[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Adriana Melo
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Simon Bowland
Sammy takes his girlfriend to see Lenny an, old buddy who owns and operates a nightclub for an audition. She wants to be a singer and Sammy has called in a favor. To say it doesn’t go well is an understatement. If the howling dogs (priceless!!) in the alley weren’t enough, Lenny’s reaction seals it. He doesn’t leave the door open, except for a comment about it might work out if she had a gimmick. You can see Sammy think about it….
Meanwhile, Plas is still trying to get into the Cabal as he faces down Man-Bat. Their altercation opens with an hilarious sequence as Plas changes his appearance to that of Harley Quinn with some fast talking and quipping. Before things come to blows the Cabal shows itself as armed guards with some high tech gear and armor show up to tell Plas “Thanks, but get out!” They also indicate that the kid Plas has been trying to protect is an unwanted witness who will have to be eliminated.
The Suave Prince of Pine starts to show his/her age as some big tears flow freely and really hit Plas hard. Plas successfully gets away and gets an unexpected assist from Man-Bat. His friends from Superior’s have been doing a little sleuthing on their own and have made a discovery about the murder he’s been accused of committing. Upon returning with the Suave Prince, they share the alien writing in the picture that the witness had taken of Plastic Man at the scene of the crime. Plas prepares himself for a battle against the Cabal, not knowing completely what he’s up against.
Meanwhile, Sammy has heard about Benny’s death and the “accident” that changed Eel into Plastic Man, and he takes his girlfriend to the chemical factory…she needs a gimmick, right?
Plastic Man really hits its stride this issue. While we know this takes place in the modern DC Universe, the nightclub and gangster trapping really give a timeless sense or perhaps even a throwback feel to the book that suits Plastic Man well. It allows Plastic Man to be in his world while still having a connection to the DC Universe. This not something all Plastic Man stories have been able to do, but this time it’s working.
Adriana Melo shows she knows how to utilize Plas’s powers for humor and story telling. The sequence with Plas as Harley Quinn is executed perfectly and Plas really, ahem, “stretches” himself with his use of his powers in his fight with the Cabal. It’s nice to see his intensity come out in addition to his usual flippant self.
However, this issue really shows a lot of heart and is probably the single best thing about it. Plas and the Suave Prince find they kind of need each other, the kid is scared and Plas realizes he’s the only one that’s going to be able to help him/her. By the end of the issue the Prince is not afraid to tell Plas that he/she has become fond of Plas and is now “worried” about him and what comes next. Lastly, for all the faults they found with Eel at the club, the girls seem to genuinely care about Eel and what’s happened to him. There’s a really nice supporting cast growing that deserve more development. It’s done so well, the mystery of the Cabal feels very secondary.
Really can’t find a negative here.
The team is rolling with this issue! Plastic Man is shaping up to be a successful take on the character that will hopefully graduate into an ongoing from this same creative team. As the story develops so do all the characters and there’s a genuine dynamic between Plas and his friends.