Comics


In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics).

Today we celebrate an awesome tradition involving the Elongated Man, who has become a popular new TV character with his debut on the Flash TV series (the Elongated Man first showed up as a Flash supporting cast member in the comics almost sixty years ago). You see, every year, the Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny) has a mystery created for him by his wife, Sue Dibny.

When Julius Schwartz (the editor of the Flash) took over editing duties on the Batman titles, he brought the Elongated Man with him to Detective Comics (literally right away, as the Elongated Man’s back-up feature debuted in the same issue as Batman’s new duds to denote Schwartz and artist Carmine Infantino taking over the book).

Six issues into his run in Detective Comics, we got the first birthday mystery in Detective Comics #332 by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene…

Ralph investigates and sees that an alien has apparently taken over from Sue!!!

Right when Elongated Man has the aliens cornered, Sue reveals the truth…

But, of course, Ralph (being such a great detective) knew all along!

In Detective Comics #350, Fox and Infantino team up again on a bit of an anomaly for the birthday mystery, as this time the mystery is NOT planned by Sue…

It just legitimately is a problem that Hal is having. Ralph ends up helping him figure out his identity, and then, being a cool guy, has Hal erase the knowledge from his mind…

But this is still a memorable birthday because it is the debut of one of his most notable costumes!!

In Detective Comics #375, Fox is now joined by Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos, for an odd one…

Naturally, Sue planned for Ralph to see something was up with the mask that this guy is insisting on getting, but Ralph actually accidentally reads the clue wrong (think about the famous G.I. Joe episode where the “Viper” keeps giving the Joes clues that aren’t really clues, but they lead to Cobra anyways) and ends up busting up some bad guys! When he reads the clue the correct way, it leads to his surprise party…

I want someone to now come up with backgrounds and names for all of the people at Ralph’s surprise party. Who ARE these people?

It was quite a long time until the next birthday mystery, as Mary Skrenes takes over from Fox to tell one with artist Dick Giordano in Detective Comics #449…

Can you figure out who this mysterious old man is?

I’ll let us go to the next page to see if you could figure out without looking…

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