Stretch Armstrong set for new IDW comic book series

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Sep 7, 2017

Following on the heels of a successful My Little Pony reboot, Hasbro's original pliable hero Stretch Armstrong will join the stable of other toys-turned-animation-turned-comic books in a series from kid-friendly comics powerhouse IDW Publishing.

The Hollywood Reporter says the forthcoming Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters comics will be based on the Netflix cartoon of the same name, even sharing the show's executive producers and head writers, Kevin Burke and Chris "Doc" Wyatt. Art will be provided by Nikos Koutsis, an Image Comics veteran with a hand in Savage Dragon, Invincible, and Mighty Man.

The animated Stretch TV series will follow the misadventures of a teen-aged Jake Armstrong and his best pals after they are unexpectedly exposed to experimental chemicals and transformed into super-flexible superheroes. The Netflix original show is aimed at children 5 to 10, but the original action figure by the same name has a much different meaning for previous generations.

The gel-filled, muscle man clad in only a black pair of trunks recently returned to toy shelves as a nostalgic plaything from yesteryear, known for the ability to stretch to four times his regular size. Originally launched by Kenner in 1976, Stretch Armstrong enjoyed other reissues, including the addition of an elastic pet named Fetch, before being relegated to toy history. But after Hasbro purchased the brand, it announced plans to relaunch the character at the New York Toy Fair in 2016.

Taking a page from other comic properties that share ongoing stories on-screen, THR says the printed tales will serve as teasers for the animated TV series, with storylines slotted between episodes, and even the debut of a new villain.

But the comic creators say readers won't have to keep current on the animated show to enjoy the adaptation. "We're carefully designing the Stretch Armstrong comic book stories to work as 'standalones' for people who haven't seen the Netflix series yet, but to also reward viewers of the show with more depth on their favorite characters," Wyatt said in a statement from the publisher. "We're having a blast writing these issues."

The first issue of Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters is due out in comic stores and digitally in Jan. 2018.