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    Plastic Man

    Character » Plastic Man appears in 1457 issues.

    Former thief Patrick "Eel" O'Brien accidentally fell into an acid vat. This vat gave him the powers to bend his body into any imaginable form. He stands today as the comedian in any team he's in. Beneath his joking exterior, he is a valuable asset in any situation.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Plastic Man last edited by MaliekDaOne on 01/06/24 10:49PM View full history

    Origin

    A small-time criminal, Patrick "Eel" O'Brian was involved in a heist at the Crawford Chemical Works that went wrong. He was shot by a guard, and exposed to a strange acid. His gang abandoned him, and he wandered the streets while his powers developed, terrifying passers-by, who thought he was some sort of monster. Initially unaware of his predicament, his realization of his situation caused him to become despondent, to the point of attempting suicide.

    Before he could jump he was interrupted by Woozy Winks, a recently-released mental patient. The pair quickly decided to turn Eel's new powers into an opportunity for profit, and at the toss of a coin decided that he should become a superhero.

    Creation

    Plastic Man was created by Jack Cole for the publishing company, Quality Comics, which was later bought by DC Comics. He was updated for the post-Crisis universe by Phil Foglio.

    Character Evolution

    Golden Age

    In his original origin story, Eel O'Brian is rescued following the heist by a group of monks, and chooses to renounce his criminal ways in honour of them. He turned to the side of law enforcement upon discovering the extent of his new powers, though maintained a cover identity as Eel O'Brian for some time before eventually joining official law enforcement agencies.

    Silver Age

    Briefly in the Silver Age Plastic Man was the son of the original Plastic Man, who had accidentally ingested the mysterious acid as a baby.

    All-Star Squadron (1981)

    Plastic Man informed Hawkman that he worked for F.B.I and he had official bussiness: the President of the United States of America, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had dispatched him with an urgent summoning for the Justice Society of America. Plastic Man reasoned that Dodds must be the civilian identity of one of the members.

    Bronze Age

    For the most part, Silver and Bronze Age versions of the character matched the Golden Age version. Eventually the Golden Age version was retconned as a native of Earth-2 who later died on Earth-X.

    Modern Age

    Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the character's origin was updated to the current version. His reason for pursuing crime-fighting later had some impact on his actions and relationships.

    Major Story Arcs

    Joining JLA

    After the JLA was accused of elitism, Superman and the others decided to increase membership to twelve and invited a number of metahumans to interview for a spot on the team, Plas being one of them. He was eventually recruited in secret by Batman so that he could infiltrate the Injustice Gang disguised as Joker. Three months after taking out that gang, he was officially announced as a new recruit along with Huntress, Steel, and Zauriel

    Tower of Babel

    Minions of Ra's Al Ghul enact countermeasure created by Batman to kill the Justice League in case they turned rogue. In Plastic Man's case, they freeze and then shatter him into a number of pieces. Although he recovers like the rest of the heroes, he is traumatized by the experience and generally horrified that Batman - who he saw as a mentor/parole officer - would plan this for him. As such, he votes that Batman be kicked off the League.

    Divided We Fall

    Members of the Justice League are divided, such that their heroic and civilian identities become separate beings. For Plastic Man, this means that his heroic identity devolves into an ineffectual comic relief character, while his civilian identity struggles with the criminal nature that he has been suppressing and the attendant guilt. He is instrumental in orchestrating the re-merging of all of the Leaguer's identities.

    The Obsidian Age

    Plastic Man duking it out with the Burning Martian Manhunter
    Plastic Man duking it out with the Burning Martian Manhunter

    Along with other members of the Justice League, Plastic Man investigates the disappearance of Aquaman, and eventually travels back several thousand years to ancient Atlantis. There he and his team come into conflict with the Justice League of Ancients. In one confrontation, Plastic Man is frozen and his body is shattered into thousands of pieces which are then lost in the ocean. He remains on the ocean floor, semi-sentient, for three thousand years, until finally being rescued by his teammates.

    Having suffered greatly by the extreme isolation and helplessness of spending several millennia in pieces on the ocean floor, he leaves the team for some time, choosing to dedicate himself to raising his son, Offspring. He returns to the team sometime later at the urging of Batman, at a time when Martian Manhunter has become a massive psychic Burning Martian only Plastic Man is immune to.

    Countdown to Mystery

    No Caption Provided

    After catching some thugs in Central Park NYC, Plas was greeted by Eclipso, possessing Jean Loring’s body. She teases Plas with the knowledge that no one ever respected him. This knock to his insecurities caused him to turn back to a life of crime, earning him the ire of both Offspring and Batman. Once at his lowest, Eclipso infects him with her dark influence to turn him into a henchman for billionaire industrialist and Eclipso disciple, Rosario Corrotto, along with Creeper and Dove. Eclipso almost caught Mary Marvel as well, but Mary’s power separated Eclipso from Jean Loring, forcing it to find a new host. Meanwhile, Plas and the others were already stuck in Corrotto’s employ. They were forced to break into an NSA storage facility to find Corrotto some Apokolips tech, which was revealed to be a nearly reconstructed Heart of Darkness.

    Soon after, they were tracked down by Eclipso’s new host, who also happened to be its former host, Bruce Gordon. Gordon was able to tweak the frequency of the shard of the Heart of Darkness that Eclipso possesses. He can now use it to burn out Eclipso’s influence and teams up with Spectre host, Crispus Allen, to save the rogue heroes. Once freed, Plas was ashamed enough to pretend he couldn’t remember how badly he behaved. The same could not be said of Corrotto, who was working for Eclipso voluntarily. His team of magic users was able to get a drop on the newly formed team of heroes and take them prisoners, while his Heart of Darkness allowed Eclipso to break Gordon’s will and take over his body.

    Luckily, Creeper was able to free the others by transforming back into Jack Ryder. Jack’s scrawniness in comparison to Creeper allowed their bindings to slip right off and now able to untie the rest. Together, they break one of the magic users’ magic staff, disabling a magic field that kept Spectre separated from Crispus. This allowed Spectre to go after Eclipso, while Plas and the others targeted Corrotto, who had kidnapped Gordon’s ex-wife, Mona Bennett, for leverage.

    Unstable Powers

    Unstable
    Unstable

    Plastic Man was among the Justice League when a special meeting was called to confront Green Lantern and Green Arrow about some of their recent behavior. During this meeting, they are attacked by Prometheus, who came prepared with defenses for each of the metahumans. Plas was exposed to a chemical compound that destabilized his powers. This required Plas to concentrate harder on keeping his original form and caused any shapeshifting to be especially painful.

    Despite this change to his powers, he still responded when reserve Leaguers were called into action by Firestorm and Vixen to take on the Royal Flush Gang. This new transitional team had its fair share of injuries and issues which were made even worse when they were attacked by the recently risen Black Lanterns. During this attack, a zombified Vibe pulled Plas’ heart out, just as all Black Lanterns do to absorb emotional energy to revive Nekron. Plas survives thanks to his weird physiology, which also makes his heart useless to Vibe.

    After Dr. Light was able to use her own spectrum abilities to defeat the Black Lanterns, Plas was taken to S.T.A.R. labs to recover.

    Dark Knights Metal

    After it is discovered that Plastic Man's body reacts to Nth Metal, Batman and Mr. Terrific keep him hidden in egg form for several years for his own protection. It's explained that the substance his elastic body is composed of is attuned to the fluctuating nature of Nth Metal, and as a result, his behavior and body change whenever the metal fluctuates. Terrific is able to use the vibrations to track The Dark Knights.

    In the final battle with Barbatos and his forces, Plastic Man emerges in a wild frenzy and uses his amazing powers to aid the heroes in battle.

    The Terrifics

    Weird adventures
    Weird adventures

    Following the defeat of the Dark Multiverse forces, Plastic Man and Mr. Terrific respond to an emergency at Stagg Industries, getting sucked into a portal with Metamorpho leading to the Dark Multiverse. They encounter Phantom Girl, discover a message left behind by a man called Tom Strong, and barely escape an undead alien giant. The four attempt to go their separate ways once they get back to Earth, but learn that whatever they came into contact with also binds them to the same space. They decide to work together to find a solution to their situation, and Plastic Man and Metamorpho establish a stretchy rivalry on the side.

    The reluctant team of heroes faces many adventures and threats, including haywire machines and an elemental infestation led by Algon the Element Man. After locating Tom Strong, solving their connection problem, and holding off Doctor Dread, the team disbands on a bad note. Plastic Man, who this entire time has been trying to rebuild his former life, attempts to reconnect with his equally stretchable son Luke. His son relents after his father gives him a ride in the Batmobile, and the two join the rest of the team to save Mr. Terrific from Doctor Dread. Following the battle, the team decides to stick together for the long run, with Luke officially joining as Offspring.

    Event Leviathan

    The first detective team
    The first detective team

    The terrorist organization, Leviathan, under mysterious new leadership, dismantles the entire world intelligence community and targets Amanda Waller, Clark Kent, and Sam Lane. This gets the attention of some of the world’s greatest detectives, including Plastic Man, who was seemingly recruited for his ability to infiltrate. Batman and Lois Lane decide to gather them all together to compare notes at the last place secure enough from Leviathan, Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, but Leviathan was framing a number of red herrings, including detective team member, Manhunter (Kate Spencer), making it difficult to nail down his identity.

    While discussing possible identities of the new leader, they were joined by Superman, who had caught the mastermind confronting Amand Waller. Leviathan had used a temporal weapon to subdue Superman and kidnap Waller. After receiving a distress call from Batgirl, who accepted a position in Leviathan to act as a mole, Lois split from the group to follow individual leads, while the others went to extract Batgirl. Plas flew ahead with Superman, while the rest caught up in one of Batman’s vehicles.

    Just as they started to put together that Leviathan must be a former Manhunter, Mark Shaw, they were caught off guard by Talia al Ghul and Silencer. She specifically wanted Kate Spencer, whose Manhunter gear was eavesdropping on the detectives. At this time, they were also joined by a second group of detectives that Lois Lane had working independently of the first. Together, Zatanna, member of the second group, teleported them to Leviathan Island where Superman and Plas were subdued. Mark Shaw, who had a contingency for everything, was able to get his organization away before the detectives could do anything.

    Luckily, their work was not for nothing as Lois compiled it all for a news article exposing Mark Shaw to the world

    Powers and Abilities

    Malleable Physiology: Plastic Man's powers are derived from an accident in which his body was bathed in an unknown industrial chemical mixture that also entered into his bloodstream through a gunshot wound. This caused a body-wide mutagenic process that transformed his physiology. Eel exists in a fluid state, neither entirely liquid nor solid. Plastic Man has complete control over his structure.

    Density Control: Plastic Man can change his density at will; becoming as dense as a rock or as flexible as a rubber band.

    Malleability (Elasticity/Plasticity): He can stretch his limbs and body to superhuman lengths and sizes. There is no known limit to how far he can stretch his body.

    Size Alteration: He can shrink himself down to a few inches tall (posed as one of Batman's utility belt pockets) or become a titan (the size of skyscrapers).

    Shape-Shifting: He can contort his body into various positions and sizes impossible for ordinary humans, such as being entirely flat so that he can slip under a door or using his fingers to pick conventional locks. He can also use it for disguise by changing the shape of his face and body. Thanks to his fluid state, Plastic Man can open holes in his body and turn himself into objects with mobile parts. In addition, he can alter his bodily mass and physical constitution at will; there is virtually no limit to the sizes and shapes he can contort himself into.

    Superhuman Agility: These stretching powers grant Plastic Man heightened agility enabling him flexibility and coordination that is extraordinarily beyond the natural limits of the human body.

    Color Change: The only limitation he has relates to color, which he cannot change without intense concentration. He generally does not use this ability and sticks to his red and yellow colored uniform.

    Invulnerability: Plastic Man's powers extraordinarily augment his durability. Some stories, perhaps of anecdotal quality, have showed him susceptible to surprise attack by bullets, in one case oozing a substance similar to liquid plastic. In most stories, though, he is able to withstand corrosives, punctures and concussions without sustaining any injury (although he can be momentarily stunned). He is resistant to high velocity impacts that would kill an ordinary person, resistant to blasts from energy weapons (Batman once mentioned that he could presumably even withstand a nuclear detonation), and is bulletproof. His bodily mass can be dispersed, but for all intents and purposes it is invulnerable.

    Regeneration: He is able to regenerate and/or assimilate lost or damaged tissue, although he needs to be reasonably intact for this process to begin; he was reduced to separate molecules and scattered across the ocean for centuries, only returning to his usual form after the rest of the League were able to gather enough of his molecules and restore approximately 80% of his body mass, after which he began to regenerate what they hadn't salvaged. He has even been stretched by Doomsday down to his base fibers and still survived.

    Telepathic Immunity: As stated by Batman (in JLA #88), "Plastic Man's mind is no longer organic. It's untouchable by telepathy."

    Immortality: Plastic Man does not appear to age; if he does, it is at a rate far slower than that of normal human beings. In the aftermath of the Justice League story Arc "Obsidian Age", Plastic Man was discovered to have survived for 3000 years scattered into separate molecules on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. He is now over 3000 years old and is still active as a superhero.

    Ultrasonic Detection: His body will start to "ripple" when an ultrasonic frequency is triggered.

    Characteristics

    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 178 lbs
    • Eyes: Blue
    • Hair: Black
    • Driver's License: #bh3i4y637789e
    • Identity: Public Identity
    • Occupation: Adventurer; formerly thief, FBI agent
    • Citizenship: American
    • Marital Status: Divorced
    • Known Relatives: Luke O'Brian (son), Angel McDunnagh (ex-wife),

    Alternate Versions

    Tangent

    Plastic Man is a member of the Secret Six, a group of heroes.

    Dark Knight Universe

    During The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Plastic Man is imprisoned for several years in Arkham Asylum, where he is forced to maintain an egg-like shape. He is driven insane by his captivity, and when released goes on a violent rampage. In the All-Star Batman and Robin series he is a member of an early version of the Justice League, and is depicted as a talkative joker who irritates his teammates

    JLA/Avengers

    A member of the JLA, Plastic Man travels to Wakanda alongside Martian Manhunter.

    Plastic Man

    This alternate retelling of Plastic Man's early years heavily reflects the Golden Age version's origins. Later in the series he becomes romantically involved with an FBI agent, and adopts a daughter.

    Flashpoint

    In the Flashpoint alternate reality, Plastic Man is a villain still going by the name Eel O'Brian. He attempts to break Heat Wave out of prison, but is apparently killed by Heat Wave after attempting to prevent him from destroying Detroit. He is later shown to be alive, and apparently planning to seek his revenge.

    Earth-43

    Plasma-Man is a vampiric version of Plastic Man from a world where most of the League was turned into vampires. Plasma-Man was recruited to the interdimensional team, The Dreadfuls, where he confronted Plastic Man, while he was a member of The Terrifics.

    Bizzaro World

    Plastic Man's variant from Bizarro World goes by Disposable Man. Like Plas, he can stretch and shape shift, however, his default form appears more like a stiff hard plastic action figure than Plas' rubbery, stretchy form. He can also shoot duplicates of his limbs from his body.

    Earth-10

    On Earth-10, where the Nazis won World War II and Uncle Sam leads the Freedom Fighters, the Nazis have a battalion of soldiers with nearly identical abilities as Plas called The Plasstic Men.

    Other Media

    Television

    Batman: Brave and the Bold
    Batman: Brave and the Bold
    • Super Friends: Plastic Man appears as a minor character in the episode "Professor Goodfellow's GEEC". He is voiced by Norman Alden.
    • The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show: Plastic Man is the main character in this television series. He is voiced by Michael Bell.
    • Plastic Man: A television series based on Plastic Man was commissioned, with a pilot episode entitled "Puddle Trouble" being produced before the decision was made to not produce the series. In the pilot, Plastic Man is voiced by Tom Kenny.
    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Plastic Man appears as a recurring character in this series, making his first appearance in the episode "Terror on Dinosaur Island!". This series reworked his origin somewhat. He is voiced by Tom Kenny.
    • Young Justice: Plastic Man makes non-speaking cameo appearances in several episodes in the series, beginning with "Revelation". He is portrayed as an independent hero, and later as a member of the League.
    • Mad: Plastic Man appears in the episode "Al Pacino and the Chipmunks/That's What Super Friends Are For". He is voiced by Dana Snyder.
    • DC Nation Shorts: Plastic Man features in several short animated pieces, many of which are based on "Puddle Trouble". He is voiced by Tom Kenny.
    • Justice League Action: Plastic Man is a member of an expanded Justice League roster that appears in this cartoon meant for younger audiences. He is voiced by Dana Snyder.

    Film

    Injustice
    Injustice
    • Justice League: The New Frontier: Plastic Man makes a cameo appearance listening to John F Kennedy's speech.
    • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs Bizarro League: Tom Kenny reprises as the voice of Plastic Man for this 2015 tie-in movie.
    • Scooby-Doo! and Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Tom Kenny returns for this special movie presentation of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold tv show where Batman and his friends team up with Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc.
    • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash: Tom Kenny reprises as the voice of Plastic Man for this 2018 tie-in movie.
    • Teen Titans Go! The Movie: Plastic Man has a dialog less cameo in this movie based on the hit tv show, Teen Titans Go!
    • Injustice: Plastic Man appears in this movie adaptation of the comic adaptation of the fighting game of the same name, patterned on Mortal Kombat, even though he does not appear in the video game. He is voiced by Oliver Hudson.

    Video Games

    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Plastic Man appears as a playable character. Tom Kenny returns from the show to voice him.
    • LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
    • LEGO DC Super-Villains

    Game

    • Heroclix: Plastic Man appears as a character in this tabletop game.
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