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Don’t leave your children alone with this guy – Plastic Man #16

March 18, 2011

I’m not a fan of Plastic Man. There’s something about him that really, really creeps me out. If someone told me that an unnamed DC superhero had to register as a sex offender, my mind would immediately dart to Plas. That said, I don’t quite know what exactly it is about him that skeeves me so. It could be an amalgamation of things. It might be those dark glasses/goggles (what’s he hiding?), or perhaps it’s his grabby maneuvers, which usually look like he’s trying to cop a feel on whomever he’s grasped. But I don’t get that vibe from Elongated Man or Mr. Fantastic, so it has to be something with his look.

I guess it could simply be his tight, revealing costume. It reminds me of Howard Stern Show wack packer (and cross-dressing ex-con psychopath) Elegant Elliot Offen:

Seperated at birth. Riiiiiight?

I was going to give you the credits for this issue’s “Brains Washed While U Wait,” but I’ll let Plastic Man handle it in his usual idiotic manner:

While our “hero” is out doing his thing, a local crime lord is introducing the new boss in town:

I find that imagining an underworld figure is speaking with Edward G. Robinson’s voice always heightens my reading pleasure. Try it yourself, and maybe sprinkle in the occasional “Yeah, see?!” as necessary. Here’s a clip to help tune that mental instrument:

Back at the home office, Plastic Man and his sidekick, Woozy Winks, get a new assignment — a scientist has gone coocoo, and Plas needs to find the weapon that he was working on:

SEE THAT POSE? See what I mean about this guy? I feel the need to avert my eyes. Or maybe the DC editors should have put a black bar over his suggestively spread nether regions. Just saying. I suppose we can all be thankful that the panel was a wide shot, and not a close-up of his accentuated batch.

Instead of finding just the weapon, Plas and Wozzy stumble upon that new big bad, Kolonel Kool (who needs just one more “K” to have one hell of an offensive monogram). Kool zaps Plas with a ray gun and thus renders him a subservient simpleton. The ray is the weapon that the scientist was working on, and when Kool takes the boys back to his hideout, he reveals his true identity — a rogue fellow agent, one that’s gained super-strength as a side-effect of the ray and has grown tired of all of Plastic Man’s practical jokes:

It turns out that simple water is the magic antidote to the ray’s effects, and a spilled glass frees the will of Kool’s boss underling:

Woozy gives Plastic Man a little spritz, and he does his rubbery thing to save the day:

They’ve officially been “bonked.”

There was a time in my life when I actually liked Plastic Man. I guess I outgrew him as I got older. You know, when I reached the ripe old age of five or six or so. The story in this issue has that insipid quality of the Golden Age, the one that makes so many of those sepia-toned stories hard to read here in the 21st century. Perhaps that’s a big part of Plastic Man’s problem. He’s had a terrible time breaking out of his Police Comics origins.

There’s something in him that might make for a decent character if done right (you can say that about so many dud characters) — his status as a reformed crook would be step one on that path.

Maybe if he just dressed a little more modestly. And was a little more willing to keep his hands to himself.

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