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Monday, 17 April 2017

Plastic Man 2 - three origins for Plastic Man

Drake is joined by Win Mortimer for Plastic Man 2 (Jan/Feb 67), which has a great cover, but not so great a story.

After some opening comedic byplay, which sees Plastic Man, Gordy Trueblood and Mike DeLute enjoying an afternoon in the park, while Dr. Dome fails to kill Plas, the villain decides to go back in time and attack the hero before he gained his powers.

In order to find out who Plastic Man was, and how he got his abilities, he uses a machine on his daughter, Lynx, splitting her into three people, and sending her out to interview those who might know his secret.

The first Lynx goes to talk to Captain McSniffe. He relates an origin for Plastic Man that is closer to the truth than the other ones. We see Plastic Man as Eel O'Brian, and he gets shot, falling into a vat of chemicals, which give him his abilities, as they pursue the villainous Spider.

Mike DeLute's mother is the second one to provide an origin story, which sees pre-Plastic Man dealing with an Asian villain with a repulsively stereotyped accent. It's a combination of milk and acid that turn him into Plastic Man.

Gordy provides the third origin story, in which Plastic Man gains his powers from a diseased goat, while fighting a talking frog.  Since the three origins are set in different locations, not only does Dr. Dome not know which, if any, is true, he has no idea where to go if he goes back in time.

My big problem with this story is that, for readers who do not know Plastic Man's origin, this would simply leave them confused. And as Plastic Man's origin had already been clearly told, there was no reason to keep it any sort of secret.

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