Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back-Issue Review: Green Lantern & Plastic Man #1 (2011)

Hoo boy, Marv Wolman may have impressed me with Deathstroke, but this is a whole different matter.

I’ve never been a Plastic Man fan; I don’t get if he’s supposed to be funny, competent, or tragic. He’s mostly stupid in this comic, with moments and dialogue that hint at the other characteristics. But we never get more than hints. In fact, Plas is pretty much just along for the ride; he does very little in this comic. I mean, one bit goes for awhile with Plas stretching his ear out across a mobster bar, then it gets stepped on. What is the reader’s reaction supposed to be? Laughter? Concern?

That same lack of clarity is very present in the villains. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a less-threatening group of aliens. They basically look like Donald Duck with fangs. I mean, it’s amusing when they first unmask, but how the heck are you supposed to take the conflict seriously? I can’t do it. This makes me think this was supposed to be a joke comic.

Green Lantern is pretty ineffective himself. There are numerous moments where the evil Donald Ducks get the drop on him, and he relies on good ducks or Plas to get him out of trouble. Listen Hal, if you can’t be fanged ducks, it might be time to hang up the ring.

I really like Brent Anderson’s art on Astro City. It’s a lot harder to find bright spots in this issue. Plastic Man looks ridiculous. Hal doesn’t seem to recognize he has fallen into a cartoon.


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