After years in development, fan-favorite writer Gail Simone has finally brought her take on Plastic Man to the stands, along with artist Adriana Melo and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick.
The six-issue miniseries will explore Plastic Man's early years, so it will not have any ties to the hero's current appearances in The Terrifics, which takes place in a post-Dark Nights: Metal DC multiverse. Besides detailing his origin, it sets up a new cast of characters for Plas to bounce off of (so to speak), exploring his organized crime ties in a way that Simone describes as "The Sopranos with humor."
Simone joined ComicBook.com to talk briefly about the series, which debuts tomorrow in stores and online. You can check out some preview pages in the attached image gallery.
You have had some version of this in development for ages. How much has it changed over the years?When I was a kid, one of the very first Golden Age stories I read was Plastic Man, and it sort of blew my mind. It was actually kind of a grim crime story, in reality, but the inventiveness and humor really struck a chord in my kid’s mind. And I always thought, forever after, that Plas was more of a crimefighter than a superhero.
So that part never changed, I wanted him to deal with gangs in the streets, more than robots. I wanted to see his background be The Sopranos with humor, rather than just another superhero.
How closely have you worked with The Terrifics folks to get a sense for where Eel "ends up"?
Not very closely -- we each have a vision. I am sure the editors worked closely. I’m a huge fan of that creative team, though.
You have written about villainous characters doing heroic things...well, kind of a lot. What's new and different about Plastic Man?
There’s a part of Plastic Man who still thinks of himself as a rat, but he feels that that is in his past. What it’s left him with is an understanding and empathy for people who are struggling to stay on the right side of the law. He’s the opposite of The Punisher, in that way.
What can you say about working with Adriana Melo?
Just that I love it. Adriana was one of the first pro artists I worked with, when we did the almost-forgotten Rose and Thorn series. She’s a fantastic action artist, and does gorgeously sexy men and women, which is all stuff we needed. But I didn’t know she could bring the joy and humor like she does in this book. Page after page had us laughing out loud, even though I’d written it! There’s just nothing you can’t ask her to draw, she will bring it.
On that note, how important is the colorist to a book like this? He's a bright character but his origin takes place in a kind of dark world.
That’s a great question—there are generally two ways to present Plastic Man. One is where he’s the straight man and everyone else is an oddball, and two is where he’s the freakshow and everyone else is just a person. We went more that second approach; I want him to be the star. I want the camera lens on him as much as possible.0comments
So, the great Kelly Fitzpatrick is doing the colors, and got that immediately. Plas is the garish one, Plas is in the gutters and alleys of Cole City, but he’s the one who shines, and the book is absolutely gorgeous because of it.
People have been asking for a Plastic Man series from me for a long time. We wanted to have fun, we wanted to look at the cruddy back corners of the DCU. There’s a ton of guest stars and some surprising villains…I’m kind of tired of superhero comics that fail to be entertaining. I want there to be heart and thoughtfulness, but I also want people to have a nice jetski ride off a tall waterfall at the same time!