Plastic Man #3 Review: Balancing Heart and Parody

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Plastic Man tries to reason with Man-Bat to keep him from attacking. When this doesn't work, Eel bluffs by saying he wants to join the Cabal. A mysterious voice says that the Cabal doesn't want the likes of Eel, and soldiers with stun batons capable of hurting Plastic Man arrive. Eel has no choice but to fight to protect himself and Pado. Elsewhere, Sammy tries to solve his woes, and the girls who work with Eel O'Brian work to prove his innocence.

Plastic Man #3 cover by Alex Ross
Plastic Man #3 cover by Alex Ross

Whenever I worry that maybe I just have a thing against superhero comedy stories, I remind myself that Gail Simone and Adriano Melo's Plastic Man just might be one of my favorite comics on the shelves right now.

This book is pure gold, and the things it gets right should be the gold standard for superhero comedy in the Big Two. It doesn't just break the fourth wall and claim that this in itself is a joke, and, when it does get self-aware, it's usually pretty smart and genuinely funny.

Plus, Eel O'Brian is a sincere and likable guy. He knows he's a had a bad past and wants to do better. He cares about the vulnerable and weak in the world and takes care of the problems that the Justice League may overlook.

He's also really frigging funny. There's an extended Harley Quinn joke in here that had me cracking up.

Plastic Man #3 art by Adriana Melo and Kelly Fitzpatrick
Plastic Man #3 art by Adriana Melo and Kelly Fitzpatrick

Melo's artwork makes this all work, and what she does with Plastic Man's body stands at the intersection of hilarious and body horror. She also can capture the smaller emotions and expressions to add depth to the book. Kelly Fitzpatrick balances the darkness of the noir setting with bright foreground color to give the visuals depth and contrast.

Plastic Man #3 is another quality issue of this wonderful miniseries. It's funny, heartfelt, and well worth a read. Simone, Melo, and Fitzpatrick are nailing it. Check this one out.

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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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