Plastic Man #2 Review: Superhero Comedy Done Right

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Plastic Man is scouring the town in search of the young boy he met, Pado Swakatoon. When he was ambushed by the police at the murder scene of his old partner, he ran off with Pado back to the kid's hideout in an empty water tower. There, Plastic Man and Pado were ambushed by Batman, and Eel let the Dark Knight get away with the boy. Now, Eel is willing to do anything to save the kid.

Plastic Man #2 cover by Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes
Plastic Man #2 cover by Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes

Plastic Man #2 leans heavier into the comedy traditions of the character than last issue. From impromptu scavenger hunt pages that break the fourth wall to making movie references, one of which also breaks the fourth wall, this issue of Eel O'Brian's book definitely sets its sights on the goofy.

It's quite funny too. Most of the jokes land right on the target, and I didn't find myself getting tired of it like I do so many other "comedy" superhero books.

It does help that the book is still telling a dedicated story, namely Eel's attempts to discover his own past and the mission to save the kid from becoming another Robin.

Eel genuinely cares about Pado and being a good person. He knows he may not yet be a great hero, but he is trying in earnest. As it turns out, having goals and a purpose beyond taking the piss out of everyone is a good way to write an endearing and likable character.

Plastic Man #2 art by Adriana Melo and Kelly Fitzpatrick
Plastic Man #2 art by Adriana Melo and Kelly Fitzpatrick

Adriana Melo gets very creative with Plastic Man's transformations this issue. If you're going to draw Eel O'Brian, you may as well get out there with the way his body moves and morphs. The aforementioned movie reference beats towards the end straddle the line between comedic reference and body horror, and I adore it. Kelly Fitzpatrick's color work keeps things lively throughout the book, using the color of characters like Eel in the foreground to contrast the grit and grime of the background city.

Plastic Man #2 is a comedic superhero book I can very easily get behind. It's fun, Eel O'Brian is endearing, and there are some dark elements to keep the tone from ever approaching saccharine. I laughed, and I was engaged with the story. This one gets a recommendation. Give it a read.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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