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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Plastic Man Key Comics Part 2

Stretchin' into Part 2 of this Plastic Man key comics series, and we have finally got to the DC side of things with this character. You are going to have to bear with me now since this isn't such an easy transition.

If you haven't read up on other characters like Captain Marvel (Shazam) who originally came from a different publisher and how he integrated into DC Comics, this might be even more confusing for ya. If you've been following this site for a while, it might make more sense.

Click this Part 1 link if you missed that and want to see his Golden Age keys, or continue reading if you're ready for more Plastic Man.

1st Plastic Man in DC Comics

Okay, the OPG notes this, and this is a strange one here. Well, at least for me and probably a few others.

The Plastic Man presented in this issue isn't technically Plastic Man really. It's actually the featured character of House of Mystery, Robbie Reed, who turns into Plastic Man.

As most comic fans know, Robbie Reed can turn into any superhero just by dialing H-E-R-O. Most of the time these heroes are completely new, but this issue has Reed turn into Plastic Man who is an already known super-hero.

So, not really Plastic Man or a character all that associated with the stretchy one. It gets a bit complicated concerning Plastic Man when we get into the DC stuff. 

So what's correct? Is a character just a costume with certain abilities or is there more like personality, motivation, etc?

Plas definitely has a unmistakable look and personality like most comic characters. This issue will probably be debated for years to come on it's validity.

Going by what DC wiki has with Plastic Man's 1st comic series and how that Plastic Man is suppose to be the son of the original Plastic Man of Earth-12, it does all get extremely whacky. Then you have all the multi-verse stuff, right?

I may just skip trying to understand and explain all that together. We'll see what I am able to uncover, but until then here's the CGC Census for this bad boy.

Ah, I might as well since this is a pretty important moment for Plastic Man during the Silver Age. Here's how the "character" of Plastic Man kinda enters the world of DC Comics. 

Clearly states that Robby Reed turns into Plastic Man and he knows of the character. I don't know if there's a point I'm trying to make or what.

Then he fights some baddies in this Dial H for Hero story using Plastic Man's abilities and powers. Should we do some Overstreet values? Alright, but just for the 46th Edition.

9.2 - $160
9.0 - $108
8.0 - $56
6.0 - $24
4.0 - $16
2.0 - $8

Real Plastic Man or not, the comic character enters the world of DC Comics even if it's really Robby Reed. Apparently, the next time Plastic Man is in DC Comics, it's a different version of the character as well.

First artist under the DC Comics banner to draw Plastic Man is apparently Jim Mooney. Next would be Gil Kane. July, 1966 is the cover date to House of Mystery #160.

1st Real Appearance of S.A. Plastic Man
1st appearance of Doctor Dome
1st DC Plastic Man comic series
1st Gordon K. Trueblood

Oh, man, the hairiness of when these other characters from other publishers cross into DC Comics after they acquired the rights. So Overstreet says this is the "Real" 1st appearance of Silver Age Plastic Man in DC Comics.

I suppose that's technically true. This is not the original Plastic Man though, but it's Eel O'Brien Jr. as Plastic Man. Yep, this is the son of the original Plastic Man, but these stories in the volume 2 series happened on Earth-12.

The series was written and drawn by legends Gil Kane and Arnold Drake and this, of course, is all explained in a later issue. This Plastic Man makes his Earth-12 connection by associating with the Inferior Five comic team and apparently existing in their realm.

Plastic Man is mostly unnamed throughout the comic series except for issue #2 in which he is referred to as "Eel" in the story "The 3 faces of Plastic Man". This issue deals with 3 different origins and one of them is suppose to be the true origin as the beginning splash states.

From Plastic Man #2 volume 2

Like the original, Plastic Man is seen as a crook but immediately is identified as an undercover agent of sorts. Note that the origin is changed in issue #7 of this comic series.

Doctor Dome is the closest thing that Plastic Man has to an arch nemesis. He makes his debut here in this issue. Crisis on Infinite Earths wiped out the existence of Earth-12 and it's inhabitants, but then Convergence retroactively saved all these other realities.

Oi! One hot mess when it comes to some DC stuff, at least to me. 

So, 1st "Real" appearance of S.A. Plastic Man (whatever that means, but at least he's related to Plastic Pops), 1st appearance of Doctor Dome, and 1st DC Plastic Man comic series. I am just sticking to that, and this is supposedly the Earth-12 Plastic Man.

Plastic Man did appear in Inferior Five #2, and the comic that reveals all the Inferior Five adventures to have taken place on Earth-12 is in Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew: The Oz–Wonderland War #3 in 1986. 

Guess I'll throw in some Overstreet values for this one. This is the 46th Edition:

9.2 - $210
9.0 - $138
8.0 - $66
6.0 - $30
4.0 - $20
2.0 - $10

Recently a CGC 9.2 sold and it was a Best Offer. Original price was $225. 

GoCollect hasn't logged that CGC 9.2 in yet, but it obviously sold for less than $225. The sale happened June 4th.

Gordon K. Trueblood is this Plastic Man's sidekick for some of the series and debuts in this issue. November, 1966 is the cover date for Plastic Man #1 volume 2.

True origin of Earth-12 Plastic Man II
1st appearance of Earth-12 Plastic Man I

Did I mention that issue #2 of the series basically rehashed the original Plastic Man origin? Well, it did and here's where it gets all changed around.

So it's revealed in this issue of #7 that Plastic Man has played around with Gordon K. Trueblood when it came to revealing his real or true origin. Here's how this strangeness unfolds:

The mother of this Earth-12 Plastic Man is so far unnamed. In actual DC mainstream continuity, Plastic Man does have a son and the mother's name is "Angel" McDunnagh.

Then we finally see poppa Plastic Man and he calls the Plastic Man starring in this comic series "Junior".

And there it is! Plastic Man II is junior and issue #10 would actually be the last appearance of this Earth-12 Plastic Man. Yes, the series does continue after issue #10, but there was an 8 year gap between issue #10 and issue #11.

Anyway, here's the CGC Census for this DC Comics key issue.

Should we see how Overstreet looks? Hell, might as well! 46th Edition values below:

9.2 - $60
9.0 - $44
8.0 - $27
6.0 - $12
4.0 - $8
2.0 - $4

Overstreet notes this as the 1st Silver Age appearance of Golden Age Plastic Man and Woozy Winks. I am not sure if that notation is all that correct but CGC notes this as the first S.A. appearance of G.A. Plastic Man also.

It would be established later that most of the original Quality Comics' characters were from Earth-X but then retconned to have been originally from Earth-2. That's in DC Comics lore.

November, 1967 is the cover date for Plastic Man #7 of his 2nd self-titled comic.

1st Earth-One Plastic Man
1st meeting of Plastic Man & Batman

Just to be clear that the number #10 issue of the 2nd but first DC Comics Plastic Man series has the cover date of June, 1968 and this comic has the cover month of February of the same year. That means that this comic came out before Plastic Man #10 volume 2, and that Plastic Man from the Plastic Man volume 2 comic series is from Earth-12 from issues #1 through #10.

When it picked up again after #11, that issue starred the Earth-1 or this Plastic Man? How do we know? Robbie Reed is in issue #13.

So let's try to break this down again. Logic says that since the Inferior Five was from a different Earth (Earth-12) and that Plastic Man is from the same world as that goofy and zany team, this Plastic Man that appears in this 76th issue and first meets and teams up with Earth-1 Batman has to be the Earth-1 Plastic Man, right?

I suppose, so. This may very well be the first Plastic Man in actual DC mainstream continuity, and it's very much like Shazam or Captain Marvel or even Harley Quinn's first debut outside continuity in comics and then in DC's mainstream continuity. 

If you're new here, that might confuse you if you don't know DC Comics all that well or how that works. May want to read the Shazam key issues series on here as it details how the Marvel characters were designated to be on Earth-S before they entered DC mainstream continuity.

So, let's see how Batman and Plastic Man meet in this here issue:

It's looking like Bats might just be the first DC super-hero that Plas meets and teams up with in mainstream continuity also. Could be a big deal for Plas fans or something they might want to consider a bit more.

The two would have another strange story in Brave and the Bold #95 in 1971. Don't think that Earth-1 Plas would have that many appearances in the Bronze Age or during the 70s, but the Earth-1 version had his own comic feature in the pages of Adventure Comics beginning with issue #467.

As mentioned prior, his 2nd self-titled series would restart again with issue #11 in 1976, and apparently that is the Earth-1 Plas. We shall get to that.

An Earth-2 version of Plastic Man was a member and supporting character of the All-Star Squadron team and comics during the Bronze Age also. Confused yet? Welcome to the club.

Still, it's fun to know about. Brave and the Bold #76 has the cover date of February, 1968.

Plastic Man vs Plastic Man
2nd Robbie Reed as Plastic Man

We already covered Robbie Reed turning into Plastic Man in House of Mystery #160. In that issue, the real Plas wasn't in it.

In this issue, Steve Skeates thought it might be fun to revisit that concept of Robbie Reed turning into Plastic Man but having the real Plastic Man in the story also. Well, this time Reed turns into an evil version of Plas, and the real one just has to lay a smack down on the pretender.

And a fight ensues between the "real" Plastic Man and the fake one that Robbie Reed turned into.

Robbie Reed in this issue is the only indicator that this Plastic Man is the Earth-1 version. In his stories in Adventure Comics, there is an indicator of which universe those Plastic Man stories are set in.  

Sources say Earth-1, and apparently the Earth-1 Plas was an agent of the National Bureau of Investigation instead of the FBI. Earth-2 Plas is still an agent of the FBI.

Working for the NBI instead of the FBI is an indicator of Earth-1 Plas during this time. This Plastic Man series would ultimately last until issue #20 before it was cancelled.

Fun issue and fun read. Only 22 total submissions in the CGC Census currently and not gonna bother with the screen shot. There are six 9.8s and thirteen 9.6s if you're curious. Only one 9.4 so far.

Artist Ramona Fradon penciled the remaining issues of this Plastic Man volume 2 series and issue #13 has the cover date of July, 1976 with a really cool Ernie Chan cover as well.

1st appearance of Earth X
1st appearance of Freedom Fighters
Cameo of Earth-2 Plastic Man

Okay, bear with me here and let's see if I can explain this or fail miserably. So some other Quality Characters were bought by DC Comics and the task was introducing them into DC Comics that somehow made sense.

How is this done? Alternate Earth, of course. This alternate Earth is Earth-X and supposedly Nazi Germany won World War II on this parallel Earth.

The Freedom Fighters are a group that started out battling Nazi Germany on this Earth-X. I mean, "started out" in terms of DC Comics.

As usual shiz gets messed around with when the multi-verse collapses. I'm not going to get into that because things change from Earth-X to New-Earth and whatever. No expert on how many different Earths these cats crossed over into.

So these Freedom Fighters were all Quality characters such as Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady, Doll Man, Human Bomb and the Ray. Plastic Man is seen in Uncle Sam's telling of events that happened on Earth-X, and here's how that goes down.

Supposedly, all this is retconned and Quality's characters such as this version of Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters were later written to have originally come from Earth-2 and migrated over to Earth-X. Jeez, man!

Hell, I think I'll just have Roy Thomas explain it,  

"The Rod Reilly (Firebrand) introduced in ALL-STAR SQUADRON is, of course, not the one from Earth-X who appeared in FREEDOM FIGHTERS, nor is our Plastic Man the same as any other who has appeared in comics since his original title folded in the mid-50's. In our view, all 1940's DC and Quality Comics Group stories occurred on Earth-Two, even though some of these events were duplicated on Earth-One." 

On that note, this Plastic Man was a member of the All-Star Squadron. I suppose this counts as a debut cameo of Earth-2 Plastic Man and in flashback.

Why important? Well, Freedom Fighters set up the All-Star Squadron stuff in DC Comics. Plastic Man was a member of All-Star Squadron, and thus had an Earth-2 counterpart.

Going by what Roy Thomas said (other writers have also confirmed the notion of Golden Age heroes existing on Earth-2), this means that the Earth-2 Plastic Man is actually the Golden Age Plas from Quality Comics.

Earth-2 Plas does have another cameo in a Justice League of America issue before making a full appearance. As usual, we shall discuss that a tiny bit later.

Justice League #107 has the cover date of October, 1973.

Super Friends meet Plastic Man

So far we have Earth-12, Earth-1, and Earth-2 Plastic Man, why not room for one more, right? Obviously, the Super Friends cartoon and accompanying comics are not set in the mainstream continuity of DC Comics.

In the comics, they are set in the Super Friends universe. Well, in this universe, this is the first appearance of Plastic Man and his first meeting with the Super Friends.

Huge key? Not really, but a fun one to know about if you grew up on this cartoon or love the character. So many Plastic Men!

Eh, I suppose you could say this is the first Super Friends Universe Plastic Man. Why not, the first appearance of Supergirl of this universe shows up in the next issue. 

Not gonna bother with the CGC Census on this one. It's very low and only has 2 over-all submissions at the time of this writing. 

1 is a 9.8 and the other a 9.4 copy in the census. Super Friends #36 has the cover date of September, 1980.

1st appearance of All-Star Squadron
Cameo Earth-2 Plastic Man
Real origin of Red Tornado

This is considered the 1st appearance of All-Star Squadron, although they really don't form anything just yet in this preview, but the story is entitled All-Star Squadron. Oh, yes, this story was a preview story in this comic and it leads up to issue #1 of All-Star Squadron.

It's not part of the Justice League of America story contained in this issue. It's a Special Preview as shown in the beginning splash page below.

As for Plastic Man in the 2nd story to this comic? It's another one panel deal but homeboy is clearly in shadow as shown below and is still connected to the FBI.

While Plas is only seen in one panel in this issue, it's an important set up as Plas gets instructions from the President and then is later seen in All-Star Squadron #1 tracking down Hawkman. The 1st issue of that comic series is where things really heat up and come together concerning the All-Star Squadron team.

Not hugely or remotely in-demand at the time of this writing and would say it's pretty under the radar currently. How's it look on the Overstreet values? Well, they only list 9.2s as having any value and that is $6 whole whopping dollars. 

This issue has direct market copies for those interested in that kind of stuff. No idea if there's a hint of rarity between either or of the editions concerning high grade copies. Slabbed copy amount is too low and not enough sales on GoCollect to somewhat gauge it.

Overstreet notes this as debut of All-Star Squadron and so does CGC. August, 1981 is the cover date for Justice League of America #193.

1st full Earth 2 Plastic Man in DC Comics
Origin of All-Star Squadron

Okay, some say this should be the first full appearance of All-Star Squadron. Don't know about that, but it's clear that the All-Star Squadron do form in this issue. CGC pegs this as the origin of the team which is true and they do form at the end of issue.

Dunno if Overstreet clearly states whether this is an origin issue or not. Oh, well, it is though.

With that in mind, Plastic Man is a liaison for the team, and I do think this could be considered the 1st full appearance of Earth 2 Plastic Man, as the All-Star Squad stories take place on Earth 2 and clearly stated by creator Roy Thomas.

So clearly continuing from the Special Preview seen in Justice League of America #193, Plas takes the Presidents instructions and goes to find Hawkman. Here's how it plays out.

What did F.D.R. want? Well, it's revealed at the end of this issue and the All-Star Squadron is officially formed.

Pretty neat. CGC Census is a bit more impressive but not hugely impressive. One thing to note though: For the amount of total submissions, this comic does already have a pretty high amount of 9.8s.

Late Bronze Age comic and may not be exactly rare. However, this comic doesn't really seem to be on the radar of most collectors at large, and there are direct market copies and newsstands for this issue. 

Not hypin' up or anything for sure and just makin' some simple observations is all and that's all. I guess, I'll throw in the direct market cover for reference purposes, and I'll list the 46th Overstreet values for those interested in some possible over-looked Plastic Man keys in the DC realm of the character.

9.2 - $9
9.0 - $7
8.0 - $5
6.0 - $3
4.0 - $2
2.0 - $1

Take from that data what you will, but this comic was a pretty fun read over-all. Is this the 1st full Golden Age Plastic Man in DC Comics, since it is considered that the events in Quality Comics happened on Earth-2 in DC Comics continuity?

Not too sure, but Roy Thomas did imply they were with his statement about 1940s DC and Quality stories happening on Earth-2. All-Star Squadron stories were on Earth-2, but whatever. 

I'm sure that could be a fun debate for some comic fans out there. That was written with sarcasm as well. September, 1981 is the cover date for All-Star Squadron #1.

Okay, so let's iron some things out in a more compact manner. So, Earth-1 Plastic Man worked for the N.B.I. instead of the F.B.I. He is the first version to actually meet Batman or step inside mainstream continuity.

Earth-1 Plas had his own self-titled comic, beginning with issue #11 of that series. The first 10 issues were Plastic Man in the Earth-12 realm and was the son of Plastic Man in that world.

Adventure Comics also had Earth-1 Plas in a comic feature that ran for a little bit. It started with issue #467 for the character and clearly shows him working for the National Bureau of Investigation like issues #11 through #20 of his self-titled DC Comics Plastic Man series.

Earth-2 Plas in DC Comics lore would be a member of the All-Star Squadron and the Freedom Fighters. Some sources say that the original Quality Comics Group Plas is not the Earth-2 Plastic Man in DC Comics and never met nor joined the All-Star Squadron or Freedom Fighters.

However, "In our view, all 1940's DC and Quality Comics Group stories occurred on Earth-Two," said by Roy Thomas, and that sounds like to me that the Golden Age Plas' adventures published by Quality Comics happened on Earth-2 in DC Comics' continuity. Not sure why some sources say the Earth-2 Plas is not suppose to be the original Golden Age Plastic Man.

I believe in DC's "view", he is suppose to be. I dunno, though? Perhaps there is something I don't know about concerning that.

Not a big deal to me really. There will be a Part 3, since there is New-Earth. Yes, that means there is a New-Earth Plastic Man as well.


  1. Hey you remember that song? I' m a barbie girl in a barbie world - life in plastic, it' s fantastic! Ah well, just my way to start a comment that is not related to the topic Plasticman in any way. Truth is, I got an investment question on my mind. Here it goes: Next Men 21, 1. Hellboy in 9.2 for 90. Good buy or bad buy? I think it' s a bit high, but if you consider that Hellboy is not a dead property, this one has still room for growth.

    Max Rebo

    1. Is it a raw or graded copy? I think its high for a raw copy. If it's a CGC or CBCS graded copy maybe on the borderline of maybe being high. Just look at EBay sold listings to compare.

  2. Hi again,

    copy is raw. I think you are right. Gonna wait if the price is going to drop. Found a better bargain instead: Catwoman 74 in NM for 15! Man, that cover is a feast for the eyes. Gorgeous!

    Max Rebo

    1. That sounds like a pretty good deal compared to what there selling for online. One of the better Hughes Catwoman covers in the run. Now try to find issue 51 and 70 for that price. Good luck. I snagged my NM signed raw copy of Next Men 21 before the first Hellboy film for $25. It's all about trying to snag books before the hype.