Plastic Man was created by the uber-talented Jack Cole, and first appeared (in Police Comics #1) in 1941. His publisher, Quality Comics, closed its doors in the mid-1950s and around that time DC Comics acquired the rights to most of its characters. DC then proceeded to do not a whole lot with those characters for a decade. Finally, in 1966, this announcement in DC’s house ad-cum-newsletter Direct Currents trumpeted the return of a certain pliable super-hero:

Plastic Man announced on Direct Currents

DC also rolled out the pictorial ads for the new(-ish) arrival to the DC universe:

Plastic Man #1 ad

He wasn’t quite the same as the original, though, as Jack Cole’s unique art and humour had been such an integral part of the character’s success—and he had committed suicide in 1958. For the revival DC chose writer Arnold Drake and artist Gil Kane to tell the new adventures of Eel O’Brien’s malleable alter ego. Kane was badly mis-cast and was replaced the following issue by Win Mortimer. Plastic Man was unable to replicate his Golden Age success, and, following a further artist change (to the even more mis-cast Jack Sparling), DC pulled the plug with issue 10. Yet another decade would pass before Plas got another shot at his own title.

HERE Pat Curley takes an in-depth look at the debut issue of DC’s run.

Another Plastic Man appeared about six months prior to this, in MFE’s Captain Marvel #1. He was quickly re-named Elastic Man for the second issue, and one wonders if DC rushed out their Plastic Man to gain a hammerlock hold on the title.

Images ©2011 DC Comics