Fresh off of his appearances in Dark Nights: Metal and The Terrifics, Plastic Man will be appearing in a new solo miniseries written by former Batgirl and Deadpool author Gail Simone. The first issue of the mini-series, which will feature artwork by Adriana Melo and a cover by Harley Quinn co-writer and cover-artist Amanda Conner, will begin its story in June.
Created by cartoonist Jack Cole for Police Comics #1 in 1941, Plastic Man was ahead of his time in several respects. At a time when most superhero comics weren't worthy of being part of "the funny pages", Plastic Man's adventures mixed action and comedy in equal measure. He was also one of the first superheroes whose origin included a criminal past, with Patrick "Eel" O'Brian becoming inspired to heroism after being abandoned by his gang in the middle of the chemical factory heist that transformed him into a being made of living, flexible plastic.
Syfy Wire reported on the new mini-series, as part of an interview with Gail Simone. She spoke about her love of the character and how excited she is to be working with Adriana Melo again, having worked with her previously on the mini-series Rose and Thorn.
"When I think about Plastic Man, he was genuinely the first funny super hero. I"m obviously attracted to that. There's also this great mixture of tragedy in there, too, that I love. The humor comes from a place of pain. And a lot of people I know, the bravest ones, deal with their pain through humor. So I really like trying to find that balance and keeping that roller-coaster going where there is enough tragedy going on that the humor kind of helps you get through it, and that's what this series is."
Simone went on to explain Plastic Man's historical significance and why Plastic Man is still relevant and popular over 75 years after his first appearance.
"This character was so ahead of its time when it was created. The stuff we're seeing in Deadpool and Harley Quinn now, Plastic Man was doing in the 1940s. It's a character that was ahead of its time back then and the stories are still funny and still relevant. So just kind of bringing him into the modern DCU was the big thing for me."
While it is unknown if the new series will include a revised origin story for Plastic Man suitable for universe of DC Rebirth, the new series will differ from previous recent portrayals of the character in that Plastic Man will have a separate life and secret identity as Patrick O'Brien. The plot of the six-issue mini-series will focus on Plastic Man facing a literal meeting-of-the-minds as the smartest villains in the DC Universe join forces on a fiendish conspiracy that no other superhero knows about and nobody else believes exists.
If there's any writer who is capable of reintroducing Plastic Man into a modern DC Comics Universe, it is Gail Simone. Simone is well known for her twisted sense of humor, as displayed in previous comics such as Deadpool and Secret Six. She also has a considerable amount of experience with revamping both classic characters and ductile detectives, having reestablished both the Barbara Gordon Batgirl and The Elongated Man Ralph Dibny into the reality of The New 52.