Wednesday, January 25, 2006

This Comic Was Good While It Lasted - Plastic Man #20

The last issue of Kyle Baker's Plastic Man came out this week, and it is a real shame. In fact, the shame goes beyond just the fact that it is ending (which DOES suck), but rather, that Baker decided to end the title with a mocking send-up of the DC Universe.

Don't get me wrong, it is a hilarious mocking send-up of the DC Universe, but still, I think I would have preferred to have the last issue just be a FUN issue, to best remind folks of how FUN this comic book was. Heck, just look at the cover...

That is the kind of wacky fun that Plastic Man gave us readers for 17 or so issues (admittedly, the last few have been parodies of the DCU), so I would have liked the last issue to be that same kind of humor.

HowEVER, if we have to have mocking of the DCU, then Baker at least does it wonderfully.

He "darkens" his art for the DCU characters who are guest starring in this story, including Billy Batson's funeral, where we get classic lines like "Sivana blasting Billy full of holes would have been bad enough. Bad enough got worse when Sivana invited Doctor Light to do what Dr. Light does to victims now. Like that's Light's new power now."

He also has Mary Marvel give a comment about how superheroes should set a worthy example, as Baker depicts Huntress (in the lame Jim Lee costume) and Supergirl (in the slightly less lame, but still lame Michael Turner costume) looking at the ground, ashamed.


The rest of the issue is mixed with Baker mocking the Superman/Wonder Woman/Batman dynamic (and doing it very well), and having his cast go through family troubles.

It is touching, while also hilarious, and Baker's art is so pliable that he manages to fit every joke perfectly, in whatever style of art the joke calls for.

Classic stuff.

Classic series.

I'll miss it, but there are plenty of other Baker projects out there! Check them out, folks (also, check Plastic Man back issues out...they should be cheap)!!

Read More


Anonymous Matthew Craig said...

" the slightly less lame, but still lame Michael Turner costume"

You know what I realised the other day? The only real difference between Newpergirl and Superlinda, visually, at least, is that Linda sports a tighter skirt. (and nicer boots, too, I guess)

Funny, innit?

The Huntress costume is unsalvageable in its present form, though. Even on the cover of the first post-OYL Birds of Prey, it looks far too busy.

A suit of clothes should only take you an hour to remove if you are an astronaut - and note that they can wee into a bag.

I had a go at it. Not a great one, I'll admit. But at least you can imagine someone being able to make a quick getaway in it, right?

Anyway. Yes. Plastic Man. Never quite got into the Baker run. I may have to try again, first chance I get.


1/25/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Jason K. said...

Personally, I don't like Newpergirl because the bare midriff and the long sleeves don't look good when I see them together.

I think that Turner's design has the skirt is usually drawn a bit shorter than the Superlinda version.

The Huntress costume bugs me because of the giant white cross. It's no lightning bolt or Big Red S.

I'm going to miss Plastic Man.

1/25/2006 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Ohhhhhhhhh. When Joe posted his thread over at CBR, I thought Billy was an Infinite Crisis casualty. Which, I suppose, he is, in the metaphorical way Baker points out here.

1/26/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Matthew Craig said...

There's a bit of Baker's Plas here.


I dunno.

No sir, I don't think I want to pay full price for it. It's okayyy, but it's not quite weird enough. Does that make sense?

Maybe they'll do a SHOWCASE edition of the classic stuff.



1/26/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger melvin p. mouse said...

Hmmm. I may have to read this... It's hard to believe that the maker of Why I Hate Saturn did a superhero book, but it is Kyle Baker, after all...

yeah, I have to buy this.

1/26/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Before Baker did Saturn, he used to do these little superhero parody strips in the pages of Marvel Age, so I think he's always been into superhero parody.

1/26/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

Oh, Plastic Man! Would that it could've run forever.

1/26/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Marionette said...

Plastic Man #20: It's like a Mad Magazine version of the current Wonder Woman/Superman/Batman conflict only with extra rape jokes. If this is what the rest of the series was like I'm glad it's dead.

1/27/2006 04:02:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"If this is what the rest of the series was like I'm glad it's dead."

That was sorta the point of my bit. It wasn't like this issue, so that's why I felt this was an odd way to end the series.

1/27/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Lex said...

If you guys want a look at the awesomeness of this Plastic Man series, track down issues #8-9. Honestly the most hilarious story I've ever read in a DC comic.

True, Baker takes a couple jabs at DC in it, but it's still one of the funniest things I've ever read.

1/27/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

So, Lex, would you say, on the whole, that Plastic Man #20 was a good representation of the type of stories throughout Baker's run?

1/27/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger The Fortress Keeper said...

Checked out the scans from the livejournal link and wished I had given the series a chance. What I usually don't like about modern stories with Plas is that they either make him too goofy (in the jack cole strips, the hero usually played it straight while the other characters went nuts) or too maudlin (Joe Kelly's JLA).

But the Fantastic Four as monks? That's just funny.

1/27/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger Lex said...

Brian: "So, Lex, would you say, on the whole, that Plastic Man #20 was a good representation of the type of stories throughout Baker's run?"

No. His jabs at DC overpowered the issue. Were they funny? You bet! But this issue didn't show off the greatness of Plastic Man and the supporting cast like past issues have.

1/28/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Thank ye.

I was wondering if I was just imagining that aspect of the issue...hehe.

1/28/2006 03:14:00 PM  
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