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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Number 1837: A hot time with the Lava Man for Plastic Man

I guess the origin of the Lava Man (he fell into a volcano in Mexico, and lava made him immortal) isn’t any harder to accept than Plastic Man’s origin. As you know, Plastic Man was Eel O’Brien, a criminal who had a vat of acid spill on him during a robbery, and was deserted by his fellow gang members, those “putrid punks.” It changed his outlook on life, going from crook to superhero.

Not so the Lava Man, whose criminal tendencies just go from bad to baddest.

The story is from Plastic Man #2 (1944). I have called this issue one of the treasures of the Golden Age, because the quality of the writing and art is outstanding. It is pure Jack Cole genius. I showed another story from this issue earlier, and you can link to it below.














As promised, another story from Plastic Man #2. Also, the Plastic Man story from Police Comics #30, and a short article where I show a possible inspiration for Jack Cole and the creation of his famous character. Just click on the thumbnails.



9 comments:

Illsa Gorrey said...

I never knew the back story of Plastic Man. Thank you for these gems!

Ryan Anthony said...

Okay, here's where you see how screwy my thinking is: I went along with Freddie turning into a lava man and fighting an elastic man, but I consider it too much of a coincidence that Freddie's rocky remains were able to "accidentally" mix with lava again! Sheesh! It may be a Plastic Man feature, but you can only stretch credulity so far! And did this superhero comic, with the unwritten motto "crime never pays," really let Freddie "get away"? After all, he doesn't seem terribly unhappy to be a lava guy living in molten rock. Anyway, I think my single favorite panel was the Information Bureau one; hilarious!

Brian Barnes said...

Just awesome. "Kinetic" is the only word that describes Cole at the top of his game.

Pappy said...

Illsa, thanks for the note. I'm happy you share my enthusiasm for the character.

Pappy said...

Ryan, your thinking isn't screwy. You can just suspend disbelief to a point and then no more. I am the same way. But, when I enjoy something I just let the storyteller have his way with me and I stay suspended.

Pappy said...

Brian, I like that word. Kinetic. Thanks!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

"One of the Golden age treasures". I can only agree with your definition.
I am more than willing to stretch my credulity for stories like this.
Come to think of it, anyone knows where that vulcan is? I might want to join. Tres Caballeros and, maybe, 4 or 5 girls in the lava. Pretty hot.

Mykal said...

The magic of Cole for me is that no matter how many times I see him, his works seems fresh. Despite all the singing done to praise him, he STILL feels unsung to me!

James Kirk said...

If you go on Amazon there are some reasonably priced Plastic Man Archive editions on sale for under $20. Cole was the very under rated and deserved a lot more notoriety than he got in life.