One of the most underrated superheroes of all time is Patrick O’Brian, aka Plastic Man. Now if you’re not familiar with the character, I know what you’re thinking. How can a hero by the name of “Plastic Man” possibly be cool? Well, I’m going to make a case for him and explain why he should be getting his own movie.
First of all, the name “Plastic Man” is a bit of a gimmicky name. Sounds obvious, right? Well, for the case of this hero, he’s certainly not made out of plastic. He is, however, a hero very similar to Marvel’s Mr. Fantastic. His primary power is his ability of elasticity. He can stretch any part of his body, his arms, his legs, and his entire body. He’s not nearly as intelligent as Reed Richards, but he makes up for it by being one of the funniest DC superheroes.
Just google his name and look at pictures of him. He wears sunglasses, has a pretty boy haircut, and his costume is basically a red unitard that doesn’t cover most of his legs. He’s pretty much made it a part of his body. He looks silly, but that’s because the character is beyond silly. The thing is, that’s what makes Plastic Man so great.
I’m itching for a Plastic Man movie because he’s one of the most unique superheroes ever created. His creator is Jack Cole, a once famous cartoonist. Think about this, he also made cartoons for the early days of Playboy. As a cartoonist, it’s easy to understand why he would incorporate some of that “cartoony” humor for Plastic Man. I mean, come on, it even shows in the character’s appearance. The reason Plastic Man sold is because he’s one of the first superheroes to incorporate some goofy humor in his comics. In a world where comics were usually about the hero’s journey, Plastic Man comics were about making people laugh. You know, the same way cartoons did.
Plastic Man originally belonged to Quality Comics and was one of their most signature characters. When Quality Comics was shut down in the 50’s, DC Comics picked up some of its characters and thankfully, they managed to get Plastic Man. DC recognized that the quirky humor of the character would suit their fictional universe and decided to embrace it.
How did they do it? Well, remember when I compared the character to Mr. Fantastic? Well, the thing is, Plastic Man is actually much more powerful than Marvel’s stretchy hero. His powers don’t just end with his ability to stretch his body. The powers that make him a standout character is his shapeshifting abilities. He can contort his body into literally anything, even other people. I remember in one comic, he made himself look like Shazam just to prove a point to Elongated Man. We’ve seen that before, though. So what else can he use it for? Well, he can use his shapeshifting powers to transform himself into pretty much anything.
The most bizarre example I can think of is when he morphed himself into a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex. He never stopped there. Plastic Man has morphed into all kinds of things, including a car, an airplane, and even a lawnmower. No, for real, he morphed himself into an actual lawn mower. He even kept his sunglasses on and his face was on the top of it. When I saw that, I completely lost it.
Now when I see him do things like that in the comics, it just amazes me that we haven’t seen him in his own live-action movie yet. I know the people of Warner Bros. have talked about it, but based on the reports that I’ve read, they’re not sticking with the original Plastic Man. The reports that I’ve read suggest that they’re going with a female-led movie for the character. My response to that is simply one word: no. Just no. There are plenty of awesome female characters in the DC Universe and they can have their own movies. Plastic Man is just too special of a character to mess with.
If he does get his own movie, it just needs to stick with what makes the character work. Embrace his cartoony humor and make it a quirky comedy. A Plastic Man movie could be similar to the Deadpool movies, but minus the adult humor. Plastic Man isn’t really known for breaking the fourth wall like Deadpool does, but he is known for being that annoying solo hero none of the main heroes really like working with. Plastic Man, like Deadpool, knows he gets on everyone’s nerves, but he just keeps doing it because he enjoys cracking his jokes. If the other heroes don’t like it, too bad.
Here’s another thing to think about. If we don’t get a solo Plastic Man movie, he can easily be a partner to another DC hero. A very famous DC hero is his known being an occasional partner to is the one and only Batman. When I see them work together, it reminds me of the partnership of Cable and Deadpool. Cable is the gruff, stern, angry guy who is all about business, while Deadpool is the fun-loving jokester who usually annoys his partner. It’s really an unusual partnership but they despite that, they form an effective partnership.
That’s exactly how Batman and Plastic Man work together. For example, when Batman was interrogating Captain Cold, he sat him down in a seemingly normal chair. When Batman was trying to intimidate Captain Cold by threatening to use his own cold gun against him, Plastic Man revealed himself to be the actual chair Cold was sitting on. That’s exactly why he’s so much like Deadpool. You put him in a serious situation and he’ll find a way to not take it seriously and crack a joke. Better yet, he’ll use his powers to make it funny. Plastic Man is the kind of hero who embraces what he is and loves making people laugh. What else do you need?
Well, if we did get a solo Plastic Man movie, his origins story is one of redemption, similar to Ant-Man. He was once a thief, left for dead, and then rescued by a kind monk. What I dig about his story is that he began as a petty criminal and worked his way towards redemption by becoming a superhero. A movie about his origins can emphasize on the importance of redemption for anyone.
Will this movie happen? Probably not anytime soon, but I’m confident we’ll get it in time. All I need is that cartoony comedy movie that makes Plastic Man who he is. And please, don’t make any changes to the character. He’s perfect just the way he is.