Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Plastic Man #4 Review and **SPOILERS**

Going Straight, the Bendy Way

Writer: Gail Simone 
Artist: Adriana Melo 
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick 
Letterer: Simon Bowland 
Cover Artists: Emanuela Lupacchino with Ray McCarthy and Tomeu Morey 
Editor: Kristy Quinn 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: September 12, 2018


Now we begin the second half of this six-issue miniseries, and I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret: the fourth issue of a six-issue mini is usually the worst one. Not always, but often it just reiterates what came in the previous three issues, thereby rendering them redundant. Or, it paddles along in wait of the explosive fifth and sixth issues. I try not to go into reviewing comics with these things on my mind, but I can’t help it—but that doesn’t mean issue four of six can’t be enjoyed! Find out if I did in my review of Plastic Man #4, just below!

Explain It!

The issue opens with Sammy the Mafia Stereotype purchasing a lot of calamine lotion for Janet. See, she got hit with the same acid that turned Eel O’Brien into Plastic Man in the last issue, only it didn’t turn her into taffy. Instead, she’s gotten all crusty and gross-looking, like Metamorpho’s head. Any of Metamorpho’s appendages, come to think of it, they’re all pretty yucky. This change to Janet’s epidermis may have also given her a degree of super-strength and sporadic fits of rage, as we see when she breaks the wall of the bathroom in which she is freaking out. But maybe she was already prone to sporadic fits of rage, it’s not like I’m her best friend or anything. So this looks interesting: the Granite Girl versus the Plastic Man. Ol’ Goggles caught between a rock and a hard place. The Scarlet Stretchster meets the Lady Golem.
Except we don’t see these two for the rest of the issue. The remainder of the story involves Plastic Man figuring out how to be a father to Pado Saskatoon, and rescuing two of his strippers from three members of the Secret Six. You’re not going to find a bigger fan of Gail Simone’s Secret Six between here and the hallway, but this was just out of place. The big match-up here we might have wanted to see, Plas versus Ragman, never really happens in any meaningful way.
Much of the issue is given to Plastic Man proving, to Pado and himself, that he’s gone straight. And to that end, he uses his pickpocketing skills to grab a voice changer off of Obscura, proving that she’s been behind this “Cabal” all along…? She’s been leading Plastic Man on, having him kidnapped and sending Catman and whoever else after him, so that he would be prepared for an actual Cabal, which we see at the end. Looks like it’s Hugo Strange, maybe Amazo? Per Degaton, Queen Bee, and some little guy, I dunno who he is. Looks like a mini Vandal Savage, sort of.
This issue started out really intriguing, and then it plodded along, taking up space until we really start toward the conclusion in the next issue. I was confused when Plastic Man battled Catman, Jeannette, and Ragman, I didn’t put together that they’d disabled the strippers’ car until the second read—and the reason for that, in part, is that we never see them exiting their upended car. A lot of the artwork looked a little sketchy and rough, like the deadline might have been looming. Or maybe Adriana didn’t bring her “A” game to this issue, knowing it was essentially treading water until the brain-melting conclusion. Whatever the reason, it wound up being a disappointment.

Bits and Pieces:

Some interesting teases at the beginning and end, but the middle is a lot of mediocre quips and fan service that we could probably do without. The artwork looks rushed, and there are a couple of storytelling problems that required a re-read. A disappointing issue in what's been a pretty fun series so far.



  1. I can see where you're coming from, Reggie. I agree this issue was weaker than the last couple of issues and I felt that the Obscura bit could have been handled better. Despite that, I really did enjoy this issue and felt that it was a lot of fun. I loved the art and I have a sneaking suspension that Paco is actually evil. His(Her?) presence felt a bit off in this issue and he seems to always be around when the subject of the Cabal is mentioned and the Cabal has a few members known for their psychic abilities and pretending to be other characters.

    BTW, the little guy hanging out is Dr. Psycho. He's one of Wonder Woman's villains and is known for having psychic powers.

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