Plastic Man (2018)
Writer – Gail Simone
Artist – Adriana Melo
One of my favorite things is reading dollar bin comics from the past five or ten years and looking at the in-house advertisements to find comics I may have missed out on the first time around.
I saw an ad for the Plastic Man series and I was fortunate enough to find and request the trade from my local library.
Gail Simone takes the reader on a journey through Cole City, the hometown of Eel O’Brian aka Plastic Man. We finally get an in-depth origin on Plas and how a small-time crook became the stretchy superhero we have grown to love over the years. In this six-issue mini-series, Plastic Man is the prime suspect in the murder of a former associate. He must stay one step ahead of the authorities, find the real murderer, and unravel a conspiracy involving the entire superhero community.
This trade paperback is the first appearance of Pado Swakatoon, the Suave Prince of Pine Street, who ends up helping Plastic Man in his quest for justice. Plastic Man brings his usual brand of irreverent humor when doing battle against villains he squares up against, but Simone shows a more serious side to the hero we haven’t seen before. You’ll need a tissue to help dry those tears of laughter and sadness during the course of this series.
Eel’s past and Plastic Man’s present might end up costing him his life and he must try to resolve these issues if he’s going to have a chance at happiness in the future. I enjoyed the growth of Plastic Man throughout the course of the story as he tries to make the right decisions, even though it could cost him his newfound friendship with Pado and budding romance with his coworker, Doris.
Simone did a great job elevating Plastic Man from second rate hero to powerhouse in this story and I like the different forms he takes to dish out a heaping helping of hurt to henchmen and supervillains alike, thanks to Melo’s art.
Take one helping of film noir, add a dash of slapstick comedy, and some heart for good measure, and you’ll have a story that stretches our characters to their limit, without breaking their spirits.
This hidden gem is worth checking out. Its definitely a palate cleanser if you need one after reading some of the darker comics that have hit the comic racks in recent weeks and months. There are a few plot points that are left open-ended, and sadly, haven’t been resolved. I’m hoping we get a sequel miniseries sometime soon. If you are unable to find it at your library, it is available to read on ComiXology and DC Universe Infinite.