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Who, What, and Why Is PLASTIC MAN?

Who, What, and Why Is PLASTIC MAN?

It looks like the days of “grim n’ gritty” DCEU films are firmly behind us. We’ve got the wild and imaginative Aquaman hitting theaters in December, and kid superhero Shazam coming in 2019. Well, things are about to get even weirder, and even more downright silly, as WB is in early stages of bringing Plastic Man to the big screen, according to a report over at Deadline, with writer Amanda Idoko said to be developing the script.

Although you have no doubt heard the name Plastic Man, many of you might be asking, “Wait, is that actually a real superhero?” And then answer is yes, he most certainly is. And he’s amazing.

Where did Plastic Man come from, and when?

So there are other stretchy heroes out there, like Elongated Man and Mr. Fantastic, but those guys wouldn’t have existed without Plastic Man. He did the whole rubbery hero thing first, way back in 1941. Created for long-gone publisher Quality Comics by cartoonist Jack Cole, Plastic Man was one of the very first comedic superheroes, decades before Deadpool ever ate his first chimichanga. And kind of like Deadpool, Plas (yes, that’s his actual nickname) started out as a bad guy.

What exactly is Plastic Man’s backstory?

Eel O’Brien was a common thief whose body was drenched in weird chemicals in a robbery-gone-wrong. But unlike every single other criminal in comic book history, once he got his powers, he decided to go heroic and not become a super powered villain.

Is Plastic Man actually made of plastic?

Well, not exactly. The chemicals got into Eel’s bloodstream, and soon he found out he could transform his body into something resembling rubber, which allowed him to stretch, bounce around like a giant beach ball, and mold himself into any shape (including nightmare-inducing images like cars and tennis rackets human faces). Wearing a leotard with a slit down the center (and no shoes?) for a costume, he changed the shape of his face with his powers and wore a pair of goggles to hide his secret identity… which, if you ask us, would work better than a pair of glasses. (Sorry, Superman). With his Three Stooges-like sidekick Woozy Winks, Plastic Man had several ridiculous adventures in the Golden Age.

Where has Plastic Man been all these years?

When Quality Comics went under, DC bought all their characters in 1956, and Plas became a part of that Universe. Although he was barely used after he was acquired, in 1979 Plastic Man got a cartoon series on Saturday Morning television. On the show, he married his girlfriend Penny and they had a “Baby Plas,” because every cartoon had to have a “baby version” of the main character back then.

This cartoon, more than anything, accounts for Plastic Man’s fame despite not actually having had many comics published in the past 50 years. Writers like Grant Morrison and Alex Ross have a fondness for him, and have included him in their Justice League line-ups, cementing Plas as one of DC’s big guns. And animated series like Batman: Brave and the Bold and Justice League Action have been all on-board for the Plastic Man silliness, introducing Plas to a whole generation of kids. And now, this wacky hero will hopefully bring his brand of visual insanity to the DCEU, and we are totally here for it!

Images: DC Comics 

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