In November, Brian Michael Bendis made it public that after 18 years with the publisher, he was leaving Marvel Comics in order to sign an exclusive deal with DC Comics. Speculation mounted as to what project he would be taking on, and then silence. Bendis spent a good portion of December in the hospital, delaying his transition, but now he’s healthy and ready to start his new contract.
We still don’t know what he will be working on, and considering he’s still finishing up his work with Marvel, it still might be some time before any official announcement is made. In the meantime, all we can do is speculate — but what if he’s already given us a great big hint? What if the answer lies in, of all places, his personal Tumblr page?
Bendis likes to share pieces of comic book art on his Tumblr, and it’s probably no surprise that he’s posted far more DC Comics characters since November. He may simply be going through as much comic book history as possible, but the fact is that in recent days, one particular character has been featured more than others: Plastic Man.
Things start innocently enough with an old image of Plas by José Luis García-López, posted on Christmas Day. However, that’s been followed by a seemingly unending parade of images starring the pliable superhero. There was Plastic Man by John Byrne a few days later, and on the 28th, Bendis posted a number of Plastic Man-related pieces, including a DC Comics-themed record cover with Plas on the front and the cover of The Terrifics #1 (which features out elastic boy).
In the time since Christmas, and into the new year, he’s gone full-in, with images of Plastic Man by Alex Ross, George Perez, Frank Quitely, Brian Bolland, Mitch Gerads and even some GIFs from Justice League Action. There were pages from an issue of JLA and Sins of Youth from Young Justice. There was also a particularly long post filled with covers from Kyle Baker’s run on the character.
Sure, this might not mean anything; Bendis’ Tumblr has gone on thematic kicks before, but the timing of this one in particular makes things interesting. Plastic Man has played a role in Dark Nights: Metal, albeit as a non-speaking egg, but he is bound to be an important factor before everything is all said and done. In the aftermath of the event, he is set to star in The Terrifics as a part of the heavily promoted New Age of DC Heroes initiative.
Despite the character’s continued popularity among fans and creators, Plastic Man is currently experiencing the most attention he’s been given in years. It would be the perfect time to give Plas an ongoing series for the first time since Kyle Baker’s title was cancelled in 2006. Handing such a title to Bendis would certainly give the character a fantastic opportunity to succeed.
You might think that it would be a waste to bring Bendis over from Marvel and have him work on Plastic Man, of all characters, but there’s a good chance he will be doing more than just that. There is always time for him to take on Superman or Batman, but now is the perfect time to launch Plastic Man. Even if Bendis really isn’t dropping any hints on his Tumblr, DC really needs to consider the potential a comic like this would have.
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