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‘Plastic Man #2’ (review)

Written by Gail Simone
Illustrated by Adriana Melo
Published by DC Comics

 

Gail Simone broke in doing humor, from her CBR column “You’ll All Be Sorry!” to her work on Bongo’s Bart Simpson, before breaking out on Deadpool.

Her rapid-fire, quippy style shaped the character and his sense of humor for decades to come and helped laid the groundwork for his eventual takeover of Hollywood.

It feels like Plastic Man, then, is a return to form for Simone, who brings that snappy style and pacing to the original stretchy superstar. She also brings the pathos she honed in the intervening years, through classic runs on Birds of Prey and Secret Six.

Simone’s Plas is a spastic, conflicted neurotic who feels genuinely anguished as he’s caught between both sides of the law.

It’s not hard to see the struggle, even as Simone brings his stretching abilities to bear in a series of inspired gags, including a Where’s Waldo-style splash page featuring a Challenger of the Unknown and Dan DiDio.

This issue sees Plastic Man worried about the kids he met last issue and terrified he’s come into conflict with Batman and the JLA. It also sees him making upsetting and stupid decisions that are sure to add to the dramatic tension. It’s an engaging read for that reason.

Adriana Melo mostly complements Simone’s story with her animated yet grungy style, giving special attention to facial expressions while rendering the city somewhat flat in dingy, grimy fashion. It’s hard to keep Plas from getting brought down a bit though in all the dreariness around him.

Still, it’s a solid continuation.

 

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