Plastic Man is fundamentally changing.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, writer Cat Vasko will pen a new female-focused version of the venerable Golden Age hero. Created by Jack Cole for Quality Comics in 1941, Plastic Man began his days as a Edward “Eel” O’Brian. The safecracker found himself shot and exposed to chemicals while his gang attempted to rob a chemical company. Escaping to a monastery, Eel discovered the chemicals in his body gave him the ability to stretch his form into any shape he wished. As he recuperated among the monks, one took pity on him and encouraged him to give up his life of crime. Soon Plastic Man became a scourge of the criminal element while Eel remained a criminal to gather intel. The character later became a cop and a member of the FBI, abandoning his Eel O’Brian persona after a time.
The quirky character remained part of the Quality stable until their demise in 1957. DC Comics soon swooped in and bought their character library, integrating Plas into the DC Universe in the late 1960s. He subsequently appeared in animation with 1979’s The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show.
Curiously, Plas is one of two DC Comics character with the ability to stretch their forms. Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, was created because editors wanted a character with that power, but failed to remember the Quality Comics purchase a few years prior; leading to Ralph and Plas existing simultaneously in DC continuity.
While the Vasko’s version will a “female-led vehicle,” it is still unclear if the title will be changed to accommodate the new take. In a era of brand recognition, that may be the hardest pill for the studio to swallow.
A previous attempt at Plastic Man was initiated by writer Amanda Idoko, but like so many DC Entertainment projects, nothing ever came of it.