Gail Simone's next project will see the writer team with her Birds of Prey collaborator Adriana Melo for a six-issue Plastic Man miniseries for DC Comics.
The series goes on sale in June, and will focus on the style of humor that fans have come to love about the Golden Age hero.
"When I think about Plastic Man, he was genuinely the first funny super hero," Simone told Syfy Wire. "I'm obviously attracted to that. There's also this great mixture of tragedy in there, too, that I love. The humor comes from a place of pain. And a lot o people I know, the bravest ones, deal with their pain through humor. So I really like trying to find that balance and keeping that rollercoaster going where there is enough tragedy going on that the humor kind of helps you get through it, and that's what this series is."
"This character was so ahead of its time when it was created," the writer added. "The stuff we're seeing in Deadpool and Harley Quinn now, Plastic Man was doing in the 1940s. It's a character that was ahead of its time back then and the stories are still funny and still relevant. So just kind of bringing him into the modern DCU was the big thing for me."
As far as the type of threats Plastic Man will face, Simone teases the story will involve a number of criminals getting together, with no one believing him and becoming the world's last line of defense.
"First of all, nobody knows that Eel O'Brian is Plastic Man," she said. "The Justice League, the bad guys don't know, no one knows. And he ends up finding out that a group of the smartest super villains in the world have gotten together. And no one believes him. They just think he's bonkers. Basically it's up to him to stop this group from world domination."
"So just imagine the smartest villains in the DCU and you can probably come up with some of the cast members of this story (laughs), as well as some new characters that I've created too, including one in particular that I'm completely in love with and I hope will stick around for awhile."
Created by Jack Cole, Eel O'Brian aka Plastic Man made his debut in Police Comics #1 in 1941. The villain-turned-hero was involved in a botched robbery that left him with the metahuman ability to stretch his body in amazing -- and often humorous -- ways. Plastic Man has been a member of various Justice League teams over the years, and made his Rebirth debut in the pages of Dark Nights: Metal. He is also a starring in the Metal spinoff series The Terrifics with Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho and Phantom Girl.
Below is the cover for Issue #1 by Adriana Melo, along with her inked interior pages.
Plastic Man #1 by Gail Simone and Adriana Melo, with a variant cover by Amanda Conner, arrives in June from DC Comics.