With Mr. Fantastic and Plastic Man as probably the best known examples, superhero comics have a diverse group of characters whose primary or exclusive power is to stretch their bodies into improbable shapes. The earliest example of such a character I'm able to find is Thin Man from Marvel predecessor Timely Comics. Are there any older examples?

  • Earliest one I've found is also Thin Man.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 3:02
  • @user14111 One of Jimmy Olsen's one-off superhero identities over the leader of The Fantastic Four? I'm a DC freak, and I forgot that was the name he took for that.
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 4:20
  • The FF is Silver Age, as is Elastic Lad.
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 4:59
  • @user14111 But does ideographic writing count as a comic book? If so, then ancient Egyptian mythology is in scope.
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 6:44
  • I meant comic books literally.
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


The earliest "stretchy" superheroes seem to be The Thin Man and Flexo the Rubber Man, both of whom debuted in Mystic Comics #4 in July, 1940. Both superheroes (kinda) had stretching powers with The Thin Man capable of making himself thinner and Flexo (no, not that one) capable of using his flexible rubber shell to twist and rotate at high speeds.

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The first superhero capable of actually stretching themselves into other forms appears to be Plastic Man who debuted in Police Comics #1 in August, 1941

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Followed by other heroes like Elastic Lad (Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #31 - Feb, 1958) and Mr. Fantastic (The Fantastic Four #1 - Nov, 1961)

You may wish to note that the concept of a stretching character dramatically pre-dates Western comic books, with traditional Japanese rokurokubi (from the 1600s) depicted in storybooks as having stretchy and detachable necks.

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  • Also of note: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elongated_Man
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 18:04
  • 1
    I don't understand the "In memory of..." image. Can you provide some context?
    – Gaultheria
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 5:38
  • @Gaultheria - Stretchie Boy was a character from the hit film The Specials. He's mentioned (as having stretching powers) but not seen other than in this still image.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 6:09

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