Written by: Gail Simone
Art by: Adriana Melo
Colors by: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters by: Simon Bowland
Plastic Man has been around since the 40s. A character with that much history can feel weighed down and staid whenever they get reinvented with a new series. Lucky for all of us, Gail Simone has a way of making classic characters feel fresh and new again. She introduces us to Eel O’Brien–sometime crook and wannabe ladies’ man–with humor, cleverness, and a good dose of intrigue. There is no wasted space on the page at all, and every joke, exchange, and character introduction is immediate and necessary. This issue is a great piece of writing, and Simone shows that can handle the sometimes-bonkers world of Plastic Man.
The art is, in general, very good. The artist seems to be at her best when drawing Plastic Man bending himself into rockets, stretching across town, or looking sheepish. She excels at facial expressions, but sometimes the body language of not-bendy-bodies feels posed rather than dynamic. Melo’s art is excellent regardless of this, and there were only a few panels that threw me off visually, most of these during the short introduction to the secret agent, Obscura.
The story is fantastic. It’s got death, mystery, and double agents of a nefarious nature. There are some strong hints that other big-name heroes might make an appearance, and while it will be a delight to see Simone back with Wonder Woman, I thoroughly enjoyed this new version of Plastic Man. I hope that we focus on Eel for a few more issues, as he seems to have a lot of problems to solve even without the Justice League butting in.