While longtime readers of Plastic Man may be disappointed that the character isn’t getting much recognition from DC Comics for his 75th anniversary — at least to the extent of characters like Batman or Wonder Woman — there’s still a fan base that’s quite eager to honor the classic hero’s impact on comics. Two of those fans have even created their own homage to Plas in an all-new web comic that honors the character in a modern-day tale.
The comic, created by Justin Smith and Chris Balcom, is a ‘day in the life’ story of the hero and his trusty (if slightly unhinged) sidekick, Woozy Winks. The comic sees a disillusioned Plastic Man who, tired of playing the Hollywood version of Batman, returns to detective work. In classic Plastic Man style, our malleable hero stumbles upon the hideout and secret identity of a classic DCU villain whilst dropping gags and innuendoes along the way. Smith manages to accurately capture the dialogue of the character, while Balcom’s art is wacky enough to give the comic a traditional, professional touch.
Having first appeared in “Police Comics” (owned by Quality Comics) in 1941, Plastic Man was created, written and drawn by comics giant Jack Cole. Cole was one of the Golden Age workhorses, known for swapping the American Can factory for the ‘assembly line’ working conditions of the comic book ‘sweatshops’ of the day, never letting up on his commitment to quality. The iconic, lightning-paced art of the original series led revered comics creator Art Spiegelman to say that “[“Plastic Man”] literally embodied the comic book form.”
Although he has continued to appear in the mainstream DCU over the years, with Grant Morrison even using him as a mainstay in the JLA during his run, Plastic Man hasn’t achieved the fame that might be expected from such a popular character in comic book reader circles.
In Smith and Balcom’s work, Plas is asked, “Are they ever going to make a movie about you?” to which he replies, “Probably not. I used to think that was important” — a line that one might find in a Plastic Man Appreciation Group.
While Plas hasn’t had much to do in comics lately, things are looking better for the character on the small screen. New promo art for “Justice League Action”, in addition to the trailer, reveal that Plastic Man will be a part of the upcoming animated series’ cast. Perhaps we shouldn’t lose hope for a Hollywood adaptation of Plastic Man yet…
Take a look at the web comic below:
If you’re looking to purchase some classic Plastic Man comics, head over to Comixology, where there’s currently a digital sale on the character’s back catalogue.
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