Friday, July 28, 2017

Number 2081: Plastic Man in transition

Last month I showed the Jack Cole Plastic Man story from Police Comics #2. Plastic Man was still wearing the costume from his origin story in Police #1. In Police Comics #3 (1941), which is where our story today appeared, Plas’s costume has evolved past the boots, one bare arm, one sleeved arm top to two sleeves. But one side of his top still has that strange black shading, which I have yet to figure out. By Police Comics #5 the costume that Plastic Man wore for the rest of his career was fully intact.

That in itself was not unusual in the artistic development of a character, but Plastic Man went further. His former identity as criminal Eel O’Brian was mostly never mentioned or shown, and he appeared to live 24/7 in his costume. In that way he avoided those sorts of clumsy plots found in most comics, where the hero was trying to keep his secret identity secret. Instead, Cole could get Plas right into the fun stuff.

In 2013 I showed a story which explained that Plastic Man’s face was deliberately changed from Eel’s. Just click on the thumbnail.

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