Sue Dibny: 1977 - 2000

Before Sue Dibny was Sue Dibny, she was Sue Dearden, of the Opal City Deardens. Sue was born into wealth, the daughter of Patrick and Rachel Dearden. (Fun fact: She is actually the cousin of Oliver Queen) The oldest of the three Dearden sons, Patrick oversaw the family's oil holdings and ran the family estate as his father's health declined. When Sue was twelve, Sue's parents died unexpectedly in a car accident. Sue was sent to Keystone City to live with her uncle Jimmy.

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. One year after Sue moved in with Uncle Jimmy's family, the family patriarch passed away and shortly after that, Jimmy's older sister Moira herself died while on safari with her family. Jimmy inherited the family business. After Sue graduated, Jimmy hired her as lead technology consultant (replacing her uncle Liam who Jimmy had recently fired after he had cost the family millions with poor investments and gambling) and sent her to college.

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 cocktail 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 STAR 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, Ralph resigned and made plans to move to Opal City to be with Sue.[1]

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 getaway. Ralph and Sue were uncertain about the orchard at first, but after Sue developed a stalker by the name of Arthur Phelan, one of her uncle's lead engineers, Sue became incredibly stressed. When the matter reached the level that the police had to get involved and Mr. Phelan had to be let go, Sue needed a break and at Ralph's suggestion welcomed a long trip to their orchard. After that, the Dibnys fell in love with the property and 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.[2]

Elastic Woman: 2000 - Present

During a New Years Eve at their weekend retreat, the Dibnys were watching Brainiac's invasion of Washington, DC when the power went out. Ralph 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 DEO 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.[3]

Threat Assessment


  • Limited Gingo-Induced Physical Elasticity
  • Enhanced Agility, Resilience, and Strength
  • Extreme Contortionism and Elastic Disguise
  • Expert in Computer Forensics and Investigation
  • Skilled Diplomat, Leader and Linguist
  • The Jelly to Ralph's Peanut Butter

Trivia and Notes


  • Elastic Woman joined the Justice League of America in 2005 nominated by Black Canary.
  • Sue and Ralph wear matching Peanut Butter and Jelly, necklace and clip-tie.
  • Dibnys created a new tradition of inviting members of the Justice League into their gingo orchard.


  • In the comics, her maiden name was Dearbon.
  • Her suit is based on suit of Elongated Lass.
  • Her mother shares the name with Rachel Dunleavy, a nurse from the Smallville TV series.
  • 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)."

Links and References

  1. Oracle Files: Sue Dibny (1/2) Old Version
  2. Oracle Files: Sue Dibny (1/2) Remastered
  3. Oracle Files: Sue Dibny (2/2)
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