DC makes Plastic Man darker than Batman in wild new body-horror comic

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Plastic Man has never been A-team DC character like Batman or Superman, despite his elastic potential. He came close; before and after The Matrix, the Wachowskis toiled away on a movie for the character, calling it “the closest script to a comedy we’ll write,” but it never got made. Maybe James Gunn’s rebooted DC cinematic universe will give Patrick “Eel” O’Brian his mainstream breakthrough, but in the meantime, a new pair of creatives are doing the Lord’s work in the pages of DC Comics proper.

On Thursday, DC announced Plastic Man No More!, a new four-issue DC Black Label series launching in September from the Eisner-nominated creative team of Christopher Cantwell (Halt and Catch Fire, Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Iron Man) and Alex Lins (Immortal Hulk, Monarch).

“I don’t know about you, but when I think about Plastic Man, I immediately think of David Cronenberg,” said Cantwell in a statement. “There is an element of body horror to his story that I have always found fascinating. And I also found myself wondering recently — How would Plastic Man actually die? What would that look like? Is he immortal? And then I thought of the long and particularly nasty way real plastics and petroleum products break down when and if they finally do. That’s how I learned about depolymerization and the chemical process of ‘unzipping’ — from a particularly morose afternoon on the ol’ Internet, picturing what might happen to Eel if his entire cellular structure started to give way.”

Plastic Man standing in a modern art gallery surrounded by paintings in his red and yellow color scheme — he’s also standing in a puddle of stuff on the floor, with a caution sign propped in it.

Plastic Man No More! #1 variant cover by Tyler Boss
Image: Tyler Boss/DC Comics

Cantwell says Plastic Man No More! will grapple with Eel’s past as a crook-turned-hero, and find the member of the Justice League coming to terms with a “profound fear of aging” and what death for a boneless, stretchable superperson even looks like.

“So quite catastrophically, [Plastic Man] suddenly finds himself desperate, asking WHAT NOW? HOW DO I FIX THIS? ‘THIS’ being his very body, his very cells, as well his connections to the people he loves. And just WAIT until you see how horrifically and hilariously Alex Lins and Jacob Edgar [supplying additional interior art] have rendered this referendum on our vanguard ultra-bendable former-criminal-turned-hero-guy,’ Cantwell said.

Immortal Hulk for Plastic Man? One can only hope. Plastic Man No More! #1 is written by Cantwell with art and main cover by Lins, additional art by Edgar, color by Marcelo Maiolo, lettering by Becca Carey, and tons of variant covers by Michael Allred, Chris Samnee, and Tyler Boss. Before it debuts in local comic book shops on September 4, 2024, here’s a preview.

Panels of Eel preparing for a robbery at Gems by Crabtree

Image: Christopher Cantwell, Alex Lins, Jacob Edgar/DC Comics

A hooded robber breaks into a jewelry store with a big mallet

Image: Christopher Cantwell, Alex Lins, Jacob Edgar/DC Comics

Plastic Man strung out on a bed with his appendages flopping around the apartment getting kinda melty

Image: Christopher Cantwell, Alex Lins, Jacob Edgar/DC Comics

A birds eye view of Plastic Man melting across his apartment from bed to bathtub

Image: Christopher Cantwell, Alex Lins, Jacob Edgar/DC Comics

The Justice League assembling to fight a yellow suited bad guy with a big orb gun and Plastic Man stretching big to stop him

Image: Christopher Cantwell, Alex Lins, Jacob Edgar/DC Comics

Plastic Man remembering his origin story and flashing forward to a happy life with a wife and kid

Image: Christopher Cantwell, Alex Lins, Jacob Edgar/DC Comics

 

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