Saturday, May 17, 2014

Man Of Plastic!


Plastic Man really confused me when I was a mere tyro reading comics in those halcyon days of the late 60's. He'd show up now and again in an issue of The Brave and the Bold or maybe House of Mystery and he even had his own series for a time,  but never seemed to be a real part of the DC Universe, always an oddball.


I'd read the Golden Age origin story in The Great Comic Book Heroes and knew he was a reformed criminal, so maybe that had something to do with it.

Also his name confused me. I just assumed he was made of plastic and that weird composition, not unlike the Metal Men, allowed him to assume the myriad shapes he utilized to fight crime. It wasn't until ater that I actually looked up "plastic" and realized that his name pre-dated the ubiquitous substance which in many ways transformed modern industrial society. He was called "Plastic Man" for the same reason plastic got its name. 


I really fell in love the zany character when Joe Staton illustrated his adventures in the pages of Adventure Comics. Staton along with Nicola Cuti had created E-Man some years before, a hero at least in part inspired by Plastic Man.

Anyway, despite all this, I was more than a bit surprised when he got his own cartoon show. Nonetheless I remember it as a passably entertaining animated adventure of its time with a heavy emphasis on humor and with all the travails of limited television cartooning.

I found a DVD set of Plas's TV adventures at my new favorite store Half-Price Books and I have no idea when I'll get around to watching them, but I look forward to it. He's fun.


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6 comments:

  1. As much fun as Plastic Man was, Rip, I think I always preferred The Elongated Man. I wonder if the characters ever met?

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    1. Surely they have in a JLA adventure since Plas became a sturdy member. I don't know of it immediately though. They kept Ralph pretty much off stage while Plas was around.

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    2. Here's a comic that featured the two stretchy heroes:

      http://www.comics.org/issue/41370/

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    3. Thanks, Rip. That looks interesting, 'though I 'm not sure that these digests were ever available in this country. Maybe one will come my way some day.

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  2. I totally have to buy that comics. I need to see the Elastic Four. :)

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  3. Always had a soft spot for Plastic Man and wasn't aware he was not named after "Plastic" (as such) - The Kyle Barker Plastic Man comic is well worth a read.

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