How Shape got his stretching powers is unknown. Judging by his limited intelligence, it is possible that he was experimented on, and that his intellect was affected as a result. This is, however, just speculation. At some point after receiving his powers, he was recruited into the Institute of Evil
, the opposite numbers of the Squadron Supreme
, as part of a game between the Scarlet Centurion
and the Grandmaster
. He stayed with the Institute of Evil after the game, probably because they were the closest things he had to friends or family.
Shape was created by Mark Gruenwald
and Bob Hall
, and first appeared in Squadron Supreme
#5. As with many characters in the Squadron Supreme's universe, Shape was based upon an already existing character, in his case Plastic Man
When Shape was first introduced as a member of the Institute of Evil, he was shown to be as malicious as the rest of the team, but lacking some intelligence, he was more or less used as a tool by the rest of the team. Upon being Behaviour Modified by the Squadron, Shape was seen to be quite playful and friendly, if still somewhat naive and simple. Although he was later supposedly turned evil once more, it failed, possibly showing that he only originally became villainous due to lacking friends in his life.
Major Story Arcs
The Utopia Principle
Shortly after the Squadron Supreme took over the United States in an attempt to create a utopia on Earth, their member Tom Thumb
created a device which could remove the malicious thoughts and feelings in people, called a Behaviour Modifier (or "B-Modder). Before the Squadron made news of this public, their member Golden Archer
ran away from the team after B-Modding his girlfriend Lady Lark
into loving him more, as she had just rejected his marriage proposal.
The Institute of Evil captured Golden Archer, and tortured him until he told them about the B-Modder. The Institute then captured some of the Squadron's friends and family, and used them as leverage to gain access to the B-Modder. Although the Institute thought that they had successfully B-Modded the Squadron, they didn't find out until it was too late that a failsafe had been built into the B-Modder by Tom Thumb which prevented members of the Squadron Supreme being B-Modded, after guessing what Golden Archer had done to Lady Lark. As a result, the Squadron were able to B-Mod the entire Institute of Evil into renouncing their evil ways and joining the Squadron.
A Member of the Squadron
Shape was happy as a member of the Squadron, quite possibly the happiest he'd been in his entire life. He now had friends and family who cared about him. Even better, since all of his former allies of the Institute of Evil had been B-Modded too, he could still stay friends with them. Unlike the rest of the Squadron Supreme, Shape didn't seem to get any assignments related to the development of the proposed utopia, spending more time looking after and playing with Arcanna
's children, who liked him for his rubbery body.
Towards the end of the Squadron's reign, Shape was kidnapped by Nighthawk
alongside the rest of the former Institute of Evil members, and B-Modded to his original personality. However, due to his low intelligence, it didn't work as well on him, and Shape still felt loyalty towards the Squadron Supreme. In response, Moonglow
created an illusion of Ape X
telling Shape to betray the Squadron, which seemed to work in convincing him to help the Redeemers.
However, during the final fight between the Redeemers and the Squadron, Shape hardly participated, torn between the two teams. When he encountered Moonglow fighting Arcanna, who had been pregnant and was going into labour, Shape distracted Moonglow for long enough for Arcanna to defeat her. He then helped Arcanna get to the hospital, as despite Moonglow's efforts, he was still loyal to the Squadron, and preferred Arcanna over Moonglow anyway.
Shape was later one of the Squadron members who headed into space in an attempt to stop the Nth Man
from blocking the sun. Although the team were successful, they were transported to Earth-616 on the return, and were stuck there for a long time. During this time, the Squadron stayed at Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S.
Shortly after arriving on Earth-616, Shape and Haywire
were mind-controlled by Overmind
into fighting Quasar
as a distraction, whilst he took the rest of the Squadron to the Stranger
's world to help him fight the Stranger. After being cured of this, the Squadron were later tricked into fighting the Avengers
by the Corruptor
By this point, the Squadron were homesick, and so were delighted when Imus Champion
was later found to have had a transporter which allowed the team to return to their home. Once they got there, they were surprised to find that in their absence, it had been taken over by a dictatorship known as the Global Directorate. Shape remains a member of the Squadron Supreme, who now do everything they can to oppose the Global Directorate.
Powers and Abilities
Shape has the ability to stretch and contort his body into various shapes. He hasn't been seen to have a limit to this body, so he likely has a large range of flexibility and manoeuvrability. He is also presumably highly resistant to most forms of attack, as his body can simply stretch with the attack and resist it. However, all of these abilities are hampered by his low intellect, which usually means that he is better off simply being ordered around by his teammates. It also prevents him from using his powers as creatively and imaginatively as he potentially could.
On Earth-31916, Raleigh Lund was born to a prostitute. He spent most of his life living in and eating out of bins, thinking that everyone did the same. For the previous five years prior to the story, he had been a janitor, a job which he had loved, as he could sleep inside, where it was warm. Shape is put into a team alongside Emil Burbank
, and Nuke
to capture Hyperion
after the latter cut his ties to America. After their mission is successful, Shape is recruited into this universe's Squadron Supreme. Unlike Earth-712 Shape, this world's Shape's powers are based more around invulnerability than elasticity.
An imperfect clone of Shape was created by Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S.
on Earth-616. Due to some experimentation with some exotic energy, it was accidentally turned into a zombie, along with the rest of the Squadron Supreme clones. Fortunately, the clone was eventually killed by Jack of Hearts
alongside the rest of the zombie Squadron Supreme.