Putting the ‘Blow Up’ Into ‘Blow Up Sex Doll’ – Plastic #5 By Doug Wagner, Daniel Hillyard, Laura Martin

by Oliver MacNamee

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with this dark humoured hit series, Plastic, as it reaches it’s explosive finale with issue #5, out this week. And, what a ride it’s been as Edwyn seeks to regain his beloved Virginia from local big bad boss, Thaddeus Belliveau, in a trade off. His son, for Edwyn’s fiancé. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Yes, Edwyn may have somewhat of a checkered past, what with being a serial killer and all, but Virginia has changed him for the better, offering him a form of redemption in this life that no court, prison or psychologist could have even hoped to have achieved.

Edwyn simply wanted to see America with his sex doll. Where’s the harm in that? He wasn’t looking for trouble, but in the Deep South, trouble found him and this series has been a real laughter-riot as readers have witnessed Edwyn, and now his hitch-hiking companion, Gwen, try to reunite with his plastic partner-for-life. All the while being fueled by passion and donuts. A winning combination in my book.

Once again Doug ‘Potty mouth’ Wagner, Doug ‘Scribbles’ Hillyard and Laura ‘Cat-lady’ Martin deliver a cracking issue full of equal parts dark comedy, romance and violence and putting a fitting (rubber) cap on this series, while leaving it open to further adventures down the line. And, after this 5 issue series, I’d be more than willing to read more exploits of this fascinating leading man. Talk about your flawed heroes.

The artwork, as always, is a joy to behold. And, in a comic with plenty of talking heads, ‘Scribbles’ Hillyard does well to show each character’s emotions effortlessly. Heck, he can even inject a semblance of life into Virginia; and at the most crucial point in her story too, thereby infusing this particularly fetish fantasy with an emotional kick that finds its mark with the readers.

And it’s these beats in the story, as provided by ‘Potty mouth’ Wagner, across the series that allow us to connect with Edwyn emotionally. We want him to win, we want him to survive, but you’ll have to go buy the book to find out of he does. Can love conquer all? And so, along the way, Edwyn has somehow become a hero we genuinely feel for. A tragic hero, but our hero nonetheless.

The subdued colors of this issue, as provided by ‘Cat-lady’ Martin also helps sustain a suitably sombre mood as the laughs give way to the seriousness of the situation. Even the once neon pinks of Virginia’s dress and Gwen’s hair (surely this color shared by these two women is more than coincidental?) is drained in this final act.

This is a comic book that seemed to come out of nowhere earlier this year, but one that has build up momentum, and in this finale the gang really puts the ‘blow up’ into ‘blow up sex doll’. I’m so glad Wagner, Hillyard and Martin came together and can’t wait too see what they do next.

Plastic #5 is out this Wednesday, August 23rd and the collected trade paperback is out October 18th, 2017.