Plastic Man or “Plas” was a Golden Age classic. Shown on left is my Plastic Man #16 from March 1949. I appreciate it for it’s “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” cover, and the fact I recollect having #12 from the ‘Ole Man’s collection.
In those days comics were considered a quick, throw away, inexpensive form of entertainment. But if professional reviews would have been handed out at the time, Plastic Man would have been critically acclaimed.
Creator Jack Cole had a unique sense of humor displayed in his casting of mad capped characters. Ironically, the superhero Plastic Man was the serious one – yet he was able to stretch and form into any shape (frequently a silly one). Plastic Man eventually acquired a sidekick named Woozy Winks.
Plastic Man’s origin Patrick “Eel” O’Brian was a criminal who encountered a nasty mix of chemicals on a robbery job. The blend empowered him with super stretch abilities. After his co-conspirators left him in the lurch, “Eel” decided to switch sides and fight crime with his newly acquired abilities – becoming Plastic Man.
The character first appeared in publisher Quality Comics Police Comics #1 on August, 1941. By 1943 Plastic Man had his own title. The series lasted all the way to 1956, when Quality Comics was bought by D.C.. By that time the series was no longer done by Jack Cole (who had since moved on to even greener pastures as illustrator of good girl/pin up gag art for Playboy Magazine). D.C. did not continue running Plastic Man. However, it did try a revival in 1966 which lasted just two years. “Plas” has made occasional appearances for D.C. since, including a Saturday morning TV cartoon in 1979 and occasionally in The Justice League of America.