If you’re anything like me you’ve been waiting for Plastic Man to make a big appearance in his own book for quite a while now. Actually, I’m sure almost no one has been wanting that except me or we’d have gotten it by now. What we do get is Plastic Man in a Convergence tie-in (with some other guys…)! Is it enough to satiate the need for one of the best, most ridiculous heroes ever? Read the review to find out!
CONVERGENCE: PLASTIC MAN AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS #1
Writer: Simon Oliver
Artist: John McCrea
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Convergence: If you hadn’t heard, there’s an event going on in the DCU where cities from different universes and times have been captured and put under domes. The being responsible, Telos, wants champions from each city to fight to see who is the strongest. This means we get to see some superheroes fighty fighty…
I’M NOT SURE THIS JIVES SO WELL
It has been pointed out numerous times already (thanks Stephen!) that Convergence appeals only because of the nostalgia factor. Personally, I don’t have much connection to the stories or time periods that Convergence has focused on but I have been drawn to certain characters. Plastic Man has always struck an odd chord with me and I remember watching his horrible cartoon as a kid. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him in comics and I’m the first to champion a Plastic Man ongoing. When Convergence: Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters was announced, I knew I’d be buying it. How could I not love it? It’s got Plastic Man, as well as some guys I know nothing about!
Turns out Convergence: Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters #1 is not the book I was expecting, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Plastic Man has always been a silly character so putting him on a Nazi occupied Earth-X with Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters seemed like an odd choice. Feel free to correct me in the comments below, but I don’t remember him ever working with the Freedom Fighters. The Plastic Man in this issue is quite serious and there is very little of the light-hearted playfulness that is usually associated with the character. The issue starts with Plastic Man and the Freedom fighters in prison waiting to be hung from the gallows. Not an uplifting story but it’s what you get with a comic where the Nazi’s one. From there it’s basically a recap of what has taken place on Earth-X and we see the Freedom Fighters fighting Nazis. These scenes were fun and showed off Plastic Man’s strange talents but seeing him as the leader and Uncle Sam play second fiddle didn’t sit right. The Freedom Fighters don’t get much face time and I never got a good idea what their personalities were like. It’s an average issue but doesn’t represent any of the characters in a good way.
LOOKS A BIT LIKE MAD MAGAZINE ART
John McCrea’s artwork gets the job done but it seems middle of the road and not what I would expect from him. Faces remind of Mad Magazine art which isn’t a bad thing, just a unique style. He does what he can with the material he’s given but since it’s an exposition heavy story, there isn’t much on display. Even with the amount of action, none of the characters get a big chance to shine with the exception of Plastic Man. Even then, there isn’t much in the way of fun zaniness. The end has a few funny panels when the hero’s powers return. Plastic Man stretches his ears out of his head and the breakout panel is a great team shot, with Plastic stretching and curving around them. In the end, just like the story, it’s average artwork, making for a decent yet forgettable issue.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT SURE WHO THIS IS FOR
I was really looking forward to this issue, just to see Plastic Man as a star in a comic again. Unfortunately the characterizations fee off and throwing him in with the Freedom Fighters is an unusual choice. The Freedom Fighters don’t much time in the spotlight and their personalities never come through. I’m not sure who this book is for. Plastic Man fans will be disappointed by the lack of crazy that usually comes with the character and Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters lovers don’t get to see their characters have a big moment. I was pretty let down and think Plastic Man deserves better.
If you love Plastic Man, I encourage you to contact Stephen on social media or in the comments. We did a Wonder Woman week last year and I would love for Plastic Man to at least get a day to be recognized. And let’s be honest, there probably isn’t enough material to cover a whole week. Help me out Spoilerites!