DC is ending the Plastic Man title, written and illustrated by Kyle Baker, with issue 20. I have mixed emotions about this. Plas is my favorite super-hero. Numero Uno. I agree with Batman’s assertion that he is the one of the most powerful beings in the DC universe (if not the most powerful).
And the most poorly handed character in modern comics. Bar none.
I was overjoyed to see Plas get his own title. I was even prepared to give the overly cartoony approach a fair shot. I devoured the first three issues. But each issue after that seemed more phoned-in than that. It’s not that I have a problem with digital art — far from it — but I can only stomache so many cloned images in a product like this.
And before you misinterpret that, let me make it clear, I’m not slamming digital artists, but the difference between Baker’s work in Plastic Man and, say, Greg Dean’s work in Real Life is tremendous. Dean uses his computer to push boundaries. Baker used his to push deadlines.
It was this kind of lack of effort that lead to the demise of the title. And that’s a real shame. It’s a shame because Ty Templeton, a writer who really gets Plas, as evidenced in 1999’s JLA Presents Plastic Man, could have made that title soar. Go to your comic shop’s quarter bins and check it out. Look at the gorgeous illustrations by Aaron Lopresti and Richard Pace. No copy-and-paste crap here, fanboys and fangirls… these guys made the effort.
These guys love Plastic Man the way I love Plastic Man.
And it’s a crying freaking shame that they never got the chance to take the reigns of the title as it became evident that Baker had long since lost interest.