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Sunday, December 10, 2006 

Elongated Man, rendered unrecognizable

Monitor Duty offers another explanation why, even if pamphlet issues weren't becoming as expensive as they are these days, I still wouldn't buy 52. Because
Ralph [Dibny] as he is being written just doesn't even seem like the character I knew. He's almost mean, and terribly self-centered.
And there we have it. Where Ralph belongs is in the comedy genre, not in some money-fleecer where he's turned unrecognizable from what his characterization should really be like and was to begin with in the Silver Age. It's really sad how DC missed a big chance to feature Ralph and Sue Dibny in a miniseries where they could go the slapstick adventure route again, instead turning them inside out in tune with what they think should be tone of comic books now.

As if that weren't bad enough, it would seem as if Ralph offers a minor the chance to drink alcohol:
Panel 7. Ralph offers the flask to Wonder Girl, and she sniffs it and says, "Eeew. No." So it must be something awful. Great. So Ralph's gluggling down cheap liquor.

WAIT A MINUTE. Cassie Sandsmark is underage! Ralph just offered liquor to a minor? I'm assuming that DC made her 18 so that they weren't showing an underage sex scene in the Teen Titans Annual #1...and yes, I'm still puzzled as to how Cassie and Kon-El could suddenly be 18 before the One Year Later jump when Robin is barely driving age...but the drinking age is still 21.
Frankly, I'm puzzled as to why Cassie wouldn't scold her elder for running the gauntlet of putting both of them in an embarrassing situation that could end up with her mother yelling at her for drinking underage. That's another way in which today's comics are not trying to offer anything to think about, even for adults, and they're not making the teens sound any smarter than the grownups. Put another way, even the simplest messages about what's wrong with alcohol are being obscured for sloppy dramatics.
It was my understanding that Mark Waid was the guy handling Ralph's part of the story. I have to say, if that's true, this isn't what I expected from the guy who wrote one of the best Elongated Man birthday mysteries ever.
But it does suggest that Waid's lost it.

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