Today’s Super Comics — Plastic Man #8-9 (2004)

plastic_man_vol_4_8Plastic Man is an utterly ridiculous character. Any comic about him should be likewise. And that’s exactly what cartoonist Kyle Baker delivered in his Plastic Man series.

I call Baker a cartoonist rather than writer/artist because this book is pure cartoon, full of farce, visual gags, a total lack of realism, and in the case of #8 and #9, some amusing commentary on comic book continuity.

Specifically, Plastic Man’s ex-wife and illegitimate son show up—and Plas has no recollection of them. But they were indeed part of established continuity. See, for a few years before this, Plastic Man chiefly served as the comic-relief character in JLA, but along came an ill-advised plotline that cast him in the role of a deadbeat dad (even good series seldom bat a thousand). So Baker addresses it here with wacky time-travel shenanigans…and poking lots of fun:

“I risk my life daily for the good of humanity, I’ve battled armies of space aliens to save the earth! Are you telling me I wouldn’t take care of my own child if I had one? That doesn’t make any sense!”

“I don’t know, Dad. I think it makes you complex.”

“Only if by complex you mean ‘multiple personality disorder.’”

Naturally, this all leads to Plastic Man and his associates trying to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.

Utterly ridiculous…in exactly the right way.

Cartoonist: Kyle Baker

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Plastic Man vol. 2: Rubber Bandits (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 11 and up