Sunday, January 25, 2015

Episode 114 - Plastic Man

The official podcast of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE and FIRESTORM FAN

This week we flip the script, with Rob being joined by special guest Max Romero discussing one of their all-time favorite characters, that stretchable sleuth, Plastic Man!

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  1. Fun episode!
    Plas also appeared in Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Strikes Again' (2002) as a member of Batman's team.
    In it, Batman postulates that Eel O'Brien is "immeasurably powerful" and "absolutely nuts".

  2. Great show, Rob. And welcome, Mister Romero.

    So I assume the “Groovy Plastic Man” from Earth Two visited Earth One in the Brave and the Bold #76 (which came out during this Plas’ run), where he teamed up with the Earth One Batman to fight the Molder.

    Regarding your question about why they picked up the 1970s Plastic Man series picked up the numbering at 11 instead of renumbering at issue 1, I suspect is was similar to the reason The Flash started at number 105. Even in the 1970s, #1 issues did not yet have the “collector’s item” status that they have today (or was that “used to have”?). At that time the publishers may have believed that people were more likely to buy a book with a demonstrated track record than to give a brand new title a chance, hence the resumed numbering. Perhaps Bob Rozakis can validate/clarify on this…

    “Weapons of Mass Distraction” is actually a team-up with Plas and Hal Jordan, not Kyle Rayner. At least that part I remember…

    Some other “unseen” Plastic Man projects included plans for a live action feature movie in 1995 (with a script written by the Wachowski Brothers and Paul Reubens considered for the role), as well as a Cartoon Network Plastic Man series that starred Tom Kenny (his first portrayal of Plastic Man that predates The Brave and the Bold and DC Nation); the pilot episode for the cartoon is one of the extras in the Plastic Man DVD “Complete Series” set.

    And I use “Complete Series” in quotes because it is NOT the complete series. The Baby Plas (who was also voiced by Michael Bell, BTW) and Plastic Family segments are not included. However, the set does include the “spy-mission/Dick-Tracy-villain stories” that were in the first few episodes of the second season (which makes one wonder if the new direction of the show was decided after production of season two had already begun); curiously, these episodes are accompanied by the season two opener featuring the wedding to Penny and Baby Plas’ introduction. Also missing from this set is “Louse of Wax”, a short episode featuring villain Mr. Wicks that was written to be part of the ABC Saturday Morning Preview Special that aired on prime time the Sunday night before the debut of Plas’ cartoon series (the late DarkLantern referred to this as “Episode 0” of the series). Writer Mark Evanier talks about his experience of creating this hastily-created episode, and shares a vidcap from his own home-recorded copy, here:

    Also, there is a lengthy interview with Michael Bell focused almost exclusively on his role as Plastic Man, conducted by someone I happen to know was very honored and humbled to speak with the very talented Mr. Bell. The interviewer also mentions some insights regarding the animated series that I happen to share. You can read that here:

    Cheers, Gentlemen.

  3. Oh, and you can see more of Mark Taylor's live-action Plastic Man work, including bits that were NOT part of the syndicated show (including a very hilarious TV news magazine interview with Taylor and Plas), here:

  4. I realized my media player on my phone isn’t up to viewing the videos on, so in case the videos are also not working for you, here are direct links to the videos for:

    A sampling of the live action Plas segments used in the 1980s weekday afternoon syndicated Plastic Man show:

    “Evening Magazine’s” interview with Plas (on Patrol) and actor Mark Taylor (please keep in mind this was during the 1980s...):

    Plas protecting the 1984 Democratic National convention (and getting a few barbs at then-President Ronald Regan in for good measure):

    And a Consumer Tip just for you

    (These neat little educational segments are also missing from the Complete DVD set as well)


  5. Thanks for all the great feedback!

    Unfortunately, we weren't able to get to everything Plas has been featured in (we forgot to mention his Hostess ad, and I didn't get to his never-published daily strip!), so I appreciate you guys filling in some of the blanks.

    As much I don't care for Baby Plas, I do wish the collection included those episodes - and I really wish they included the live segments with Mark Taylor! For those of you interested, there's a good overview of The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show and an in-depth interview with the live-action actor at Noblemania:

    And, yup, that was Hal, not Kyle, in "Weapons of Mass Deception" - oops! :)

  6. All the more reason to do a sequel/follow up. I know I have a copy of that Plastic Man movie script somewhere... I will be sure to pass it along...

  7. Excellent podcast, so informative. If it was Hal in that team-up, perhaps Max was thinking of GL Vol 2 #115 and 116, a team-up that also had Booster Gold.

    Hey, as Plas could become a speedy drill and the like, perhaps he had super speed and vitality? And doesn't plastic need a high temperature to stretch? Where's John Byrne to over-explain when you need him? I'm happy with just thinking, IT'S PLASTIC MAN!

    The reality checks idea was clever, but I wasn't keen - Plas isn't crazy. And who the heck was Bats to tell another hero how to live his life?

    1. Plastic Man can stretch at low temperatures, as long as the drop in temperature isn't sudden.

      But if Bob Haney is writing him, who knows!