Plastic Man. Plastic Man. Do you know who Plastic Man is? Well, let me give you a little back history. Plastic Man was created by Jack Cole in 1941. He originally appeared in Police Comics which was published by Quality Comics. Plastic Man was originally a crook and con artist. On one of his heists at a chemical plant, he was shot and acid got in his wound. He escaped and found himself in a monastery. Well there he realized that he wanted to change his ways and use his new found powers for good. In 1956, Quality Comics went out of business. DC Comics were distributing the comics for Quality and acquired three properties; Blackhawk, GI Combat, and Plastic Man. Plastic Man was not used very much at first, specifically because Julius Schwartz did not know they owned the rights to him. In 1966, a comic called Dial H for Hero introduced Plastic Man to the DC Universe.
Years later, Plastic Man was introduced to children everywhere through animation. Plastic Man could not be harmed by a punch. His only weakness was extreme cold and hot. Ruby Spears, a production company owned by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, created the series. Plastic Man worked for the government and was like a James Bond-type agent. He traveled in different vehicles provided for him to stop criminals all around the world.
He had a supporting cast that consisted of Penny and Hula Hula. Penny was the typical female for the time frame, always worrying about Plastic Man. Hula Hula was a Hawaiian who had horrible luck. Hula was introduced through a mandate. There were specific ethnicity groups that were not represented on Saturday mornings. They were given a list to choose from and originally called him Coconut. That was deemed a racial slur and his name was changed. The writers for the series wanted to do original Jack Cole stories, but were told by the network that they wanted something different. That is where the crazy slap-stick humor came in.
So now we move onto the DVD set. This set consists of 35 episodes. It aired in 1979 following episodes of Super Friends on ABC. This was not the show that featured Baby Plas. I mention that because while browsing the net for info about the show, I read countless complaints about when the show switched over in 1980and featured Baby Plas. Anyway the show had 35 episodes and the DVD set has all of the episodes.
Plastic Man fights various villains such as The Weed, Badladdin, and Disco Mummy. He only fought three villains that were featured in the comics. They were Carrot Man, Dr. Dome, and Toyman. Yes, that's right. I said Carrot Man. Google that and see what comes up.
After watching numerous of the episodes, it reminded me a lot of the Super Friends. This was probably because it was also produced by Hanna-Barbera. The animation had the same feel. Although, the stories themselves, were more like Scooby-Doo humor.
Normally, my complaints with these sets are that there are not enough special features. This is not the case with this set. There is a very informative feature that gives an overview of the history of Plastic Man. There is also a pilot episode for a show that was made only a couple of years ago featuring Plastic Man, voiced by none other than Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob). There are also numerous trailers for WB animation projects including many of the recent DC Animated films. The only problem was that the packaging mis-marked the location of the special features.
Overall, the series takes you back to a time of simpler animation and story-telling. It is definitely worth watching. Always nice to see some of the lesser known heroes in the DC Universe getting some attention.
Plastic Man: The Complete Collection:
The set has already been released and can be found at Best Buy. To get it on Amazon click here.
Check out some of the screen shots from the show:
Posted by Dustin