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Plastic Man – FIRE & WATER #114

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 114th episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is now available for your listening pleasure! THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is the official podcast of FIRESTORM FAN and THE AQUAMAN SHRINE.

This week we flip the script, with Rob being joined by special guest Max Romero discussing one of their all-time favorite characters, that stretchable sleuth, Plastic Man!

You can find the 114th episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST on iTunes. While you’re there, please drop us a review on the iTunes page. Every comment helps! Alternatively, you may download the podcast by right-clicking here, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (83 MB).

As always, thanks to my co-host Rob Kelly, Sea King of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE, for doing all the post-production on these episodes! Opening theme, “That Time is Now,” by Michael Kohler. Special thanks to Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge with their band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our fantastic original closing theme! This episode brought to you in part by!

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  1. Anj says:

    Plastic Man is one of my favorite characters so I was pumped to hear this episode! So much fun!

    It became a Plastic Man fan with the Adventure Comics run. That was a great series for me as it had such different styles of strips but I loved them all … Starman, Aquaman (eventually), and then Plastic Man. Joe Staton is the perfect sort of artist for that run.

    But like Rob, I love the Morrison Plastic Man. We learn he is part of the JLA when it is discovered that he has replaced the Joker in the Injustice Gang.

    I have two favorite Plas moments in that series. One, Circe keeps turning him into animals but he changes back into Plas. But he is madly in love with her and so chases her. The other is when he makes himself into a slinky evening gown that Big Barda then wears (in a Waid written issue).

    Too funny.

    I remember the Plas cartoon show. And yes, Baby Plas = Scrappy Doo.

    Thanks again for the fun show!

  2. Frank says:

    In my childhood, to my recollection, I found no super-hero more loathsome than Plastic Man. This was entirely due to the animated series, whose live action host came off as a smarmy slimeball and whose cartoons were filled with the off-putting likes of Hula-Hula, Penny, and friggin’ Baby Plaz. I hated his stupid powers, his simplistic half-a-costume, and the tongue-in-cheek tone. I had a Plas Super Powers figure, but only because it was in a deep discount bin and I wanted to see the springing head action. As a young person who took his super-heroes seriously, Plastic Man was anathema. I read some of DC’s Plastic Man comics and followed his stint in the JLA, which did nothing to improve my view. Biting Jim Carrey’s shtick after the originator had grown tiresome held no appeal, his unfunny antics on super-teams seriously grating.

    What turned my opinion 180 degrees around was art spiegelman’s Jack Cole and Plastic Man, which I read about six years ago. I understood that Plastic Man had once been very popular and a respected exemplar of the medium, which is why I was interested enough to purchase the book. It wasn’t until I read it that I realized Jack Cole’s Pliable Paladin was one of the finest and most timeless strips produced in the Golden Age of Comics. Like with most properties DC purchased from other publishers, the new management so absolutely misunderstood the nature and appeal of their acquisition as to appear for all intents and purposes to actively sabotage their own efforts.

    For instance, DC bought the Quality line so they could get the rights to Blackhawk, which they continued to publish, but immediately began “fixing” until it ceases publication about a decade later. Plastic Man had been continuously published up to that point, a lone survivor of the super-hero bust that claimed all of DC’s lot except the Trinity. DC rewarded this accomplishment by canceling the series and burying the rights so deep in their vaults that their own editors didn’t know the character was available to them. Julie Schwartz has said Elongated Man only existed because he was unaware DC owned Plas. Plastic Man sat out DC’s Silver Age, only returning in a short-lived campy series that joined the multitude of Batmania bandwagoners in oblivion. Thereafter, Plas was mistaken as a “comedy” character, and treated as such in a period where DC’s ability to produce anything remotely funny has become increasingly, exasperatingly inept.

    Jack Cole had a rare, enviable ability to combine dark adult story elements with a light kid-friendly appeal to create a satisfying truly all-ages reading experience. He somehow married the madcap anarchy of Looney Tunes to the grotesque criminals of Dick Tracy, creating a strip that worked as both straight action-adventure and askew surrealistic comedy. He was brilliant, and Plastic Man deserves to be A-list, not a replacement Elongated Man on the Justice League.

    Max Romero was great on the podcast and a valuable blogger. Excellent observation on the novelty of Eel O’Brien as the rare reformed criminal of yore. I now enjoy the gender-bent quality and classic basics of the costume.

    I won a trophy for an essay I did on Lost Horizon. Too bad I only ever got a few chapters into the book and pulled most of my reference from Cliff Notes. Saw the movie, at least.

    Since everyone in the DC Universe has guest-starred in a Superman or Batman book (and/or vice versa) they’re everybody’s close friend unless otherwise pointedly noted.

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