Title: Plastic Man.
Story Arc: Rubber Banded.
Writer(s): Kyle Baker (Scott Morse for issues #7 and #12).
Illustrator(s): Kyle Baker.
Letterer(s): Kyle Baker (Rob Leigh for issues #7 and #12).
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Hardcover – deluxe edition.
Release Date: November 3rd, 2020.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating:
Known mostly as a member of the Justice League of America and for his unique abilities, Plastic Man has always presented himself as a walking joke with a creative imagination, but also burdened hero with a sketchy past that permanently sticks around despite his desire to do good and his innumerable heroic feats. Collecting all 20 issues of the classic series that gave Plastic Man the chance to showcase his elasticity in all of its splendour, this stunning volume, perfected with the hero’s own rubber belt wrapped around it, introduces readers to Kyle Baker’s reimagining of the hero’s ludicrous personality and adventures, while also featuring celebrated storyteller Scott Morse’s own take in two unique and artistically-distinctive issues.
What is Plastic Man: Rubber Banded about? The story follows the various adventures of Plastic Man, starting with the task of hunting down Eel O’Brian, an unrepentant gangster but also the hero’s alter-ego. Accompanied by his stunning yet ruthless partner, FBI agent Morgan, as well as his incompetent yet kind-hearted crimefighting sidekick, Woozy Winks, Plastic Man has to clear his name before he gets dragged into the ground for a past he doesn’t believe in anymore, once trained by monks in the art of transforming himself into whatever he desires. This never-before-fully-collected deluxe edition also includes the introduction of various enemies, from Stickyfinger to Ray el Ray, as the Pliable Paladin stretches his way around his history and the challenges of parenthood.
“Don’t worry, master, my rubber flesh will protect your disembodied head from his lightning!”— Kyle Baker
Artist-writer Kyle Baker achieves a fantastic comic book run with this 20-issue series as he channels the same energy as Warner Bros’ animated characters (e.g. Looney Tunes) by drawing upon Jack Cole’s elastic superhero’s strongest qualities and flaws. Goofing around with word plays and creative elastic transformations, Plastic Man has never been expanded in so many hilarious ways as he tackles the various obstacles tossed at him. Sometimes even breaking the fourth wall and taking a jab at superhero tropes as well as past DC universe events and characters, his character is efficiently and brilliantly established within the narrative composed of smaller adventures that also allow him to display his close relationships (wife, daughter, and friend), his quirky imagination, and his imaginative powers.
Perfectly complementing the narrative is Kyler Baker’s own artistic vision for this superhero. There is nothing deriving out of the realm of conventionality in this comic book series as he takes the liberty to play around with all aspects of visual storytelling. The slapstick comedy is infused into the structure and style, veering closer to a cartoonish design than what is usually seen in comic books. Plastic Man’s antics are also fully embraced, often truly spectacular in concept, as he parades around in forms that you would never see coming. This also works wonderfully with the less verbose dialogue and the vibrant colours that simply makes the reading experience much more enjoyable. Toss in the two issues written and drawn by Scott Morse who also brilliantly plays with the superhero’s persona, and voilà, you have yourself an entertaining take on the hero to fully indulge in this beautiful deluxe edition.
Plastic Man: Rubber Banded is a goofy and kooky collection of stories boasting the superhero’s own comedy routine while challenged by trials of superheroism and parenthood.