Tag Archives: plastic man

Preview: Plastic Man #1

Plastic Man #1

(W) Gail Simone (A) Adriana Melo (C) Kelly Fitzpatrick(CA) Aaron Lopresti
In Shops: Jun 13, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Meet Eel O’Brian: a petty thug, thief and con artist who runs a strip club. Hey, he’s also dead, at least according to the gang that tossed him out like last week’s garbage. Literally. Don’t worry, though-he bounced back from all that, and now he’s trying to make a new life for himself, but the effort is stretching him pretty thin. How can he get revenge on his old boss, keep a street kid out of trouble, make a dancer fall in love with him and stop a mysterious society from taking over the world? Eel has no idea!

Gail Simone Takes Plastic Man Out for a Stretch and Explains Why He’s the Favorite of So Many Writers

Out this Wednesday, Plastic Man returns to his own comic in a new six-issue miniseries written by Gail Simone and featuring the art from Adriana Melo and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick. The first issue features a cover by Aaron Lopresti and Amanda Conner has have a variant.

Simone is the fan-favorite, award nominated writer whose run on DC Comics‘ Birds of PreySecret Six, and Batgirl, are all considered classics. She’s also written Clean Room for Vertigo.

The series mixes so many different tones and genres stretching things out and mixing them back together, something that’s rather appropriate for the character of Plastic Man.

I got a chance to ask Gail questions about the upcoming series and find out if having a hero that can do so much is a challenge.

Graphic Policy: How’d you come on board Plastic Man?

Gail Simone: Most of my projects at DC come from Dan DiDio himself. He knows me, he knows what kinds of books I enjoy writing, probably better than anyone else aside from myself. So we go have lunch at a con, and he will casually drop a few different projects, and he always knows how to choose the things that really interest me.

In this case, Plas is a favorite of mine, he knows I love that guy, and people have been asking me to write him for a long time, readers have wanted to see it. So when he asked, I was very happy. It felt right.

But it’s intimidating, a lot of brilliant people have written and drawn this character, I didn’t want to just repeat their take.

GP: To you, who is the character? What makes him stand out from other superheroes?

GS: Well, there’s the humor, but I also love that he’s this guy with this unbelievable power, it almost makes him immortal, and he still has doubts beneath the jokes. I think a lot of us underestimate ourselves, and Plas is that guy to the bone.

GP: Having read the first issue, it blends comedy, traditional superhero, and a bit of noir together. As a writer, how do you approach crafting a story that can dip its toes into so many genres and get that right balance?

GS: Oh, man, I don’t think of them as distinct, in that way. To me, the superhero thing, that’s your canvas. That’s what you’re painting on, and we’ve all made a contract that both the reader and the creative team understands that foundation. I don’t have to explain that he stretches, and he’s in the same universe as Batman.

What you put on top of that, that’s your take, that’s what makes the book different. And to me, the first set-up for Plas is still the greatest, he’s a criminal who almost died, he had to be thrown out of a moving car to reconsider his life. And it’s so grim in that origin, that’s a harsh life he’s led, that humor comes out a bit as a safety valve, so he doesn’t look at his past and just surrender.  It’s like the cop who tells jokes at a crime scene, you have to be able to maintain your own balance, even in a dark place.

That said, I don’t think Plas is a TRAGIC character. I think he became something of a trickster god.

GP: The character has a much higher profile due to the events of Dark Nights: Metal and was seen in Justice League #1 and also The Terrifics. Did that change what you might have done with the series as opposed to if this was published a year or two earlier?

GS: No, we started with a blank slate, but editorial matched everything up in those other books.

GP: Plastic Man is known for his crazy shapes. Do you as the writer come up with that? The artist? A combo?

GS: I come up with them, I write full script always, BUT Adriana Melo has a full talent for comedy that I didn’t know about, so she is always, always able to change something to make it better. She’s amazing. She and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick make this book look happy and rich and seedy and sexy in a way like no other book out there right now.

GP: Has there been a moment where you’ve wanted Plastic Man to take a certain shape but couldn’t work it in the story? Does the story drive the shape or can the shape drive the story?

GS: I’ve joked about this a lot, but I have never had a book have to go to standards and practices over so many things. Even Secret Six, we didn’t have to get approval as often. They’ve been great, but we take some shots. We were able to get everything we’ve asked for, so I am delighted.

GP: I noticed in the first issue you do a solid job of telling the story but also working in an origin and a lot of background to the character. There’s a focus to introduce him to new audience. Was that something you focused on for the first issue and knew there might be a need for this?

GS: Oh, sure, I am a big believer in that thing about every comic being someone’s first, and Plas hasn’t had a spotlight in a while. But also, it’s a fun origin. It’s very close to the Joker’s origin in some ways, I always felt they sort of pilfered it from Plas. But it’s a good one to write, and I get to have him utter a classic line, that was a blast.

GP: The character has been a favorite of so many creators. What is it about him that gets creators to like him so much?

GS: I think he’s a bit saucy and cheeky, you have to bring your wit to the table, and that’s challenging. He’s just one of those joyful characters we all fight to use!

It’s a fun book. It has some grit in it, it’s not all zany, but I really am kind of burned out on superheroes that are purely dark. For me, it’s fun to write some fun and colorful characters again, I think it’s a great time for a book that makes you smile or laugh.

GP: Thanks so much for chatting!

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Hawkman #1 (DC Comics) – After a high profile in Dark Nights: Metal, we’re intrigued to see where DC takes this classic character.

The Magic Order #1 (Millarworld/Netflix/Image Comics) – A new series from Mark Millar and the first original since his deal with Netflix. We’re anticipating to see what he’s come up with.

Marvel Rising Alpa #1 (Marvel) – It feels like Marvel’s attempt to recreate DC’s success with their DC Super Hero Girls line and we’re totally fine with it. Bring it.

Oblivion Song #4 (Skybound Entertainment/Image Comics) – Have you been reading this series? It’s a fantastic layered story that reflects upon the real world.

Plastic Man #1 (DC Comics) – Gail Simone steps in to take on the character in this entertaining start. Backed up by art by Adriana Melo the first issue is a perfect blend of humor, noir, and superheroics.

Skip to the End (Insight Comics) – Like music? Like comics? Then get this collection of the series that blends the two and is a love letter to Nirvana.

Stellar #1 (Skybound Entertainment/Image Comics) – A new series from Skybound written by Joseph Keatinge and art by Bret Blevins. It’s a sci-fi adventure featuring a bounty hunter and since it’s Skybound, we’re expecting entertainment.

Thor #1 (Marvel) – We’ve read it and the epic continues. And it is epic and it is amazing. The “first” issue picks up the ongoing narrative of Jason Aaron but is also accessible for new readers as well.

Transformers: Lost Light #18 (IDW Publishing) – Where is it all going!? We want to know!!!!

Weatherman #1 (Image Comics) – After committing a terrorist act that wipes out almost the entire population of Earth, Nathan goes on the run. But did he commit the crime? The concept is interesting but it’s the creative team of Jody LeHeup and Nathan Fox that has this as a must read.

Gail Simone and Adriana Melo Team Up for Plastic Man this June!

This June 13, writer Gail Simone kicks off a new monthly six-issue miniseries for Plastic Man. Simone in the announcement said that the series is “sexy and stretchy and (she) seriously hop(es) it offends ALL the best people!”

Simone is the fan-favorite, award nominated writer whose run on DC Comics‘ Birds of Prey, Secret Six, and Batgirl, are all considered classics. She’s also written Clean Room for Vertigo.

Simone went on in the announcement to describe the character we can expect:

He’s the jester, the joke, the stretchy weirdo. He’s not credible. He’s not reliable. He’s…well, he’s Plastic Man. He’s like a stretchy Swamp Thing or the bouncy Batman; writing him is a goofy, snarky honor and I’m thrilled to be part of his rubber ribaldry.

Plas is THE original humor hero jock, and I think that everyone from Lobo to the Mask to Deadpool to Harley Quinn follows a little bit in his footsteps. If you read his best stories, he’s always a little bit bawdy, a little bit messed up, and that really is my favorite kind of hero.

Plastic Man, stars Eel O’Brian, petty thug, thief and con artist.

Joining Simone in June will be artist Adriana Melo. Aaron Lopresti is providing a cover for the first issue and Amanda Conner will have a variant. Check out a look at Lopresti’s cover below as well as some of the interior work by Melo.

 

Comics Herstory: Ramona Fradon

5607-2050-6129-1-aquamanRamona Fradon’s comics career began in 1950 after she graduated from Parsons School of Design. She is one of the most notable artists of the Silver Age, and has created and helped shape a number of characters in DC’s lineup.

Fradon was hired by DC following her graduation, and began working on Shining Knight. Shortly after, she became a regular artist on Aquaman. She gave life to Topo, Aquaman’s intelligent octopus sidekick, and was a co-creator of Aqualad. Aquaman was a signature character for Fradon, whose graceful art fit the character well. She worked on Aquaman for a full decade, from 1951 to 1961. During this time, Fradon and Marvel artist Marie Severin were the only women drawing superhero comics for a mainstream publisher.

superfriends37After taking a break in the 1960s to raise her daughter, Fradon returned to co-create the DC character Metamorpho, whose powers stemmed from his ability to control elements. She drew the first several issues of Metamorpho before taking another leave. Fradon returned full-time in the 1970s, again drawing for DC. Once back at DC, Fradon worked on several issues of Plastic Man and House of Secrets. She also penciled most of the run of Super Friends, a successful tie-in comic to the animated television show.

Throughout the 1980s, Fradon moved from comic books to strips, and penciled Brenda Starr after the strip’s creator, Dale (Dalia) Messick, retired in 1980. Fradon drew Brenda Starr until her own retirement in 1995, citing women’s interest as the reason for the strip’s longevity and popularity. Since her retirement, Fradon has still worked in illustration and has contributed to a number of anthologies. According to Catskill Comics, she is still accepting commissions at age 89. She is also set to be a guest at San Diego Comic Con this year.

Ramona Fradon’s contributions to comics are undeniable. Her art is iconic, and defined the classic Aquaman. She humanized these larger-than-life beings, giving them expressive faces and bodies that portrayed recognizable emotions and expressions. Her talent was and is still widely recognized, and she was the third woman to be inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame with her inclusion in 2006.

DC Nation Plastic Man Short

DC has released a new Plastic Man short promoting their DC Nation block of cartoons.  Featuring Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice, plus various shorts featuring DC characters, the block debuts March 3 bringing back the awesomeness that was Saturday morning cartoons.

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