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While exploring the reaches of outer space, Superman discovered an old chest and brought it back to Earth. He showed it to his friend Jimmy Olsen, and upon examining the contents, they discovered a vial of green liquid. Jimmy's clumsiness got the worst of him and he spilled the alien liquid onto himself. The fluid temporarily altered Jimmy's genetic structure, giving him great physical elasticity. Excited by his newfound powers, he decided to adopt the heroic alias Elastic Lad.
Another version of the formula was later found in the laboratory of Professor Phineas Potter. Jimmy accidentally drank from the serum and gained his super-stretching abilities once again. This time, he used them to play a game of baseball with Superman. After several hours however, the formula eventually wore off and Jimmy returned to normal.
Later, Lois Lane borrowed some of the Elasti-Formula and used it to give herself superhuman powers. Calling herself Elasti-Lass, she performed 10 great feats of elasticity while simultaneously investigating a man named Raphael Byron, whom she suspected of being a criminal named The Wrecker. After exposing Byron's schemes, the effects of the Elasti-Formula wore off.
- The Elasti-Formula exists in Pre-Crisis Earth-One continuity only. Although Jimmy has developed stretching abilities in Post-Crisis continuity, it has always been through an alternate means.
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