The Stretchable Superhero Goes Solo in Six-Issue Miniseries

On June 13, celebrated writer Gail Simone debuts a new monthly six-issue miniseries for PLASTIC MAN. After making her DC debut with BIRDS OF PREY, Simone has written fan-favorite hits such as SECRET SIX and BATGIRL, as well as CLEAN ROOM for Vertigo, which earned her an Eisner Award nomination for Best New Series. “This has been a wild year for me, creatively,” continues Simone. “I’ve gotten to write so many of my bucket list characters, and here’s a character who could actually BE both the list AND the bucket. It’s sexy and stretchy and I’m seriously hoping it offends ALL the best people!”

“He’s the jester, the joke, the stretchy weirdo. He’s not credible. He’s not reliable. He’s…well, he’s Plastic Man,” says Gail Simone on her new assignment: writing the famous Golden Age hero. “He’s like a stretchy Swamp Thing or the bouncy Batman; writing him is a goofy, snarky honor and I'm thrilled to be part of his rubber ribaldry.”

PLASTIC MAN, stars Eel O’Brian, petty thug, thief and con artist. “One of my favorite takes on Plas was from the classic Grant Morrison/Howard Porter run. We are definitely taking inspiration from that, and just pushing it even further for rudeness’ sake,” says Simone. “Plas is funny, happy and has enough star power to hold his own against the big guns. He’s not afraid of Batman, he’s not afraid of Darkseid, he’s only afraid of messing up, of going back to being the punk thug he used to be.”

Joining Simone in June will be artist Adriana Melo (BIRDS OF PREY, HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA). “Working with Gail again and revisiting our collaboration is a delight,” says Melo. “Gail’s script presents a slightly different approach to Eel O’Brian that I find fascinating. There’s still the comedic side of the character with the wacky, witty comebacks, but he can also be tough, sarcastic and cold. It translates into fun for the readers PLUS tons of fun for me to draw.”

“I lucked out,” shared Simone. “Adriana’s one of my favorite artists and she’s fantastic with action and humor. Even though she’s famous for drawing the hunkiest guys and the most gorgeous women, I had no idea she could draw the creeps and cruds of the DC Universe so well. It’s just a feast to look at – gorgeous and steamy and gritty in equal measure.  And my WONDER WOMAN/CONAN collaborator, Aaron Lopresti, is doing the cover for the first issue and just knocked it out of the park. I could not be happier.”

“I usually tend to do more realistically stylized work,” says Melo, “but I also love scenes where I can take the opportunity to draw fun visual gags. I think that’s the challenge with this series: keep Eel O’Brian’s nature, maintain Plastic Man’s stretchy jokes, but also deliver that new twist that Gail gives to him.”

“Plas is THE original humor hero jock, and I think that everyone from Lobo to the Mask to Deadpool to Harley Quinn follows a little bit in his footsteps,” explains Simone. “If you read his best stories, he’s always a little bit bawdy, a little bit messed up, and that really is my favorite kind of hero.”

Below is a first look at Aaron Lopresti’s cover for the debut issue. Fans can also expect a variant cover by Amanda Conner.

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The preview is disgusting.

It appears from the preview we'll be getting an extended retelling of his origin. Most likely I'll pass.

You think that's Eel getting beaten up in that alley?

“The preview is disgusting.”

It’s no Jack Cole, is it?

It reads to me as if Conner is going for funny and edgy. Characters such as Plastic Man (IMHO) have never worked as well beyond their original incarnation by their original writers and artists. Captain Marvel would be another one. Given that, modern creators might as well try a different tack. Jerry Ordway did the best “realistic” interpretation of the “Big Red Cheese” since the days of Binder & Beck. Maybe Conner and Melo will be able to do the same with Plastic Man. I’ll give it a look.

Captain Comics said:

You think that's Eel getting beaten up in that alley?

I thought it was. I didn't think Eel was the one doing the beating up.

My first thought was, I wish the cover artist was doing the interiors.

Call me mildly curious. 

The cover artist is Amanda Conner, and she's always awesome.

Maybe this series will explain Plas' connection to the Dark Universe. That hasn't been explained yet, has it?

Actually, that cover's by Aaron Loprestri -- a variant will by by Amanda Conner. 

The preview does very little for me, either, but a lot of the fun of Simone's writing is her dialogue, which we don't get here. Without that, it's just a scene we've seen a hundred times. Although the motion line in the final panel suggest that Plas is about to erupt all over the next page.  

I do like the splash page, though, which between the Plastic Man logo and the interaction of the mobster and his girlfriend, gives me a little of the Jack Cole vibe.

Yes, I do. I'd like to be proven wrong, that this isn't an origin story, but I'm guessing that it is.

Captain Comics said:

You think that's Eel getting beaten up in that alley?

I don't think it's an origin story, so much as I think it's Eel undercover, getting beaten up as part of whatever he's planning. There's something going on behind the mobsters in the last panel -- note the motion lines around what's in the background, and the mobster with the crewcut looking back, as if he's heard something. So I think it's Eel taking the lumps, but now that he's out of sight he's going to show up as Plastic Man and give them right back.

I certainly could be wrong, but that's the way I interpret the page.

That might be their victim writhing as they walk away.

There's a new preview of the Simone/Melo Plastic Man book up at Newsarama. Now with color and dialogue...and actually Plastic Man!

As I was suspecting, it looks like the guy getting the snot beat out of him in the first preview *was* Eel, and already plasticized. Looks like there's going to be a brief recap of his origin in a short flashback, but this is a current adventure, not a retelling of his origin story. 

For the life of me, I don't know why they released the original black & white, unlettered preview. It seems completely unrepresentative of what we're getting now.

Am I alone in wishing Ralph Dibney the Elongated Man got the spotlight instead..?

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