By RazzaTazz 16 Comments
I was just thinking about how all my blog posts these days are on lighter topics and how I haven’t tackled anything really meaty in a while. The thought of lighter topics got me thinking about some of the comic relief which has been used over the years in issues I have read. Two of the DC universe’s comic relief mainstays are the Elongated Man and Plastic Man, and what is more notable among them is that they basically share the same power. Stretching is in itself for me kind of a weird power, it is not particularly cool (I very rarely here about someone wishing they could stretch in the forums about which power they wish they could have), but it is usually a pretty useful power. It almost makes you completely invulnerable as well as a pretty decent threat in hand to hand combat, as well as a few other uses like being able to glide or fit through small areas. Despite the effectiveness of their abilities they are associated with goofiness or bizarre behaviour. On the other hand, the only major Marvel character with this ability is Mister Fantastic, who is considered one of the smartest humans alive. I think their depiction probably owes more to the golden age of comics. Comic relief was a lot more common back then (like Doiby Dickles or the original Red Tornado) and so comic relief is a characteristic that DC carried over from the golden age. Marvel of course also had some history in the golden age, but they also got to completely reinvent the brand in the 1960s and 1970s and so got the opportunity to lose this less serious aspect of their comics, which they mostly did. It is strange for me though how the long gangly characters are also the less serious ones in the DC universe. They both have long and extensive memberships in the Justice League and even their own series or backup stories through the years and in this sense are very serious heroes but in the end their powers are always a source of humour and not of great strength.