Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TITANS Casts April Bowlby as Elasti-Girl

The Doom Patrol is about to really grow in size.

Entertainment Weekly has word that the upcoming DC Universe digital series Titans has April Bowlby as Rita Farr, better known to DC Comics fans as Elasti-Girl, member of the team of strange superheroes known as The Doom Patrol.  

Bowlby joins Bruno Bichir as Dr. Niles Caulder, a.k.a. The Chief.  The Doom Patrol will make their debut in the series' fifth episode, "The Doom Patrol", written by Geoff Johns.

According to the article, Elasti-Girl is described as "An actress on the rise, Rita Farr was exposed to a toxic gas that altered her cellular structure — which, in the comics, allows her to expand or shrink her body at will. Longing for the days of old, Rita finds a place for herself among The Doom Patrol."

Bowlby, 37, is best known as Kandi on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men and as Stacy Barrett on the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva.  She's also appeared in episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Psych, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, How I Met Your Mother, and CSI: NY.

Created in 1963 by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani, Elasti-Girl first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 as Rita Farr, an Olympic swimming gold medalist turned Hollywood actress who was exposed to unusual volcanic gases while shooting a film in Africa.  When Farr recovered, she discovered that she could expand or shrink her body at will—from hundreds of feet tall to mere inches in height.  When she gained greater control of her powers, she discovered that she could enlarge one limb at a time.

Although not physically disfigured, Rita initially had no control over her size changes.  Considered a freak and a menace, she became a recluse, leaving her Hollywood career in ruins.  However, Rita was approached by Dr. Niles Caulder who offered her a place among fellow "freaks" attempting to use their powers for good.  As Elasti-Girl, she joined Caulder's team, the Doom Patrol.

Rita soon fell in love with and married Steve Dayton, an ally of the Doom Patrol known as Mento.  Later on, the couple adopted young Gar Logan, became the Teen Titans member Beast Boy.  Eventually, tragedy struck when the Doom Patrol's enemies, the Brotherhood of Evil, threatened a small New England fishing village.  The Patrol members opted to sacrifice themselves to save the innocents, and were killed in an explosion.  It was later revealed that several members of the team actually cheated death (to appear in Doom Patrol revivals), although Elasti-Girl would remain dead until John Byrne rebooted the team's continuity in 2004 as if none of the previous events ever happened.  Byrne's reboot was later removed from continuity in the Infinite Crisis mini-series.

Following the "One Year Later" storyline, the Doom Patrol changed considerably, losing several members and gaining Beast Boy, Bumblebee and Vox.  Rita's resurrection was explained that The Chief salvaged a piece of Elasti-Girl's skull and used his technology to regrow her entire body due to its malleable form.  Consequently, Elasti-Girl was very docile, and was reluctant to question the Chief.  The Chief hinted that her malleable form hampered her thinking abilities, leading to her lack of personal initiative which makes her dependent upon Caulder.  As he observed her interaction with the Chief, Robin suspected that the Chief had brainwashed Rita and the other Patrol members.  Rita's husband Mento was under the control of his Mento-helmet, and believed that his wife would never love him without it.  Following their battle against the Brotherhood, the Titans and the Doom Patrol confronted the Chief.  Mento finally removed his helmet and pointedly told the Chief that he was no longer leader of the Patrol and if he ever again insulted his wife and son, he would use his powers to destroy the Chief's intellect.  Rita firmly stood behind her husband, breaking out of the Chief's control.

In the most recent Doom Patrol series, Rita changed her codename to Elasti-Woman.  It was revealed that when the Chief regrew her, he did so using protoplasm to eliminate "weaknesses" such as bones and internal organs and therefore Rita was no longer human. When she slept, Rita lost her human shape and reverted to a puddle of goo, having to reshape herself when she wakes up every morning.

This will be the first time the character will appear in live-action, although Elasti-Girl has appeared in various animation projects, including Teen Titans (voiced by Tara Strong), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Olivia d'Abo), and in the DC Nation Doom Patrol shorts (voiced by Kari Wahlgren).

Titans is expected to debut on the DC Universe digital service sometime in 2018.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome. Though a slight correction to your post, Elasti-Woman hasn't been seen in the current Doom Patrol series by Gerard Way though "Rita Farr" has appeared as an actress on a TV in current DC continuity in a few different Young Animal books.