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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Plastic Man Key Comic Issues Part 3

When it comes to this age in Plastic Man comics, it should be less confusing but it isn't so much. I had to do a lot of digging and reading and things are still quite convoluted concerning the character.

I have found some identifying markers that distinguishes New-Earth Plas from prior versions. We shall get into those in this Part 3, so if you haven't read Part 2, that link will roll you back. Otherwise, here's more Plastic Man key comic issues.

1st issue to 3rd Plastic Man series
New origin of new Plastic Man
New origin of Woozy Winks

This is a four issue limited series that tells a somewhat different origin for supposedly a different Plastic Man in the DC Universe. I am not sure if this is supposed to be the New-Earth version or not, but I am leaning towards that.

Actually, it's extremely tough to really pinpoint whether Plastic Man has a New-Earth debut or what cohesively distinguishes his New-Earth character from the others that can be traced back to an official debut. There are certain identifiers such as the New-Earth Plastic Man does become a member of the Justice League of America or JLA.

He also has a son named Luke. Some sources say that Secret Origins #30 is his first New-Earth appearance, but after reading that, I don't think it is. That origin is basically his original Golden Age origin, and there's really nothing new about it or makes a distinguishing marker.

The origin starts off similar to the original but then diverges quite a bit. For instance, he is shot and abandoned by his criminal cohorts which is the same ole same ole. 

The chemical spills on him like in the original, but instead of being saved by some strange monk, this Plas blacks out before wandering the city while his new found powers go haywire.

He is so upset by his new powers that he almost commits suicide by jumping over a bridge. Eel also meets Woozy in this origin, and it's him who convinces Eel to take a different path.

Woozy also gives a very brief origin in this issue. He also makes a connection to Arkham Asylum.

This origin influences Plastic Man's motives for being a super-hero a bit and it starts off based on gaining a "fortune" from Eel's new found powers. 

Shortly after Plas gets his famous costume and then remembers where his gang that abandoned him will be. Uncertain of whether to still be crooks or good guys, they both end up flipping a quarter to decide.

Anyway, this is a new Plastic Man and I think the character is meant for the rebooted New-Earth Post-Crisis. One indicator is that Plas and Winks  open up their own detective agency as seen in issue #4 of this series.

Below are panels from issue #4 that show this.

In Action Comics #661 shortly after, Plas and Woozy still have their own detective agency and first meet New-Earth Jimmy Olsen in Metropolis. Not entirely sure but I'm pretty certain this may be the debut of New-Earth Plastic Man and Woozy Winks. 

Series was written by Phil Foglio, and Plastic Man #1 volume 3 has the cover date of November, 1988.

1st appearance of Offspring

You gotta keep 'em separated!

Another indicator so far is that the New-Earth Plastic Man has a son, and it isn't "Junior". The first time this character debuted is in this issue, and, yes, I know that the Kingdom Come universe is not New-Earth but an Earth-22 thing.

However, the first iteration of this character first showed up here as a superhero called Offspring, and his civilian identity is that of Ernie O'Brian. He does have the same stretching ability as his pops.

Yes, there would be mainstream continuity version of this character. His civilian name would be changed but the code name and costume would later be used for the mainstream version.

1st appearance of Offspring and Kingdom Come: Offspring #1 has the cover date of February, 1999.

JLA #16
Plastic Man joins JLA

Before we get into the whole illegitimate son thing that occurs in this New-Earth world of DC Comics, Plastic Man does become an offical member of the JLA or the Justice League of America.

Actually, the story line that leads up to this moment is Rock of Ages written by Grant Morrison. To spoil it, the story line has Plastic Man being recruited by Bruce Wayne to take the guise of the Joker and infiltrate Lex Luthor's Injustice Gang.

Issue #11 shows a Matches Malone seeking out an Eel "O'Brien" to discuss some business, which ends up being the whole scheme to impersonate the Joker and mess things up for Lex. I'll show the page in which that happens for the hell of it.

From JLA #11

Alright, so everything comes to a head in JLA #15 in that story line. Plastic Man and the JLA save the day and Batman tells Plas that he'll be in touch soon.

Well, looks like Bats did get in touch with Plas sooner rather than later. This issue has Supes specifically say that they've added four new members. Here's how it goes down in this issue of JLA #16.

During this era, Plastic Man is a somewhat known member of the JLA. For the whole New-Earth schtick, it is an indicator that separated him from this Earth-2 and Earth-12 versions.

After Convergence and all this Rebirth stuff, this might not be such a big deal since somethings that were supposed to be erased or changed after Crisis on Infinite Earths was supposedly brought back into existence in DC mainstream continuity. However, for historical purposes, I do like to show that there were different versions and they did have identifying markers.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Plastic Man officially joins the Justice League of America in JLA #16 with the cover date of March, 1998.

JLA #65
1st appearance of Luke O'Brian (New-Earth)

Now, we have the first appearance of Plastic Man's son in mainstream continuity, This guy is named Luke "Loogie" McDunnagh and apparently Plas and a gal named "Angel" McDunnagh had some kind of something going on in the past.

This kid has the ability to change color as well as mass and shape, and it seems like Plas had some hang ups and abandoned the kid and his mother. Tsk! Tsk!

Anyway, here's how the kid debuts in this here issue and the little dude is falling in with the wrong crowd:

And then we learn what's up and how this all came about. Plas also tells Bats that he pretty much ended up being a deadbeat dad.

Because Batman is such a pal and scary enough, he is able to scare Luke straight. Not the last we see of Plas' son and think it's cool they gave a nod to Baby Plas from the cartoon series way back when.

So debut of Luke O'Brian or McDunnagh, and I don't think this character shows up in the New 52 or Prime-Earth. JLA #65 has the cover date of June, 2002.

1st appearance of Nancy
Origin retold

1st and foremost, this Plastic Man series is definitely based on the Jack Cole version of Plas. The series is definitely set in a different continuity from DC mainstream one.

We revisit Plas as an FBI agent and Chief Branner is his superior. Not to say that this series isn't important or should be neglected.

Certainly not for any Plastic Man fan, and it does introduce a new supporting character for and within the series. Don't think Nancy or Agent Morgan has ventured outside of this Plastic Man volume 4 series just yet.

The series was critically acclaimed but wasn't marketed all that great. It only lasted 20 issues and was written by Kyle Baker.

So Nancy is a character that is Eel's girlfriend back in the day and nags for him to give up his life of crime. Of course, he doesn't listen and does that job in which douses him with the chemicals that turn him into Plastic Man.

Nancy thought Eel had died, and became even more furious when she later learned he had returned and didn't even bother contacting her. Oh, the drama begins.

March, 2004 is the cover date of Plastic Man #1 volume 4 by Kyle Baker. If you're hard speculating, this comic may have an estimated print run of around 31,504 (Comic Chron figures).

1st appearance of/as Agent Morgan

Okay a bit of strangeness here. Remember Nancy from issue #1? Well, she is actually Agent Morgan.

This isn't revealed until later in the series, but Agent Morgan is actually a scorned Nancy who underwent immense plastic surgery and joined the FBI order to exact her revenge on Eel O'Brian.

Yep, a bit zany as a Plastic Man story should be. This is all revealed in Plastic Man #6 of this volume 4 series written by Kyle Baker.

Getting ahead of myself once again, but here's a scene shortly after her debut panel. There is a mix up of Agent Morgans, and, yes, she is the blonde.

March 2004 is the cover date for Plastic Man #2 volume 4 and it has an estimated print run of 22,688 according to Comic Chron.

1st appearance Prime-Earth Plastic Man?
Prime-Earth origin of Plastic Man

Not too long ago, we had a New 52 reboot. Lots of peeps made a big deal about it and went ga-ga over the zillion variant covers and la-de-da hoo-de-doo. Didn't really mind it so much or cared.

In terms of Plastic Man or Eel O'Brian, he does get a new origin of sorts or it's retold. Any difference really? I'm reading it as I type this.

Well, it does seem like there is a difference and that's Owl Man has something to do with turning Eel O'Brian into Plastic Man.

Plastic Man was pretty much missing from the New 52 Universe and quite a few fans was wondering what happened to him. Actually, fans are still wondering if Plastic Man will show up in all the new Rebirth stuff, and I'm curious as to how they connect the New 52 origin with all the other stuff from New-Earth and Earth-1.

Dark Days The Forge hints at Batman with a container bearing the Plastic Man logo and suggests it's time to release him, so we may see him introduced soon in the new "soft" reboot.

So apparently and recently, Batman has plans for Plastic Man, and I think the character will be introduced soon in DC's mainstream continuity. No idea when that is, but how are they going to explain the New 52 false start in this issue and in the prior photo cameo in Justice League International #1 volume 3.

Alright, that's the end now for this Plastic Man key comics series. If you have any suggestions, rattle them off in the comments section below. 

As for Dark Days The Forge #1, I suppose I'll show you the scene that drops the hopefully soon to come Plastic Man in the Rebirth soft boot.

From Dark Days: The Forge #1

There it is. Also, a comment on Part 1, I believe, said that Plastic Man's most recent appearance is in Scooby Doo Team Up #27. Not in mainstream continuity but still an appearance if you're a Plas fan.


  1. Hey TCM,

    talkin' about obscure characters, I recently found a copy of Superman 256 which spots an attack of a cool lookin' "Tigerwoman". It' s kinda DC' s Tigra. But, where did she first appear? Is she actually just a C-character worth ignoring? If you heard a thing or two about her, just let me know.


    1. That is her only appearance in comics. Need I say more.

  2. Thanks! Going to stay away from this one then. Allthough it' s a pretty neat lookin cover... Bagged the first appearance of Killerfrost for 9,99 bucks instead. The book seems to have cooled down, but I' m givin' it a chance...