Eel O’Brien is a criminal with a secret: he can stretch his body to a near infinite degree.
Plastic Man by Gail Simone and Adrianna Melo is here, and it’s great! It’s a fun blend of comedy and crime with a backstory segment. There’s not much else I could ask for in a #1 issue of a Plastic Man series. Adrianna Melo’s art looks so, so, so good and fits the feel of the character incredibly well.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Meet Eel O’Brian: a petty thug, thief and con artist who runs a strip club. Hey, he’s also dead, at least according to the gang that tossed him out like last week’s garbage. Literally. Don’t worry, though–he bounced back from all that, and now he’s trying to make a new life for himself, but the effort is stretching him pretty thin. How can he get revenge on his old boss, keep a street kid out of trouble, make a dancer fall in love with him and stop a mysterious society from taking over the world? Eel has no idea
Tell me about it!
There’s some great humor in this issue of Plastic Man, right from the beginning, from a dirty joke about the guy who’s breaking Eel’s legs to a joke about whether ‘wang’ has a good or bad context when used about something. The mystery behind who really killed the security guard in the issue is interesting since Eel doesn’t know himself and is building to work well alongside the main plot of the miniseries.
One of the coolest little things that wasn’t known before this issue is that the gentlemen’s club he runs is actually superhero themed, with dancers dressed as Batman, Catwoman and female versions of Aquaman and Superman. This is a cool little thing that they’ve added with the character as it’s set in a time not long after he’s first got his powers and is laying low from his old criminal buddies who, before the beginning of the issue, thought he was dead. Another cool little Easter egg is the fact that the city that the mini is set in is called Cole City after the creator of Plastic Man, Jack Cole.
The new Spyral agent introduced this issue goes by the codename Obscura, and her interactions with a nude, just-awakened Plastic Man are a real fun few pages and I hope their interactions continue this way throughout the series. They’re made even better by the way that Melo draws the facial expression of Obscura when she realises Eel sleeps without clothes and Eel’s subsequent teasing towards her about it afterwards.
This book lives up to the hype. Plastic Man #1 is a near-perfect comedy/crime book written really well by Gail Simone with fantastic art by Adriana Melo.