Monday, June 26, 2017

Number 2067: Plastic Man sans shirtsleeve

Plastic Man’s origin was published in Police Comics #1 (1941), and immediately stood out because of creator Jack Cole’s writing and artwork. Cole was a guy with a sometimes twisted sense of humor, a great cartoonist working in comic books, injecting his stories with his gift of comic exaggeration.

There were some minor changes after Police Comics #'s 1 and 2. As a design, Plastic Man’s costume just did not work; Plas wore a top with only one sleeve, and some odd-looking black boots. By Police Comics #3 the boots were gone and a sleeve added. I mention it because the story today is from Plastic Man #2 (1941), and features the original costume.

Of all the characters created for early comics, most never went on to the great popularity of Plastic Man. He was a great success, going from backup feature to headliner. He earned a couple of one-shot issues during the war, and got his own regular title to go along with his Police Comics appearances after the war ended.


Brian Barnes said...

Hmmm ... that's a weird one, but it's really neat to see these early stories, and how almost fully formed Plastic Man was from the beginning, besides a few tweaks here and there.

Also interesting is how much police procedural there is in this, then the outright zany stuff you'd see later. It's a very proto-Plastic Man story. Very cool stuff, Pappy!

Pappy said...

Brian, thanks for your comment. Plastic Man seemed to come out of Jack Cole's head fully formed. I believe there might have been a Life magazine advertisement that could have started his creative juices flowing (see Pappy's #943), but other than that (if it is indeed an inspiration)I think that Plastic Man was probably one of the top five most original super characters to come out of the Golden Age.