|Art by Emily Jayne Weber AKA Zimeta|
Comics are a relatively frivolous expense, and comics readers should certainly appreciate the frivolity of many of these characters. We're a bit silly ourselves! It's probably not the power most readers would name as the one they'd like to have, but it is fun to look at and multi-functional. It's a power kids can play at having, by simply stretching their arms out while holding their sleeves. And perhaps short people think of those of us over six feet as having a version of this power we simply can't switch off. I know I've used my powers of Reach to help people before. Often, even.
It's rather unfortunate that gutter-minded fans have had fun imagining or describing the sexual possibilities associated with stretchable heroes (but not surprising). Maybe that's why the archetype is so under-used today. Do writers shy away from characters who invite such ridicule? And yet, Mr. Fantastic is one of the most respected characters in the Marvel Universe. Ralph Dibny has many fans despite his continued non-existence in the New52. Plastic Man, blessed with the greatest longevity, is one of the few heroes to get his own solo cartoon series. And Elastigirl proved the power wasn't too grotesque for a woman, nor did it marginalize her in The Incredibles. So wash your mouth out with soap, Bendies are awesome. They reach for the stars, they're great multi-taskers, and guess what, those stones you throw at them bounce right off. Because they are literally "rubber", and you might just be "glue".
Do YOU have a soft spot for soft taffy heroes? Why or why not?