Once again Plastic Man is making his return to mainstream DC comics. Despite having his own television series, and being a reoccurring member of the Justice League, ol’ Patrick ‘Eel’ O’Brian’s superhero career has fluctuated from nobody to notoriety countless times.
Now, with comic guru, Jeff Lemire at the helm, Plastic Man is about to become DC’s own Mr. Fantastic, as the company launches their own play on the classic Fantastic Four, entitled The Terrifics. Sure, other than powers Eel and Reed Richards are polar opposites, but Plastic Man brings his own strengths to DC’s first superhero family. As far as I’m concerned, his character has never been highlighted better than in 2004 by cartoonist Kyle Baker. I don’t think I am alone in those beliefs, as the short lived 20 issue series received 5 Eisner Awards, including best new series, as well as 3 Harvey Awards. If you are unsure what that means, let me tell you, it’s damn impressive.
Today, I am going to take the opportunity to Deconstruct issue #1 of Kyle Baker’s legendary run. Out of the 20 issues available, there are many memorable story lines, packed with fun and humour. Ultimately, I decided on #1 because,… well, mostly because it’s out, and I don’t have to go back digging through my long boxes. Fair game though, this entire series is fantastic. Let’s have a look at it-
The wonderful part about having a comic that is more cartoony and focused on humour is the artist is free to do whatever he wants with Plastic Man. And I mean whatever he wants. Plastics powers give him the ability to take anyform, so much like a Green Lantern, artist Kyle Baker’s only limit is that of his own creativity. Highlighted by this fun cover of PM disguised as the Mona Lisa to foil this cat robbers day. Once upon a time, I was going to become a cat robber, but then, I was like, what would I do with all the cats?
I’m sure to all of our disappointment this book is filled with these types of adverts. While there are plenty, most are these obscure video games that I don’t have any commentary for. So, unfortunately, there wont be many ads in this Deconstructed, at least the book is a bag of giggles. Let’s see, what do I have to say about this game advert…? Hmm… yeah, I got nothing. Boo, boo you game I’ve never heard of, boo!
Volume 4, #1
Price $4.50CAN (Todays worth: bloody priceless)
Cover art by Kyle Baker
Written by Kyle Baker
Pencils by Kyle Baker
Ink by Kyle Baker
Colours by Baker, Kyle
Letters by Kyle Baker
Editor Joey Cavalieri
The scene opens up on to thugs discussing their underhanded schemes at a “garish, red plastic table”. When one of the thugs knocks over a conveniently placed pepper shaker.
If you have seen any cartoon ever in your life, you know the results-
Everybody knows Tara Dakides, 5 time X Games Medalist has a Soup at Hand sticker on her snowboard.
As Plastic Man has been revealed, the goons soon discover the hero is bullet proof. Then, Eel finds another conveniently placed bowling ball (what kind of hide out is this?) and turns himself into some sort of sling-shot, easily taking care of the first thug.
Meanwhile, the other thug has given PM the proverbial slip. Sneaking up behind the hero, the villain gives him one of these- While it is up to Plastic’s amazing sidekick, Woozy Winks to stop the bad guy.
How does Woozy stop an enemy? One of these-
Plastic Man the hero, and self proclaimed strongest member of the Justice League, gets all the praise and leaves with a pair of beautiful young women on each arm. While Woozy Winks tries his hand at the ladies as well-
The centre fold is this ad for… for who knows? I guess its an anti smoking ad? Really, they couldn’t do better than this? On a centre fold?
After Plastic Man’s escorts leave for the night, he tucks himself into bed. As he slips into slumber, and his dreams begin to manifest, his powers alter his face to his former self, and the origin story begins-
I just thought this image of Leonardo was sweet! I don’t remember the TMNT video game for PS2, but the one on NES was fun as heck. Anyways, sweet Leo!
O’Brian, in mid-flash back makes a promise to his then girlfriend, that he needs to pull “one more job” and they will have enough money to get married and move on from this life (cliché much? To be fair PM first appeared in 1941, so what’s cliché now, is because it was original then). And then, of course, the job goes bad, the cops show up, and there is a vat of mysterious acid-
Eel makes it out, makes a run for it, but as he flees his legs begin to feel like rubber-
O’Brian wakes up, saved by a mysterious monk who has taken care of him. The monk leaves him to “rest up from his exhausting back story” when Eel makes a discovery-
He can stretch a little too well-
And that was the moment when Eel O’Brian decided to put the life of crime behind him and become a hero. Suddenly, Plastic Man is awoken by the telephone. It’s the police chief, there’s been a homicide, and he needs the heroes assistance right away. So Plastic makes his way down there in style-
Woozy Winks happens to be at the crime scene as well because he forgot where he lived and was wandering around. Woozy finds a wallet and begins to pocket it-
But the evidence brings upon a surprise suspect-
C’mon guys, this is a first issue what kinda comic book geek time travel letters do you want?
At least this book ends on a positive note. You can own a piece of WrestleMania history! With wrestling collector cards? There’s a reason these didn’t catch on… At least make a trading card game out of it. These are just silly.
Thanks booknerds, this run on Plastic Man got so unbelievably funny, I highly recommend hunting them down for a read. I mean 5 Eisner awards doesn’t lie.