[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Gail Simone
Art: Adriana Melo
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Simon Bowland
After Sammy has attempted to give his girlfriend a gimmick for the entertainment industry, he comes to realize that her skin is really dry….. “Lotion,” she demands! Eel walks through the streets of streets of Cole City with the Suave Prince trying to make sense of all that’s transpired. He struggles to make headway with the waif as he knows nothing about kids. He calls in Obscura to try and help, thinking a woman might know more about kids. She does, thankfully, but Eel gets a call from his friends at the club who’ve consulted a scientist on that alien script….
This leads to Plastic Man launching himself across the city to encounter 1/2 of the Secret Six… They’ve been hired by neighbors of the man Eel’s been accused of murdering…. Ten minutes later Eel works out that Obscura’s been playing him all along…but, for what reason? It doesn’t look good as a group of serious bad guys are revealed including, Hugo Strange, Per Degaton and Amazo. That explains a little bit at least…. (Why has the Justice League been implicated in the murder….)
This issue really finds a lot of humor which is so integral to the character. It’s not just Eel, though. Sammy’s girlfriend in the opening sequence, despite her troubles manages to elicit laughs. This continues throughout the issue as the unexpected produces humorous sequences. “I want my mommy!” says the Suave Prince. What? The girls from the club “know” a scientist? Oh, yeah, he’s a regular in the front row….
Perhaps, it’s the green outfit that the Suave Prince wears, but there are a few moments in this issue that feel like the Suave Prince is being used to evoke Plastic Man’s Golden Age sidekick, Woozy Winks. Woozy was never that smart, but he had a “for sure” admiration for Plastic Man. While Simone and Melo have turned this relationship into a very different dynamic with Plas as father figure, the Prince’s admiration of Plas feels very similar to Woozy’s role, often inspiring Plas to do the right thing.
The appearance of 1/2 of the Secret Six is welcomed as it marries another part of Simone’s career with the current title. One can only hope this ends in a showdown between Ragdoll and Plastic Man! Additionally, the surprise villains at the end promise a bigger scope for this story.
This is probably the strongest issue of the series so far! No negatives here!
Plastic Man is a classic character who deserves the best. He’s getting it here as both Simone and Melo clearly understand the narrative and visual needs of the character. We can only hope this will turn into a monthly ongoing. While Plastic Man has a number of mini-series in the past, this one seems to find the right balance between Jack Cole’s classic creation and a niche in the contemporary DC Universe. The element of humor is often undervalued in modern super-hero comics. This is actually the antithesis of Plastic Man. Simone and Melo understand how to utilize this to the benefit of the comic.