FW Team-Up Christmas Special: Batman and Plastic Man

Merry Christmas, team-up fans! Boy, have Siskoid and Plasti-Cast’s Max Romero a treat in store for you! The Brave and the Bold #148, starring Batman and Plastic Man, as written by Zany Bob Haney, with art by both Jim Aparo and Joe Staton. Can these two unlikely friends (we mean the superheroes) save Gotham’s Christmas?! Find out! Then stick around as Siskoid opens the year’s mailbag! Our gift to you the listener.

Listen to the Team-Up below, or subscribe to FW Team-Up on iTunes!

Relevant images and further credits at: FW Team-Up Supplemental

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14 responses to “FW Team-Up Christmas Special: Batman and Plastic Man

  1. Yay, Max Romero! We need more Max on the network.

    I agree, Plastic Man needed to be a bigger deal in the DCU. He has an iconic look, cool power set, and was massively popular back in the day. When DC bought the Quality characters they essentially just sat on most of them for a full decade, for some reason. It seems remarkable that PlasticMan was so little used in the DCU at the time that Haney could write essentially a two parter, many months apart, and not have it ruined by any other story featuring the character. In any case, I’m glad this story set the stage for Plas being Plas, as God intended.

    I love Aparo (of course) and Staton, but I don’t see a lot of the latter in these pages. That one page you posted (“Batman Does Some Damage”) is quite interesting in its layout, the way the panels on the bottom half keep getting smaller and further and further into the right hand corner.

    Merry Xmas everyone!

    1. Yeah, I really can’t figure out why DC left Plas on the shelf for an entire decade — all it accomplished was sowing the seeds for the myth that Elongated Man was created because Julie Schwartz forgot DC owned the rights to Plastic Man.

      I’m (obviously) a big fan of Plas’ appearances in The Brave and The Bold. Plas and Bats = best buds for life!

  2. I can’t believe that Bob Haney didn’t coin the term “butt-legging.” It just sounds so Haney! My faith is lost.

    Thanks for the clarification on the artwork. I thought that Staton penciled and Aparo inked the story. The other two times I remember Aparo inking another penciller, B&B 126 and Untold Legend of the Batman 1, the art looked a whole lot more Aparo than Calnan or Byrne.

    As for Ruby Ryder, Plastic Man was sweet on her, as I recall. Haney’s Batman always had an eye for the ladies, and he harbored an unrequited crush on Ruby as well.

        1. According to the lettercol of that issue it was definitely a matter of Staton providing the layouts for Aparo to work from, not because of Staton’s status as a Plas-master, but to help the series, which had recently been promoted to monthly status, stay on schedule. Where did you get that stuff about Staton doing the Plas stuff, Siskoid? The Plas figures really don’t look like pure Staton, they’re too heavy.

          Anyway, great show, I remember liking this issue – heck, is there a Christmas issue I don’t like?

          It’s never a matter of Plas vs Ralph to me, they’re similar but hardly interchangeable. So far as the JLA goes, its Elongated Man all the way for me.

  3. This episode gives me hope for more PlastiCast in 2019! Come on, Max, you know you want to!

    I’ve just started reading Crisis Companion Volume 1, and see Plas appear in All-Star Squadron there on Earth 2, then pop over to Earth X. So the obvious nerdboy question is (if discussed, sorry I missed it), is this issue Earth 1 or Earth 2? Or did both earths have their own Plas? Or in typical Zany Hany Hootanany, do we even care and this is simply Earth-H(any)?

    Big thumbs-up for the art. Never go wrong with Aparo on Batman, IMHO.

    Happy New Year, F&W!

    1. I do, Tim — and I will! One of my resolutions for the new year is much more regular installments of PlastiCast (and The Mirror Factory, for that matter).

      Boy, you’ve stumbled into a murky part of Plastic Man history there. The short version is, yes, this is Earth 1 Plastic Man.

      The longer-short version is that Golden Age Plas is on Earth 2. This Plastic Man eventually went to Earth X with the Freedom Fighters to fight the Axis powers, and ended up dying there … OR he returned to Earth 1 after the Nazis won, got married, had a son and retired, with the son becoming the new Plastic Man (this would be the hep-cat Silver Age version).

      But wait, it gets worse! Things got even confusing as Plastic Man started to make his transition to Earth 1 and the Bronze Age. From Mike’s Amazing World of Comics: “Plastic Man #7 [vol. 2/Silver Age] establishes the original Plas has aged and now has a son who was briefly active on Earth 1 (while — supposedly — there is also a Plastic Man native to Earth 1). [This would be retconned in Crisis on Infinite Earths (or possibly All-Star Squadron first)] The Brave and The Bold #95 occurs after Eel O’Brian Jr. became inactive, so it is assumed the Plastic Man in this story is the Plastic Man native to Earth 1 in his first appearance.” After that, any appearance of Plas should be considered Earth 1 Plas.

      Of course, all of this could be rendered moot by all the reboots and crises and whatnot.

      Hey, you asked! 😉

  4. Great episode guys. I had to briefly synopsize and cover this issue for a Back Issue article on Batman Christmas stories a few years ago. Man, did I get a kick out of typing “butt-legging”.

    Great breakdown on Plas’ convoluted history, Max. You should pitch a Plas Companion to TwoMorrows!

    Chris

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