Friday, March 14, 2014

Number 1541: Plastic Men

This is the final entry for our Week of Quality, showcasing characters from Quality Comics.

I showed you this cover a few weeks ago as part of my ongoing search for “injury-to-the-eye”* motifs in Jack Cole’s work:

It’s the cover for this entertaining story of Plastic Man robots being made out of recycled tires. (It was published during World War II; tires were rationed and at a premium.) The sequence of Woozy as a Plastic Man is inspired. The Grand Comics Database credits Jack Cole for writing, pencils and inks. From Police Comics #24 (1943):


Brian Barnes said...

Are you missing a page or does it really end like that? I know older comics had more abrupt endings, but that's a bit silly!

Daniel [] said...

I'll guess that Doc Gleason were named for Lev Gleason.

Cole's universe seems to have been filled with characters like Doc Gleason — men of stunning scientific genius, not seeming particularly hostile or sadistic, but under-appreciative of human rights.

Cole seems to have lost control of the pacing of this story. It's fourteen pages long, but feels rather as if a page is missing before and another after what is here the final page.

Pinky is sitting in his car on the penultimate page, but Woozy drops onto him as if Pinky'd been standing in a more open environment on the last page.

Plastic Man defeats the androids fairly abruptly; it's basically just “then Plastic Man caught them”. Their ultimate disposition is not given.

Nor do we see what becomes of Woozy's powers. Presumably he doesn't retain them. Presumably there is some reason that he and others cannot use in future the process that gave him those powers.

Pappy said...

I have reinstated page 15. My apologies to the readers for dropping that last page. Shortly after the post appeared I decided to delete a postscript, and by mistake deleted the last page, also.

Kirk said...

"Methinks I'm growing bored with splitting the atom. Besides, I haven't yet figured out why I'm doing it! Tee-hee!"

Maybe Leslie Groves should have offered him a job.


I like how they just peel the Plastic Man body off of Weezy Wonks, er, Wowzy Wanks, that is, I mean Woozy Winks! Nice post, Pappy! It's not the greatest Cole story ever, but even good Cole is better than most -- the guy was a creative genius!

Pappy said...

My educated and eclectic readers! Apocolyte makes reference to Harvey Kurtzman’s “Plastic Sam” from Mad #14. Kirk’s reference is to General Leslie Groves (1896-1970), who oversaw the Manhattan Project and the building of the first atomic bombs.

Thanks, guys...see you both on Jeopardy.