The Silliest Putty (Plastic Man #1 Comic Review)
Plastic Man #1
Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Adriana Melo
Cover Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Variant Cover: Amanda Conners
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Simon Bowland
A new wacky adventure with the stretchable former-felon Eel O’Brian begins with Plastic Man #1!
This new miniseries begins its first entry in Cole City, with a meetup of most unsavory folks in a dark alley, as the rubbery rogue Eel O’Brian appears at the mercy of a cadre of crooks, giving the snarky red-suited O’Brian a thorough beating with a baseball bat. The collected criminals have not taken kindly to O’Brian’s apparent return from the dead, warning Eel to keep quiet about a factory heist. They leave the beaten O’Brian to seemingly bleed out in the alley, only for the hooded Suave Pado Swakatoon to approach the bleeding man. Pado leaves almost as quickly as arriving, leading to Eel to start stretching, ditching his civilian garb, and as his heroic alter ego, Plastic Man springs off into the night sky! Recounting to himself the events of the factory heist, and revealing that’s how he got his powers, Eel worries about some missing memory he’s realized he has from that night. Eel was shot, and so was an unexpected guard, and O’Brian wants to uncover who shot said guard. Sneaking up on one of his former criminal cohorts from the heist, Eel uses his powers to get a name for who shot the guard…the name Eel O’Brian…
Opinions on story and art
This first issue is an absolute KNOCKOUT, in terms of both writing and art! Gail Simone is no stranger to comedy in her writing, having worked on Deadpool and All-New Atom previously, and even other series such as Wonder Woman, Red Sonja, and Clean Room always have at least a few comedic moments infused into them with expertise. So pairing her up with one of DC’s most comedic characters in the publisher’s history is a perfect fit! And equally so is Gail Simone’s writing with Adriana Melo’s pencils, the two having collaborated previously on lesser-known DC series Rose & Thorn, they work together quite well here as well. Adriana creates both a gritty city akin to 1930’s New York City, and captures the wacky nature of Plastic Man and his vast shape-shifting powers like few artists can! One of my personal favorite instances being Adriana’s rendering of Plas as a car, it’s hilarious & conveys Eel’s worry at the time, balancing both perfectly! Adriana Melo’s pencils are equally matched by Kelly Fitzpatrick’s terrific colors, managing to shift from the dark & moody tones of the opening to the vibrant reds of the comedic middle, before shifting back to convey the serious situation Plas is in all quite naturally! She knows when to make Eel stand out on the page, and when to let the setting taking center-stage. And letter Simon Bowland’s crafty lettering feels clear & conveys a pulp-noir sense to the text, fitting the 1930’s gangster-tone of Cole City. And I loved how he incorporated the title of the book onto the first page.