends? Didn't any of his fellow heroes, his Justice League teammates, respect him? Don't any of them wonder where he is? Or do they all assume that he killed himself and just don't want to talk about it. Everyone is out searching for Ray Palmer, the murderer-lover, but no one is even Google searching the whereabouts of Ralph.

So are there any plans for Ralph? Will anyone ever try to find out what happened to him? Will we see a series that has Ralph and Sue as ghosts who solve mysteries? Can Ted Kord be their sidekick? Can Ralph Dibny get a case in the Batcave?

I know that for the next long while everyone is going to be freaking out about the death (?) of Green Arrow (I hope Bart enjoyed his 15 minutes of posthumous fame because they are OVER, my friend). So I am guessing that we're not going to hear anything about Ralph for quite some time, if ever. But I have been waiting for over 6 months for word on my favourite stretchy sleuth and all I've gotten is that panel in a recent issue of Countdown that shows us his corpse, rotting where he fell dead. That's just depressing. [EDIT: Actually, it was an issue of Black Adam].

Oh, the fallen sons of DC. Is it possible for me to manipulate an image in Photoshop that is stirring enough to convey the sorrow I feel?

The answer is YES.

Perhaps some sort of rubber bracelet campaign is in order. It would certainly be fitting. Maybe purple ones that say "Whither Dibny?" on them. Or "He Died As He Lived...Stretched To Disgusting Lengths."


Johnathan said...

He shall live on in our repressed memories forever.

Khairul H. said...

Eh. He'll be back. Maybe in Final Crisis.

C0DENAME V said...

For that matter, apparently no one knows that Vic Sage is dead, except for Renee, and I guess she's not telling anyone. Vixen, in, what, I think the first or second issue of JLofA, thought she was supposed to meet him for a date, didn't she?

Derek said...

I'm pretty sure no one actually knows Ralph is dead.

He was pretty reclusive all through, really only spending time with the Helmet of "Fate". He saw a few other heroes during his trip in 52, but only briefly and usually not more than once.

It's reasonable to assume that the only people who know he's dead are Neron, Faust, and - now - Black Adam.

The same is largely true for my man Vic Sage. He always worked on the periphery of the superhero community. Anyone who would have cared about his passing was around in his final hours (days. Weeks. Damn, it took him a while to die).

Jennifer said...

You might be joking about the ghostly detective agency, but...

OK, found the link:, an interview with Mark Waid.

Grant and I were sitting next to each other and we both suddenly said the words, "ghost detectives" at the same exact moment. And it was like lightning struck. At that moment we knew everything. Ghost detective. How perfect for the Dibnys. They could be our -- you know, it's a little bit of Beetlejuice, it's a little bit of Topper, it's a little bit of all that stuff. Now they can be spirits from beyond the veil who are still doing detective stuff, but they're ghosts. And we cannot necessarily see them or hear them or interact with them, but they're dealing with a whole new level of mystery. It's no longer about who painted a pony purple or who stole a barn door -- the kind of mysteries that Ralph used to deal with in the '60s -- he's now a student of the supernatural. He's kind of a fledgling student of the supernatural. But the notion that he can do what he's always wanted to do.

That's what Waid says he'd like to see in a series...doesn't mean it'll get made into one, but it seems to be at least possibly on the table? I sure hope so.

Jeffrey Hardy Quah said...

Morrison's said that the Dibnys will be in Final Crisis.

David page said...

I miss both the Dibnys

Ragtime said...

I always thought that a great idea for an alternate-universe comic would be one where exactly the opposite people were alive and dead as in the regular continuity -- and anytime anyone died or come back to live in a regular book, they'd have to do the opposite in the alternate book.

I'd figure that the stars would be Mr. and Mrs. Wayne, who's young son was fatally shot during a robbery.

SallyP said...

You bring up a very good point, Rachelle. They DID show Ralph's rotting corpse in the recent Countdown to Mystery, with the apparently new Dr. Fate.

At the end of 52, Fire seemed to be pretty sure that Ralph was dead, after finding his wedding ring on Sue's tombstone...which slightly confused me.

But yes, nobody seems to be making much of a fuss, which is a darned shame. The only people really who would care are the old JLI buddies, and heck, half of them are dead too.

And nobody cares that Dmitri is dead either. And he had a wife and kids.

I'm REALLY getting sick of all the death and gloom. It's getting old. And stupid.

rachelle said...

Yeah, I suppose that Vic Sage is kind of in the same boat. But he was less social than Ralph. I can understand his absence being noticed less.

I mean, Ralph had lots of pals. Even as recently as 52 he got Hal and Oliver to go to that weird cult meeting to try to bring back his wife. Then almost no one ever really saw him again. You'd think Hal or Oliver would think "Huh, I wonder what happened to Ralph after he flipped out at that meeting..."

So, do I have to read Countdown to Mystery to find out what's going on with Ralph? Because I was really planning on not reading that.

TechWeasel said...

The truly aggrivating thing about no one noticing Ralph's absence is that he was a character whos primary trait was being a huge publicity hound. Seriously, even back in his "hanging with Barry" days he was always hitting up the press conferences, media events... you know subtle easily-overlooked character nuances like *being the first super hero to publically identify himself*. You know... easily overlookable things. His current state is unconciably cruel irony if it's not just an "interim" state for some future development.

Undeserved demises for beloved characters (almost) chased me away from the funny books... I highly recommend my new approach which is to just mentally claim one of the other unused 52 earths as your own pocket continuity and presume everyone is living their happily until the next time the earths get merged and they're retconned back in.

The "la la la, Ted's still alive and just chilling on a beach" approach has done wonders for my mood. Especially as the last decade of "crisis"-ing seems specificially set up to eventually knock off my personal list of favouite characters... or at the very least the entire original roster of Justice League Europe. Look out Beefeater!!!

Caleb said...

Yeah, I've found it weird that DC of late is all about the killing, but never the funeral. Like, no one did anything for Blue Beetle? Gail Simone had the Birds of Prey go out for pancakes and buy him a statue 15 months later. No Superb*y funeral, just a statue next to Superman's in the first issue of 52? And the lack of follow-up on Ralph is kinda weird, since they made sort of a thing out of Fire calling him and being like, "Hey, how's the alcoholic widower thing going for you? Not planning on shooting yourself in the face are you?"

Remember the Superman and Hal Jordan funeral issues? Those were exciting!I wish DC would have given us some funeral issues in, like, JLA:Classified insted of "Here are some crappy old stories we paid for so might as well publish somewhere."

I did find it amusing that Ralph's skeleton is still in the tower. I imagine the new Dr. Fate walking in one day and being like, "What the hell is this skeleton doing here?"

p.s. If no one knows Vic is dead, I wonder what they think of a suddnely long-haired, breast-having Question? That Vic had some radical surgery, or...?

Captain Infinity said...

Ralph was like a stretchy god among men. He should be remembered and honored duly.

Colleen said...

I will trade my red wrist strong bracelet for a purple ralph one. God I miss ralph, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed in vain for the ghost detectives comic.

Xtina said...

I died a little inside when they killed Ralph. I think it's crap that for one of the most vocal and active member of whatever incarnation of Justice League never really had a proper funeral or memorial service. I'm pretty damn sure if they searched hard enough (come one magic users!) they could at least find his rotting corpse.

I am all for purple bracelets so that when asked at school what it's all about I SHALL SHOUT TO THE HEAVENS ABOUT THIS GRAVE INJUSTICE!

....I need me some ghost detectives.

SallyP said...

Heck, even Sue got a funeral. Booster got a really crappy one (although he's not really dead...but still!)

When Guy Gardner "died" they not only didn't have a funeral or wake, they never even bothered to see if he really WAS dead.


Derek said...

"So, do I have to read Countdown to Mystery to find out what's going on with Ralph? Because I was really planning on not reading that."

I'll say this, I actually really enjoyed the first issue of Countdown to Mystery.

I only grudgingly gave it a chance, as I never go in for the grim and gritty stuff, but it was really well-written and made me want to see more. The new Dr. Fate's origin is both original and heart-breakingly mundane.

I even liked the Spectre story, which surprised me after I sloughed through that abysmal Tales of the Unexpected (which I was buying for the back-up feature).

Your mileage may vary, of course.

Dan Midnight said...

I dunno, Hawkeye didn't stay dead for that long. I wonder what Kevin Smith thinks of GA getting killed after he brought him back?

Dan Midnight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

No Superb*y funeral, just a statue next to Superman's in the first issue of 52?
While they didn't show a funeral we do know that they buried him next to Earth-2 Superman and Lois Lane in what looks to be a cemetary judging by the presence of other tombstones.

And issue 26 of Superman/Batman had the story of the memorial that the Teen Titans had for him.

Matt said...

Raplh was, what, the third most-tenured member of the Justice League? And a total publicity hound, as has been mentioned. I agree, they should at least try calling him or something.

It would be cool to see an A&E Biography-style issue of... something... about The Life and Times of Ralph Dibny, the World-Famous Elongated Man. You could just imagine that sad music playing as they get to THE FALL.

muebles en aranjuez said...

What namely you're saying is a terrible blunder.