Another find from the files, an Elongated Man back-up story written for, but never published in, THE FLASH #270 (February 1979) for editor Ross Andru. The scans I found had the notation pencilled “unedited” on page one of the script, and a “Written OFF -30-” stamp on the back of the last page.

Do not mourn that this story was never edited, much less published. It is, in a word, bad. Not “bad” in that disingenuous way writer’s have of trying to appear humble, but “bad” as in, “Oh, dear lord, someone actually paid him for this?!” Any artist handed this overwritten, densely packed pile of nothing would have rightly wished me harm. The plot is ridiculous, the dialog cringeworthy, and the racism…well, I think I give your typical 1930s Universal Mummy movie a good run for its money in my portrayal of the “native” Egyptians. I wrote this over forty years ago, when cliches were still the sharpest tools in my creative toolbox.

Oddly, I don’t believe “The Case of the Copped Car!” went unpublished for any of the above reasons. Rather, I think it was the switch back to book-length stories that got this eight-pager stuck back in the drawer, where it met deserved obscurity.

Until now.

Splash page of Elongated Man’s first solo story in DETECTIVE COMICS #327 (May 1964) by John Broome and Carmine Infantino.

Elongated Man in “The Case of the Copped Car!”

For: FLASH #270 (February 1979)

8 Pages

Paul Kupperberg

252 East 59th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11236



Panel 1:           (Panels 1-3 across top 1/3 of page.) We ‘re in an open market/bazaar in Cairo, Egypt. This is your basic long establishing shot of the market full of natives and a goodly number of tourists.

#1 FROM CROWD:      Quick, Ralph–I need £27 for this absolutely DARLING little lantern!

#2 FROM CROWD:      >Groan!< I’m made of RUBBER, not MONEY, Sue darling–

Panel 2:           Shot of RALPH and SUE DIBNY, the Elongated Man and wife, standing before one of the stalls in the thick of the market, Ralph’s arms are loaded down with heaps and heaps of packages, rolled up throw-rugs, etc. Sue is holding a small lantern in one hand and is dragging Ralph’s wallet out of his pants packet with the other. Sue’s wearing a skirt and Ralph’s dressed in a rather loud Hawaiian print shirt, Bermuda shorts and a pith helmet.

RALPH:             –So if we want to have enough cash LEFT to pay for the HOTEL tonight, let up on the GIFTS!

SUE:     Oh, don’t be SILLY, love! Besides, how OFTEN does a girl get a trip around the world?

Panel 3:           Tight-shot of Ralph and Sue walking through the crowd, Ralph is stretching his neck to see over the pile of packages in his arms.

RALPH:             We’ll be LUCKY to afford a trip to the CORNER after this little SPREE!

SUE:     Stop EXAGGERATING, Ralph–

SUE:     –And STOP STRENHING! You’ll SCARE the natives!

Panel 4:           Splash Panel. We ‘re in a parking lot outside the market area, We’re shooting straight in from between two parked cars (make ‘em look like the little foreign jobs driven there). Ralph is dropping his packages in surprise, stretching his neck into the very prominent empty space between the parked cars e His nose is twitching like mad, Sue is reacting in shock and surprise. Their car has been stolen!

LEAD TO LOGO:           Imbued with powers of almost infinite ELASTICITY by GINGOLD, an ancient Indian potion, RALPH DIBNY has allowed the world to know that he now fights crime as the STRETCHABLE SLUETH…


CAPTION:        Take a famous SUPER-HERO and place him in the middle of ANYWHERE and he’s SURE to stumble across a MYSTERY…

CAPTION:        …ESPECIALLY when that super-hero is RALPH DIBNY, THE ELONGATED MAN! Now tag along as the MALLEABLE MANHUNTER and his wife SUE begin an adventure in the shadow of the Egyptian pyramids!

SUE:     R-RALPH… our CAR…

RALPH:             I can SEE, Sue–

RALPH 2:         — IT’S BEEN STOLEN!!



Panel 1:           Ralph is stretching his neck to cheek the empty parking space carefully as Sue stands behind him, really annoyed, Ralph’s nose is still twitching.

SUE:     Our car…our luggage…all those GIFTS I bought…OH!

SUE 2:  The GIFTS, Ralph! That ADORABLE little imitation SCARAB I got for my mother was in the trunk! She loves collecting them!

RALPH:            Shhhhh, Susie…I’m looking for CLUES!

Panel 2:           Close-up of Ralph as he continues searching the ground. His stretched finger is scooping up a drop of oil, the first of a trail of drops. He’s looking thoughtful.

SUE (off-panel):          And I went through BO much TROUBLE to get it too! Remember that REPULSIVE looking man tried to buy it from us and wouldn’t leave us alone?

RALPH (thot):  Ahh-HA!

Panel 3:           Ralph is rubbing the drop of oil between his fingers, stretching out his nose to get a good sniff of the stuff. Sue is standing behind him, hands-on-hips annoyed.

SUE:     RALPH! You’re not LISTENING to me again!

RALPH:             I always listen to…sniff sniff!< you, love

RALPH 2:         Yep! It’s motor oil all right!

Panel 4:           Ralph is standing staring off into space, rubbing his chin thoughtfully as Sue tries to get his attention.

SUE:     Now, Ralph! You’re NOT thinking of going after tne thieves yourself!? The local authorities probably wouldn’t like…

RALPH:             Susie, dear, I HAPPEN to be a WORLD-FAMOUS SUPER-HERO! What do I need the cops for?

SUE:     You forgot to mention how MODEST you are, dearest.

Panel 5:           Ralph slipping behind a tourist bus parked nearby to change into his costume. Sue is standing there watching,

RALPH:             Truth is truth, Susie!

RALPH 2:         Besides, if I drag the local constabulary into this, we’ll be stuck here in Cairo FOREVER trying to cut through the RED TAPE!

SUE:     Wells…

Panel 6:           Ralph is in his Elongated Man costume now, walking away from Sue, stretching his legs so he can walk over the parked cars, He’s also stretching his neck backwards to plant a kiss on Sue’s cheek. Tourists in the background are staring.

RALPH:             I KNEW you’d see it my way, babe!

RALPH 2:         You grab a camel back to the hotel and I’ll meet you there later…with car in TOW—— if you’ll pardon the PUN!

SUE:     WHAT pun, Ralph?


Panel 1:           EMan is stretching his legs as he hurries down a side street, very narrow and lined with old, old buildings. His nose is stretched to the ground as he follows the trail of oil drops, Natives are reacting in amazement and shock.

CAPTION:        The city of Cairo has stood since 3200 BC, time enough, one would imagine, for it to have been WITNESS to mostly every STRANGE occurrence–

Panel 2:           EMan is stepping over a herd of startled sheep being herded into a pen by a shepherd, who is likewise startled.

CAPTION:        –But THIS is a sight to startle even the most HARDENED of Egyptian skeptics…

RALPH:             ‘Scuse me, folks!

RALPH (thot) 2:           Trail’s still FRESH! Good thing we rented the car from a SHODDY operation, otherwise it wouldn’t have had the oil leak–

Panel 3:           We’re in the desert now as EMan continues to follow the trail, the sun hanging high in the sky. The oil drops are now bracketed by tire tracks in the sand. EMan’s linked his fingers together over his head and stretched them to form an umbrella to shade himself from the sun. There are pyramids in the background.

RALPH (thot):  –And yours truly wouldn’t have a TRAIL to follow… AHH! TIRE TRACKS!

RALPH (thot) 2:           Eat your heart out, Sherlock Holmes!

Panel 4:           EMan is following the tire tracks which are headed for one of the pyramids in the distance. The sun is big and bright in the sky.

CAPTION:        For long hours the Ductile Detective follows the tire tracks in the sand, until…

RALPH:            BINGO! The trail leads right to that PYRAMID!

RALPH 2:         No doubt the perpetrators stopped there to DIVVY the BOOTY! Seems my luck’s still holding!

Panel 5:           Parked behind to the pyramid in the sand is what is left of Ralph’s car. All there is of the small foreign job is the chassis and frame. Everything that could possibly be removed is, from doors to fenders to hood to engine, etc. It’s stripped bare! Ralph is snaking his stretched body through the remains of the car, looking annoyed.

CAPTION:        But LUCK, alas, is NOT with the Elongated Man this time–

CAPTION:        A bad situation he has every INTENTION of rectifying!

RALPH:            For Pete’s sake! Ehe thieves really did a NUMBER on our car–they even took the LIGHT-BULB from GLOVE COMPARTMENT!

RALPH 2:         I get the feeling something’s not quite RIGHT…!


Panel 1:           Close-up of EMan, his nose twitching like a sunovagun, as he looks thoughtfully at the off-panel car.

RALPH:            Yup, I THOUGHT so! There goes my magical, MYSTERY NOSE!

RALPH 2:         Hmmm! WHY would they bother to take EVERYTHING–even things that have no VALUE? Quite a PUZZLE this one–

Panel 2:           EMan has stretched himself real taaaallllll, into a human rubber observation tower, surveying the area around him…which is all desert with a couple of the pyramids thrown in for decoration.

RALPH:            –But one I’ll never solve standing here like a lump of SILLY PUTTY getting SOFT in the sun! So, if I may BORROW a saying from my buddy, SUPERMAN–

RALPH 2:         –UP, UP AND AWAY!

Panel 3:           Angling over EMan’s shoulder and down towards the ground we can see tire tracks in the sand made by a heavy truck. The tracks are headed off towards the horizon.

RALPH:            >Groan!< Not MORE tire tracks…PLEASE! This hot sun’s FRYING my brain and I THINK I’m developing an ALLERGY to SAND!

RALPH 2:         Oh, well, DUTY calls–

Panel 4:           His whole body stretching to give himself the maximum distancing power, EMan’s striding determinedly off in hot pursuit of the crooks.

RALPH:            –Besides, if I come back WITHOUT Susie’s gifts, I’ll NEVER hear the END of it!

CAPTION:        The relentless sun beats down upon Ralph Dibny as he continues his trek across the Giza Strip…

Panel 5:           Visible from behind a distant sand dune is the tail end of a truck sticking out. EMan is stretching neck far ahead of his running body to peek over the top of the dune.

CAPTION:        …And though his exact destination is anything but CERTAIN, each ELONGATED STEP brings him yet CLOSER to his quarry…

RALPH:            Hark! I think I doth espy the bad guys!

Panel 6:           Over the top of the dune, EMan’s head is looking at the rickety old truck hidden behind it. The truck is loaded down with the parts of EMan’s car and their luggage, etc. in the open rear.

CAPTION:        But…

RALPH:            SURPRISE, fellas! You’ve got COMPAN…HUH!? Nobody’s here!

Panel 7:           EMan is standing looking at the truck, deep in thought. Visible in the background is a pyramid, not too far away.

RALPH:            This’s making less sense every second! Why would ANYBODY rip-off a car, strip it clean–

RALPH 2:         –And then ABANDON the loot in the middle of nowhere?

Page 5

Panel 1:           EMan is searching through the stuff in the back of the truck, snaking his elongated body through the little nooks and crannies.

RALPH:            CORRECTION–they didn’t leave ALL the loot! The imitation SCARAB Susie bought for her mother’s MISSING!

RAPLH 2:         As Alice said, “CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER”–

Panel 2:           EMan is striding confidently towards a pyramid in the background, stretching all the time.

RALPH:            –But AT LEAST I’m getting CLOSER! There’re no signs of truck or airplane tracks in the sand, so the crooks must’ve set out on FOOT!

RALPH 2:         Which means, they can’t have gone FAR–

Panel 3:           E Man is standing in front of the pyramid, a rather small one as pyramids go, looking up at it.

CAPTION:        “–And that PYRAMID is the best place to start my search!”

RALPH (thot):  Hmmm. Not much here to…HUH?!

OFF PANEL:     PLEASE, Achmed–allow ME to do it!

RALPH (thot) 2:           I don’t know WHO this ACHMED is–

Panel 4:           We are on the other side of the pyramid now. There are six Egyptian men there, all of them big, tough looking guys, Do ’em up in the local costume, but all of them have pistols hanging at their waists. These are Crooks #1-6. We see EMan’s head peeking at them from around one side. Crooks #1 and #2 are arguing.

CROOK #1:      No, no, Mohammad! It is MY duty to apply the SCARAB!

RALPH (thot):  –But I’ve got the feeling he’s JUST the man I’ve been LOOKING FOR!

Panel 5:           Close-up of E-Man, looking amused.

EMAN (thot):  Let’s see…there’s SIX of them with GUNS against ONE of me, unarmed!

EMAN (thot):  Hmm, maybe I’d better WARN them so they can send for REENFORCEMENTS! >Chuckle!<

Panel 6:           Crook #3 is standing with his back to the pyramid watching #2 and #1 argue off panel. From the left, from around the pyramid, is stretching EMan’s hand, tapping #3 on the shoulder.

OFF-PANEL:     But, Achmed–what does It matter WHO unlocks the pyramid’s TREASURE ROOM?

Panel 7:           As #3 turns in surprise towards the left, EMan’s other hand, clenched in a fist, is coming around from #3’s blind side, the right.

OFF-PANEL:     It matters to ME, Mohammad! It is MY job!

Panel 8:           EMan’s fist has slammed into the side of #3’shead as the other hand is enlarged and stretched into a large net to catch the falling body.

OFF-PANEL:     Very WELL, Achmed! But be QUICK about it!

SFX:     BOFF!


Panel 1:           Big panel. Crooks #1, #2 and #4 stand facing the pyramid as #2 does something against the pyramid’s façade. Behind them, Crooks #5 and #6 are being lifted off the ground, amazed and kicking, by EMan’s arms stretching from over the top of the pyramid and over the heads of the others.

CROOK #2:      I must find the proper slot for the scarab in this stone which will UNLOCK the ancient TREASURE!

CROOK #1:      It goes THERE, Achmed!

CROOK #4:      No, Achmed–over to the left a bit!

CROOK #5:      Ehhh–?! AIIIIEEEEE!

Panel 2:           Close-up of Crook #4 is turning to look over his shoulder, looking surprised.

CROOK #4:      Did you SAY something, Abdul…? Huh?!

Panel 3:           The three remaining crooks are looking around them, a bit more than a little frightened, their guns in their hands now.

CAPTION:        The whispering winds of the Giza Strip is the only sound these men hear around them, But though they see or hear NOTHING, one thing is CERTAIN–


CROOK #1:      A-Abdul–the others–are ALL GONE, Mohammad! What manner of DEVIL protects the pyramid’s TREASURE?

CROOK #2:      Su-superstitious NONSENSE, Achmed! There is no d-devil!

OFF-PANEL:     I wouldn’t say that, Mohammad–

Panel 4:           EMan is walking towards the Crooks, stepping over the pyramid on elongated legs. The Crooks are recoiling in fear at this sight.

RALPH:            –‘Cause you can BET your bottom SHECKLE I’M going to give you guys a DEVIL of a time–if you get my drift. SAND drift, that is!

CROOK #4:      AAAIIIEEE! Allah preserve this FAITHFUL SERVANT!

CROOK #1:      It…it IS a DEMON!

Panel 5:           The Crooks are firing wildly at EMan as they start to run away from him. His body is zigging and zagging his body to avoid the shots.

RALPH:            No, now, boys! Let’s put AWAY the guns and come along like GOOD little CAR-THIEVES!

CROOK #2:      FLEE, my brothers! The demon writhes like the SNAKE to avoid our bullets!


Page 7

Panel 1:           The fleeing Crooks are looking over their shoulders at E-Man, terrified, as they run. He is stretching his arms over their heads and forming a block with his stretched out, expanded hands, which they ‘re about to run into.

RALPH:            SNAKE!? Hey, now that’s getting PERSONAL, Abdul! What’d you think my MOTHER would have to say about that, for cryin’ out loud!

Panel 2:           The crooks are running into EMan’s outstretched hands/barrier, bouncing backwards on their tushes to the ground.


CROOK #1:      The demon has us TRAPPED, Muhammad! What shall we DO!

CROOK #2:      We must RUN–ESCAPE the demon’s FOUL TOUCH!

RALPH:            MORE insults? You cut me to the quick!

Panel 3:           E-Man has his fingers stretched around the three Crooks, holding their arms tight to their sides as they struggle.

RALPH:            I guess you don’t want to PLAY anymore! In that case, the time has come to turn you over to the COPS–

Panel 4:           Close-up. Using his fingers like tweezers, EMan is plucking the scarab from one of the Crook #1’s fingers. (A scarab is a gemstone formed in the shape of a beetle.)

RALPH:            –But FIRST, I want back what’s MINE–

Panel 5:           EMan is holding the scarab between his fingers before him to examine. The other crooks are still trussed up in his elongated fingers.

RALPH:            –AND an explanation of just what the HECK is going on here! I like a mystery, but THIS is too much!

CROOK #1:      I…I will tell you, demon…if you SPARE my miserable life!

Panel 6:           Close-up of Crook #1, looking very scared.

OFF-PANEL:     Sure, why not? I’m feeling GENEROUS today!

CROOK #1:      The SCARAB, oh demon–it is the KEY to the SECRET TREASURE room in this pyramid, a MONUMENT to the boy-king, TUKATCH!

CROOK #1 2:   None have ever been able to find the treasure–UNTIL NOW!

Panel 7:           E Man is stretching his arm holding the scarab towards the pyramid as he continues holding the Crooks in his elongated other hand.

CROOK #1:      We have searched for this ANCIENT scarab for YEARS–and we almost HAD it, until some AMERICAN lady bought it before we arrived!

RALPH:            That was no lady…that was my WIFE!

Page 8

Panel 1:           Close-up of EMan’s hand as it places the scarab in an indentation in the stone.

OFF-PANEL:     And when Susie REFUSED to sell it to you, you STOLE our car to get it. But…WHY did you DISMANTLE the car like that?

SFX:     clik!

Panel 2:           E-Man is looking at the pyramid as that large stone it starts to swing open.

CROOK #1:      Had we merely stolen the scarab someone might have suspected our motive! We wanted to make it appear to be simple car theft.

RALPH:            Man, you guys sure got UNLUCKY with your choice of VICTIMS!

RALPH 2:         Okay! Now let’s see what this TREASURE looks like!


Panel 3:           EMan is looking into the open chamber in the pyramid, laughing. The others are visible behind him, looking around him, curious.

RALPH:            HA! HA! HA! Oh, guys–you’re NOT gonna believe what you went through all this TROUBLE for!

Panel 4:           Angling over everybody’s shoulders, we see the interior of the treasure chamber, and it’s completely empty, except for a bunch of cobwebs.

CROOK #2:      BY the hand of Allah! I-it is EMPTY!

RALPH:            HA! HA! Well, you’ve got to admit ONE thing; even though there isn’t anything here–

RALPH 2:         –This is STILL PRETTY RICH! HA! HA! HA!

RALPH 3:         Okay, guys, let’s wake up your sleeping buddies and head back to the trick–

Panel 5:           We’re back next to the pyramid where the chassis of Ralph’s car was left. EMan is leaning comfortably against the side of the pyramid, watching the six crooks at work as they work at putting his car back together, sweating under the hot sun. The Crook’s truck is parked nearby. To insure they don’t split, Ralph’s boots are off and his elongated toes are wrapped around their ankles.

CAPTION:        “–Because we have one stop to make BEFORE I turn you over to the police!”

RALPH:            …And THAT’s not going to be UNTIL you’ve put this car BACK TOGETHER as good as NEW!


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