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Plastic Man, The - Archives, VOL 01 (Plastic Man Archives) Hardcover – February 10, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Plastic Man Archives (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; First Edition edition (February 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563894688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563894688
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,716,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I look forward to picking up the rest of the series.
Ian Fowler
It is always great to find the roots behind any story be it friend or fiend.
Spike
It's both for adults and kids at the same time and the art was fantastic.
Michael Dobey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ian Fowler on July 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Jack Cole's reputation stands primarily on the reputation of his most famous character, Plastic Man, and rightly so. These stories are terrific treats from the Golden Age of comics, and demonstrate why so many people rate Cole as one of the great comic book creators, often naming him in the same sentence with Will Eisner.

Plastic Man first appeared in the anthology series "Police Comics" #1, published in 1941 by Quality Comics (DC obtained Quality's stable after Quality went out of business). In his foreword, Will Eisner recalls that Cole had been hired by Quality to more or less produce a clone to Eisner's own "The Spirit". Instead, Cole took a different route, creating his own distinct Plastic Man.

For those not familiar with the character, criminal Eel O'Brien leads a gang of crooks on a robbery in a chemical plant. When the police arrive, Eel is shot. Acid seeps into his wound. Left behind by his men, Eel escapes the police, and is rescued by a kindly monk. The next morning, Eel discovers that the acid has given his body elastic abilities, allowing him to take any shapes. Touched by the monk's kindness, Eel resolves to use his powers for good, and takes on the identity of Plastic Man. Working as Eel, he is able to get inside info on criminal gangs. As Plastic Man, he works in the employ of the police (and later the FBI) to take down criminals.

Plastic Man faces a variety of criminals, some fairly conventional (a dope ring, a group of Axis spies) to the bizarre (a brain that won't die, a thug whose lower body has been replaced by a peg, and man-eating trees). He also gets a sidekick, another former criminal, Woozy Winks. After saving a mystic's live, Woozy lives under a spell which protects him from all harm.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Liam Kemp on October 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Plastic Man was an odd character for his time. At his conception, the genre of the super hero was still in its infancy, with very few of the super hero icons established. The "big three," Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, were already here. Plastic Man broke strange new ground. He was perhaps the first (and most durable; he's still around in the pages of JLA) parody of the super hero. His powers themselves are a recipe for wackiness. He had and still has one of the strangest costumes in comics. He was, as far as I know, the first comics character to have the overused "fell into a vat of chemicals" origin that has also given us characters such as the Joker and Mr. Freeze. The strangest and most unique part of him in my eyes is his paradoxical beginnings and his resulting secret identity. Eel O'Brien was a ruthless criminal. He had the accident that turned him into Plastic Man. Upon discovering his powers, he immediately reevaluated his station in life and resovled to use his new powers to make ammends for his past wrongdoings. It was that simple. But he has the stranges secret identity in comicdom. In those days, he retained his Eel O'Brien identity and acted as a spy on the mob. So, he's still constantly on the run for police; conversely, Plastic Man is a badge carrying member of the police force. His exploits are surprising for one who knows him in current DC comics continuity. These days, although he has been handled very well, he is mostly used for comic relief (as was probably Jack Cole's intention). But during the Golden Age, he had a much darker side. He is, at times, actually quite violent, and transforms himself into bizarre torutre devices to torment his enemies.Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Out of the five archives on Plastic Man to date I like this one the best (but this is not to say the rest are bad 2-5 are mearly terrific while this one is Plaz-tastic).
Jack Cole set out to just put some bread on the table but he ended up creating what I consider to be a dream on paper.
In later volumes a fleet of ghost artists takes over the adventures of the stretchable sherlock with some pretty good results but this is Cole's finest hour.l
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Conrad on November 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a magnificent addition to DC's Archive series reprinting the first 20 Plastic Man strories from Quality's Police Comics in all their glory, including full page cover reproductions from each issue. The replication is superb and colors appear to be rendered acurately from my recollection of the 1940's originals.
Those familiar with Jack Cole's work will already be aware of his technique of rendering serious subjects in a whimsical manner. He had the unique ability of creating surreal worlds balanced precariously between realiasm and cartoonish absurdity. Furthermore, Jack Cole's Plastic Man has a noirish simplicity that distinguishes his character from the plethora of superheros created by other illustrators, past and present.
My one caveat: This book would be deserving of a five star rating if not for the poorly rendered dust jacket illustration. Since this book is entirely devoted to Jack Cole and his creation, it would have made more sense to use one of the master illustrators own depictions of the character on the dustjacket. It is my hope that DC is monitoring these reviews and will correct this error in judgement on reissues of this and future volumes in the series.
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