A brutal murder.  A strange message, written in blood.  Has the Justice League been infiltrated by killers?  Your Major Spoilers review of Plastic Man #2 awaits!

PLASTIC MAN #2

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Adriana Melo
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Editor: Kristy Quinn
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 11, 2018

Previously in Plastic Man: WHERE THE *&^% IS PADO SWAKATOON?

AN ORIGIN OF SORTS

After last issue’s shocking conclusion, this issue opens with Plas desperately seeking the young man from last issue.  Y’know, the one who says “That’s so wang!” all the time?  Unfortunately, no matter where he looks (including a full-page parody of ‘Where’s Waldo/Wally’ that is quite amusing), he fails to find the young man, leading him back to the strip club he manages, where his love interest Doris finds him.  There’s a slight explanation and a short-form origin before he tells the story of how he finally met Batman (including a POV version of Batman that’s all fangs and claws and the nightmares of the wicked) including an explanation of how we got from the end of last issue to here.  Even faced with the most terrifying thing he can fathom, Plastic Man doesn’t hesitate with “government agent” Obscura calls him with Pado’s location, leading him out to another battle with… Man-Bat?  Turns out that, since he was mistaken as to whom he was facing, he doesn’t have to be afraid anymore and engages the creature in battle, ending the issue with another shocking moment.

“THINK ALL THEM ROBIN KIDS COME FROM A FARM SOMEWHERE?”

This issue is just as amusing as last time, albeit a little less focused.  This is intentional, though, as most of this issue has a frazzled Plas running as fast as he can to find an eleven-year-old being held by nefarious people for nefarious purposes.  I like the voice that Gail Simone gives our hero in these pages, but the real star is Melo’s art, twisting and turning Plastic Man in ways that most artists since Jack Cole wouldn’t.  One particular battle sequence includes Eel’s critique of popular movie franchises (with a tongue-in-cheek Iron Man cameo) which makes for a beautiful couple of pages and the Waldo parody is gorgeous and rich with references.  This issue also features two specific moments that really emphasize the hero inside Eel O’Brien’s rubbery form, making it clear that he’s much more than even he thinks he is, and even Doris’ skeptical friend Lila is starting to come around on our hero’s merits by the end of the issue.

BOTTOM LINE: I LIKE IT, BUT IT’S DEFINITELY A MIDDLE CHAPTER

For me, the biggest issue with this comic book is how well it engaged me, making the sudden cliffhanger ending feel almost cruel, especially coming off last issue’s similar “WTH” final page.  Still, Plastic Man #2 is lovely to look at, fun to read, with clever metatextual humor befitting a comic hero like Eel, with a couple of unanswered questions that make you want to come back for more, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  Make sure to watch for the Optimus Prime cameo!

[taq_review]

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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