Elongated Man Is The Flash's Only Unique Superhero

Elongated Man Nora and Barry Allen in The Flash

Elongated Man is the only unique superhero on The Flash - in fact, the stretchable sleuth is one of the most singular metahumans in the entire Arrowverse. As The CW's shared superhero universe has grown, many fans (including Paunchvilla on Reddit) have noticed that most of the characters have someone with duplicate abilities. Thus far, however, there has only been one Elongated Man.

Portrayed by Hartley Sawyer and introduced in the season 4 episode "Elongated Journey Into Night", Ralph Dibny was originally a rival who despised Barry Allen. A slovenly, corrupt private eye who Barry once made sure was bounced from the CCPD, Ralph soon learned he was one of the metahumans created by Clifford DaVoe.

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Once his stretching powers manifested, Ralph joined Team Flash and learned the superhero ropes under Barry's mentorship, eventually donning a Cisco Ramon-designed super suit and fighting evil as the Elongated Man. In season 5, Dibny has not only grown more adept at using his powers, but he has shown he's just as valuable to the team for his sleuthing skills.

Every Other Superhero On The Flash Has Someone With Similar Powers

The Arrowverse is replete with heroes who possess duplicate powers, and The Flash is the most guilty of this sheer excess. Just for speedsters alone, there's Barry Allen, Wally West, Nora West-Allen, Eobard Thawne, and Jay Garrick - and that's before we start counting Flashes from parallel Earths and the various other evil speedstersters who have plagued Central City. There are three people with Vibe's powers; Cisco Ramon, Gypsy, and Breacher. Even Killer Frost has a counterpart in her father Thomas Snow, the Icicle.

The other Arrowverse series also have their fair share of redundantly-powered and skilled heroes. There has been a horde of archers on Arrow besides Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, including Malcolm Merlyn, Arsenal, Speedy, Prometheus, and the new female Green Arrow. There have been four Black Canaries, including Sara Lance, Dinah Drake, and two versions of Laurel Lance. And over on Earth-38, Supergirl is hardly unique since her cousin Superman is around, not to mention the evil Russian version of the Girl of Steel. Even Batwoman is following in the footsteps of her missing cousin Batman.

There's No One Else Like Elongated Man In The Arrowverse

The Flash Season 4 Lose Yourself Ralph Dibny

However, as of now, there's no one else like the Elongated Man in the Arrowverse. Ralph Dibny is their first stretching superhero and from the first gross moment he lost control of his flaccid, elongated limbs, Team Flash hadn't ever encountered anyone quite like him. Unfortunately, since entering the public eye, Elongated Man has been a lightning rod for social media posts mocking his ridiculousness, but he's learning to take it in stride.

Recently, Ralph has come to master his abilities and he can now perform feats even his comic book counterpart can't; The Flash's version of Elongated Man is actually a lot closer to Plastic Man. Whereas the comics' Elongated Man merely stretches, on the TV show, Ralph can contort his body into the shapes of different objects and he's even gained the power to shapeshift into other people, like when he impersonated Clifford DeVoe and even briefly fooled The Thinker's own wife, Marlize. The Flash's Ralph also retains his signature quirk: his nose twitches when he "smells a mystery".

Now that he's settled into being a valued member of Team Flash, Ralph has put his formidable detective skills to good use, although this puts him in competition with Team Flash's other detective, Sherloque Wells. So while Ralph does end up being redundant as a sleuth, as The Flash's one and only mallable, elastic crimefighter, the Elongated Man simply has no equal - yet.

Next: The Flash: 8 Biggest Questions From The Season 5 Midseason Finale

The Flash returns Tuesday, January 15 @ 8pm on The CW

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