Sue Dibny: 1977 - 1999 Edit
Before Sue Dibny was Sue Dibny, she was Sue Dearden. Fun fact: She is actually the cousin of Oliver Queen (the Deardens own considerable property in and around Opal City). Sue was born into wealth, the daughter of Patrick and Rachel Dearden. The oldest of three Dearden sons, Patrick oversaw the family's oil holdings and ran the family estate as his father's health declined. When Patrick and his wife died unexpectantly in a car accident, Sue was sent to Keystone City to live with her uncle Jimmy when she was twelve years old.
One year later, in the midst of a long legal battle between Jimmy and Moira for control of the family company after their father past upon hearing of Patrick's death, Moira also died while on family vacation and therefore the judge ruled that Jimmy should oversee the family business. Jimmy was a college dropout who had married young and had a lot of regrets about not pursuing his education further.
His own children were slackers just as he had been in his youth, but Sue was a bright and ambitious girl that Jimmy encouraged to do great things; and so he lived vicariously through Sue and fostered her interest in science and technology. To that end, after Sue had graduated high school, Jimmy hired her as a technology consultant (replacing her uncle Liam who Jimmy had recently fired after he had cost the family millions with poor investments and gambling).
So when Sue wasn't busy with college (studying computer science and communications), she would often spend her weekends going to technology and science conferences or attending coctail dinners as her uncle's plus-one. It was in this capacity that Sue met an adorable rookie forensic analyst for Central City Police Department, while attending the opening of the new S.T.A.R. Labs Headquarters facility (and the future site of the particle accelerator).
Of course, this analyst was none other than Ralph Dibny. The two quirky geeks hit it off right away and this is probably the closest I've heard of love at first sight. They went on a date while Sue was in town and the next day, resigned and made plans to move to Opal City to be with Sue.
Elastic Woman: 1999 - Present Edit
Shortly after Ralph moved to Opal City, Sue and Ralph took a long weekend road trip to Las Vegas and had a quick marriage. The two returned to Opal City and began their life together. She continued to work for her uncle, overseeing the Dearden family's business holdings, including an old gingo orchard that Sue's uncle bought for the two as a weekend gate away. With every passing weekend escape to their orchard, the Dibnys became more interested in quitting their day jobs and fixing up the orchard to sell gingo juice and gingo flavored sodas.
During a New Years Eve at their weekend retreat, the Dibnys were watching Brainiac's invasion of Washington, DC when the power went out. Raph went out to the barn to see if their new industrial vats had blown a fuse. When Ralph didn't return and fearing this was the work of the aliens on the television, Sue went to find Ralph. She did find him in the barn, knocked out on the floor. As Sue ruched to check on her husband, she was grabbed by an assailant from the shadows.
This was Arthur Phelan, an unhinged engineer that worked for the Deardens and who apparently had a warped fascination with Sue. While Arthur attempted to force himself on her, Sue's screams woke Ralph and he was able to intervene, but Ralph was a lover, not a fighter. But his distraction bought the versatile Sue enough time to grab a shovel and smack Arthur across the head. Arthur stumbled into the barn's transformer, causing an explosion. Where Arthur seemed to vaporize, the Dibnys were blasted into one of their gingo vats which protected them from the debris of collapsing barn. In the aftermath, the Dibnys were changed.
Following this violence, Sue underwent some therapy and decided what she needed was to change her career, joining the newly founded D.E.O. with Ralph. But that was their public life. In secret, the Dibnys discovered their bodies had absorbed the gingo extract by way of meta-gene activation and while they had gingo in their system, they found their bodies were elastic and pliable. After secretly training themselves and a brief costumed debut as heroes in Opal City, Sue and Ralph decided to go to the big leagues and joined the JLA as Elastic Man and wife.
Trivia and Notes Edit
- Elastic Woman joined the Justice League of America in 2005 nominated by Black Canary.
- Sue and Ralph wear matching Peanutbutter and Jelly, necklace and cliptie.
- Her suit is based on suit of Elongated Lass.
- Arthur Phelan is Earth-27 version of Arthur "Dr. Light" Light. Dr. Light is the man who raped her in the comics. In Earth-27 the only Dr. Light is Kimiyo Hoshi.
- Roy explains Sue's background deeper: "That was the most important thing to me about Sue Dibny. If I were to include that controversial element of her story, I was going to make it HER story and explore how it affected her. I almost decided to exclude it altogether but Earth27FanGirl helped me realize that by excising that altogether was ignoring an opportunity to tell the story of a woman who survived a sexual assault and uses her survival as an opportunity to help others from being victimized as in comics, if a woman is sexually assaulted they usually are removed from the story shortly afterward, become a villain or a rage monster vigilante, or if they do become (or return to being a prominent) heroine their rape is later retconned out of existence which seems to suggest that a woman can not be heroic if they had been raped. Sue's own assault is unfortunate, as you alluded to because Sue's victimization is never about her or her coping with it. The story is about how it affects the men in her life (and not even her husband as Ralph is hardly a character in that story)." (Roy)