Plastic Man is experiencing a resurgence in the DC Universe after the events of Dark Nights: Metal, joining The Terrifics superteam and gaining his own six-issue miniseries courtesy of writer Gail Simone, artist Adriana Melo, and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick. Eel O’Brien is trying to piece together the details of his forgotten past, but he ends up caught in a sprawling conspiracy involving an evil organization that has infiltrated the most powerful organizations in the DC Universe. In an industry where male creators are constantly assigned to female superhero characters, it’s refreshing to have a male superhero handled by women in both the creative team and editorial staff. This first issue has shout-outs to female-driven properties like DC Bombshells and DC Superhero Girls, and the book’s female gaze situates Eel O’Brien as a stretchy superhero sex symbol.
Simone and Melo previously worked together on books like Rose And Thorn and Birds Of Prey, and Simone’s strong understanding of her collaborator’s strengths allows her to write a story that takes full advantage of them. Plastic Man is silly, intense, and full of charm, and this exclusive preview of this week’s debut issue showcases how the creative team juggles light and dark elements as Eel gets a beatdown from his old mob buddies. Eel’s gangster background roots him in the crime genre, and Melo and Fitzpatrick’s artwork reinforces that connection with dense shadows and severe contrast. But this is still a Plastic Man book, and the tone dramatically brightens when Eel assumes his superhero role. Simone has always done her best work on characters that give her plenty of opportunities for humor, and her passion for Plastic Man shines in this series and inspires her artists to match her enthusiasm.