Plastic Man (2018) #1 // Review
From the pages of ‘The Terrifics’ to now returning for his own solo mini series, fan-favorite Plastic Man is back and helmed by legendary writer Gail Simone, along with artist Adriana Melo and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick. The duo set this light-hearted protagonist within a gritty crime drama and take Plastic Man into places previously unseen. As the series unfolds, Plas must solve a dark mystery rooted within his very own origin, while one unexpected detour appears after another.
Melo’s artistic sensibilities come into play all throughout this issue, displaying her great artistry interpreting Simone’s scripts. From her ability to have fun, letting loose with Plas and his power set, to her visceral scenes of violence, her pencils work exceptionally well going between the dichotomy of the two. For this series, Melo uses more of a cartoonish feel, setting the stage for the more comedic and light-hearted aspects, while the juxtaposed darker scenes are made more dark due to the constant happy demeanor from the titular hero. The color work of Kelly Fitzpatrick adds a layer of grit to the city landscape, giving the city the dirty, run-down vibe while continuing the juxtaposition between the ugly city streets and the bright happy Plastic Man.
Gail Simone has a total blast writing Plastic Man, it’s irresistible to not laugh right along with her. A couple small quips can come off slightly as someone trying to sound young or hip, but when the jokes truly hit, they hit hard. Simone uses the narrative to blend in Plastic Man’s origin in a more natural way than just opening up the story with an origin story in typical, cliche, cookie-cutter fashion. The way Simone uses Plastic Man’s origin as a nightmare Eel O’Brian deals with, it adds layers to the character that are usually left to the wayside for Plastic Man’s comedic relief. While on the surface the title can come off as more “kid friendly,” the series deals with more adult themes and humor than expected, as well as a higher volume of the aforementioned scenes of violence than expected. While a wider range of readers can find enjoyment from this issue, some of the more adult jokes might not necessarily be appropriate for younger readers.
This is a fantastic “Welcome Back” issue for Plas, as well as bringing new readers interested in Plastic Man, whether it is from ‘The Terrifics’ or even ‘Injustice 2,’ up to speed with the fan-favorite. The constant theme of juxtaposition, whether deliberate or inherent, adds to the strength and promise of the title while keeping readers on their toes with what comes next. Plastic Man #1 by Gail Simone is yet another home run for the veteran writer.