Too Many Long Boxes!

End of Summer
The Main Event:
Plastic Man vs. Elongated Man vs. Mr. Fantastic

by Michael Hutchison

Hello, fight fans, and welcome to the beautiful new Vauxhall Concert Center in downtown Gotham City, where tonight we're going to witness a different kind of performance…a 3-way Battle Royale between Mr. Fantastic, Plastic Man, and the Elongated Man!

Plastic Man has the edge, because his powers are different than those of the other two, who are only stretchers. It's often been said it's like comparing a wad of gum and a rubber band. Plastic Man isn't even human by most standards. However, Plas is severely coming up short in the brains department in comparison to the Fantastic Four's scientist leader and the Stretchable Sleuth, so this should be quite a fight! It's going to be one for the record books.

There's the bell, and they all come out swinging. Interestingly enough, all three are still in their corners.

Now Plastic Man jumps into the fray, dodging the others' punches while making a lot of snappy banter. OH! Mr. Fantastic threw a powerhouse punch at Plas' stomach, but Plas opened a hole in his torso and the punch flattened Ralph Dibny..literally! Reed Richards forgot that Plas could do that.

Elongated Man is down, we think, although parts of him are draped over the ropes and the stool and the referee and the spectators, so the ref doesn't know if he's "down" or not. Oh, there's some consciousness, his head is up…now it's way up…and though he hasn't regathered himself fully, the ref has stopped the count.

Meanwhile, Richards has landed a number of good hard connections to Plas, but Plastic Man is shrugging them off. Without any internal organs to injure, Plas is going to be very hard to take down.

Oh, there's the bell and the end of round one. The three contenders retire to their corners. Plastic Man is taking a swig of water…that's being handed to him by his trainer, Woozy…uh…Winklebaum is hi-…oh, I'm sorry, that's Winks, Woozy Winks.

Meanwhile, Elongated Man is getting his shoulders rubbed by his very sexy wife, Sue, to the catcalls of the audience. And I see he's also taking a swig of something, although he's not spitting it out. Could be Gingold, could be bourbon. I wouldn't blame him, as he's got a very difficult task of taking down not only a powerhouse shapeshifter but one of the most serious contenders of the Marvel Universe, Mr. Fantastic, who is an even match for Ralph.

Reed Richards is off in his corner, getting…oh, he doesn't have anyone there. I thought his wife was assisting him. Oh, she is? I don't see her.

And there's the bell for round two. All three combatants have raced to the center BUT WAIT! Plastic Man has ensnared the other two by turning himself into a blanket! Now they're trapped inside him, and it looks like he's sealed himself up into a bag. They're punching Plas like crazy, but their fists can't inflict any damage. Plastic Man's smiling and quipping away, looking like a happy sack full of wildcats. And their movements are subsiding…I wouldn't be surprised if they're running out of oxygen, as all that stretching must burn up the O molecules pretty fast. Now we can see the outlines of the two stretchers inside Plas, and they seem to be conferring. They're…OH MY GOD, Elongated Man used a fingernail to puncture Plastic Man! They're out! They're out! Plastic Man seems to be in a lot of pain there. I bet they can hear that scream in Walla Walla!

The ref has called for time…and it's fair! Plastic Man can survive this, it's just painful. He may be okay. And that's the end of round two.

Let's look at some of the celebrities in the stands. We have Barry Allen, who has time traveled from back when he was alive JUST to watch his good friend Ralph in action. There's Namor, who's probably here just to make time with Reed's wife. And up in the Out Of Continuity balcony, you can see Penny, Hula Hula and Baby Plas cheering for Plastic Man.

There's the bell for round three. Plas still looks out of it, stumbling around in a defensive position. Now Ralph and Reed are going at it, with a flurry of punches. Who wins this is anyone's call! Both are equally matched, equally capable…but hang on, Ralph's arms are shrinking! Now he can't even reach across the ring. What's going on?

OH! Quite a knock, there, from Reed Richards. Elongated Man is struggling to get up, and he's not stretching at all. Can anyone hear what Reed is saying? I'm…I'm getting a report. Reed is boasting that he concocted a formula that drives the Gingold from Dibny's system! Oh, dear, this doesn't look good at all.

Jimmy Olsen by Bill Wiist
Now Dibny is looking uncertainly over at his wife, and she appears to be checking the bottle Ralph was drinking.

Wait! Fans, this is amazing. Ralph has thrown himself at Reed Richards anyway, even though there's no hope to win! What spirit! Richards seems totally shocked, and Dibny's landed several punches to Richards' face. Reed is dazed, but now he's regrouping. And now they've stopped. Why have they stopped?

Plastic Man has reverted to his old criminal behaviour and has taken Sue Dibny and Susan Richards captive! I wonder if shock has changed his personality. He's going to shoot the ladies unless Reed and Ralph surrender. Is that a real gun? It's red and has black and yellow stripes down the side.

Now both of the stretchers are lying on the mat, and Plastic Man looks to be the winner. The ref is counting out the other two combatants. They're out! Plastic Man has won --

Wow! Plastic Man is DOWN! A long arm just shot out of the audience and decked Plastic Man! Who could have done that? Was it Ralph Dibny or Reed Richards? Did anyone see whose fist that was? Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen, did you get a picture of that? No? I wonder whose arm that was? Any ideas, Jimmy? What are you grinning about?

This column is © 2000 by Michael Hutchison
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