Thoughtful, Funny, And Energetic: Plastic Man #5

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead]

Plastic Man has decided that the Cabal that Obscura told him about isn’t real, but we see that there is a true Cabal made up of Queen Bee, Per Degaton, Amazo, Hugo Strange, and Dr. Psycho. They know that Eel is onto them and plan to kill him. Dr. Psycho awakens an alien creature the Cabal holds to take care of the problem. Meanwhile, Eel tracks Man-Bat and hopes that Kirk Langstrom can somehow cure Plastic Man of his abilities so that he can take care of Pado.

Plastic Man #5 cover by Tess Fowler and Tamra Bonvillain
Plastic Man #5 cover by Tess Fowler and Tamra Bonvillain

Plastic Man #5 brings us an almost tragic tale of Eel O’Brian trying to do right by the people he cares about by ignoring his natural instincts. He does what he thinks is right instead of relying on what he feels is the best choice, and it brings him to his lowest point in this issue.

The opening scenes take place with that shadow Cabal, and it’s an entertaining sequence. Queen Bee buzzes out many of her words, Dr. Psycho acts like a frigging weirdo, and Per Degaton comes off like he has no idea how to really keep these murderers and conquerors in line.

There is also some good ribbing at D-list villains like Crazy Quilt and Mister Terrible.

Plastic Man #5 art by Adriana Melo and Kelly Fitzpatrick
Plastic Man #5 art by Adriana Melo and Kelly Fitzpatrick

Adriana Melo’s artwork once again does Eel O’Brian a lot of justice. He’s expressive, his shape-changing is often elaborate and creative. The Cabal of villains are rendered excellently. There is some trouble where, past a certain draw distance, characters are represented as blobs and smudges, but that only happens once or twice throughout the comic. Kelly Fitzpatrick gives the book a nice color balance of strong bright and dark shades, often balanced by the deep red of Plastic Man’s own costume.

Plastic Man #5 is another thoughtful, fun, and humorous installment of Eel O’Brian’s series. Gail Simone continues to show why she is among the most celebrated comics writers working today, and she is backed up by the visual talents of Melo and Fitzpatrick. This one comes with a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.

Plastic Man #5 comes to us from writer Gail Simone, artist Adriana Melo, color artist Kelly Fitzpatrick, letterer Simon Bowland, and cover artist Tess Fowler with Tamra Bonvillain.

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