PlastiCast Ep. 1 – The Origin!

PLASTICAST Ep. 1 - The Origin!

A podcast devoted to the Human Rubber Band in every form, join host Max Romero as we bounce into the first episode of PlastiCast! Max will discuss his first exposure to the Plastic Paladin, why the Golden Age character remains a favorite, and of course, the origin of Plastic Man himself, as first seen in Police Comics #1.

Check out images from Plas’ origin story here!

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16 responses to “PlastiCast Ep. 1 – The Origin!

  1. This was a great first episode, Max. Really detailed origin of both Plastic Man and your fandom. I, too, got my start from the cartoon, although it was in reruns by then.

    Where’s the love for Baby Plas?! C’mon! I mean, yeah, I haven’t actually seen anything of Baby Plas in 30+ years so as far as I know he might actually be the Scrappy-Doo of the Plastic Man franchise, but in my mind he is less the Cousin Oliver and more the…well, whatever a less annoying additional character is.

    Either way, looking forward to more, good sir. Keep it up!

  2. Like you, the cartoon show was my introduction to Plastic Man, so I was shocked – SHOCKED I SAY – to discover he wasn’t an important comics star when I started buying American comics!

    My favorite part of his publication history, however, is one you didn’t mention, and that’s his first true DC Comics appearance as a Dial H hero! That was crazy. I demand a special episode on that time Robby Reed became the Pliable Police Comics Protagonist!

    But I’ll take whatever I can get until then…

  3. Great debut Max! I must have known of Plastic Man from somewhere before the cartoon, because I remember being so excited for the Saturday Morning Preview show which aired the Friday night before his cartoon debut. I seem to recall fussing at my parents to get home so I could watch it! Another DC show on the same network as The Super Friends was a big deal to me at age 4 or whatever!

    When Plas guest-starred in the Super Friends comic (again, drawn by Ramona Fradon), that was HUGE!!! I liked the show a lot, but I’m with you on Baby Plas. To me he is the Scrappy-Doo of the super hero set. I didn’t like the format of the show changing after just one season. Maybe after season 3 or 4…MAYBE.

    Looking forward to more!


  4. Great lead-off episode, Max! This was even better than your guest spot on SECRET ORIGINS PODCAST, probably because you didn’t have me dragging the whole story of Plas’ creation down. Can’t wait to hear more!

  5. Woozy would be proud! Great job, Max Romero! Glad the F&W network had added you.

    Now get to work on that Phantom Lady show!

  6. Plastic Man has been one of my top 5 fav comic book characters since I was a kid, I’m A)so glad there’s finally a podcast about him, and B)that it’s on our network!

    Plas running in two comics simultaneously for all of the 40s is amazing, and then he disappeared so completely. I wonder what his level of pop culture fame would have been if he had somehow kept appearing throughout the 1950s.

    Really looking forward to future installments of this show, Max!

  7. Excellent first episode. My first encounter with Plastic Man was on the old cartoon show. It wasn’t until Grant Morrison brought him into JLA that I followed him on a regular basis in the pages of a comic book. So, I’m looking forward to getting to know Plastic Man better, and to see how he’s been depicted by different creative teams over the years.

  8. I have been waiting for this show with anticipation. I too became aware of Plas on Saturday morning TV and have only really read some of the DC Archives filled with Cole’s great work. It’s a shame that someone so creative, who created such a positive heroic character, had such a tragic end. I was surprised to recently learn that Plas did turn up briefly in live action:

  9. Great first episode! Your enthusiasm for Plastic Man is infectious. I always watched the Saturday morning cartoon when I was a kid so he’s always been on my radar. Like Firestorm (my favorite comic book hero), I’ve always thought Plastic man is one of the most powerful heroes out there. His power set (like Firestorm) is god-like. The guy is not just stretchy but, he can shapeshift into literally anything and is virtually indestructible (as seen in the JLA “Obsidian Age”). The guy can do anything. Mr Fantastic and Elongated Man are great but their powers are minuscule in comparison.
    I listen to most of the Fire and Water Podcasts, so I thought I’d give yours a chance and I’m in now. Looking forward to hearing more. Especially after the news of his inclusion in DC’s “The Terrifics” (I think it’s called). Way to go Max! I’m on board the “Plastic Wagon”

  10. Great start! My first Plastic Man experiences were his appearance on “Super Friends”, a copy of Plastic Man #11 someone had given me, Steranko’s History of Comics Vol. 2, and his run in Adventure Comics. If there’s one specific Plas item I would like you to cover, it would be his appearance in “The Dark Knight Strikes Again”.

  11. Terrific start, sir. I’ve liked Plas since I came across him in Brave & Bold in the Seventies. The telly cartoon never made it to the UK, I will have to look on YouTube. And I’ve never seen Hula Hula – off to have a gander.

  12. Great first episode Max. A fun show with a fun format for a fun character. I liked your summary and discussion and look forward to following the adventure and the Rebirth. Congratulations! Darrin

  13. First let me say, it’s about damned time! Not only is Plastic Man long overdue for a dedicated podcast, but I’ve also heard so many promos for this specific one without an episode having dropped that I was starting to think it had that there Tulip Fever I’ve also been hearing about forever.

    Second, while no one will ever top Metamorpho for swingin’ ’60s vinyl-only DC hero theme songs, the repetition of Plas’ on all those ads has given me a chance to appreciate it as a runner-up. I especially love the “reformed” and “shape he’s in” bits. I had some slight resistance because I misremembered the ’80s theme having more going on, until I revisited it and was like “that’s it?”

    When you mentioned the date of Plas’ creation, I double checked it. I thought he came along a lot earlier than that, but relative to the Golden Age, he was something of a Johnny-Come-Lately. He still predates Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman, most of the last great super-heroes to arrive in that period. I think it’s a testament to the quality of the character and strip that he outlasted so many heroes in his own book without any bump from the novelty the ’30s heroes benefited from. I think he’d have done even better if he’d been at a more resilient publisher, but then again, there’s no guarantee he’d have come into being at all without the backing and standards of Busy Arnold to propel Cole. Still, imagine his standing if he’d been the one with the Flash guest appearances and Detective Comics back-ups.

    I was also introduced to Plas through the cartoon, which I thought stunk, but it was the only super-hero show on at an opportune time in the afternoon (in syndication, at least.) I cursed getting Plas instead of Robotech or Spider-Man or any of the other ’60s Marvel/DC shows. Also, I still despise the impossibly smug, oily live action host. If it wasn’t for the art spiegelman book leading me to the original Jack Cole stories, I’d probably still hate the character (like Shag!)

    Say, Plas was one of the few heroes I didn’t do a deep dive on when the Secret Origins Podcast was still around. I can remedy that a bit now. I must say that I vastly prefer the Cole original to the unfunny and overworked ’88 version. Eel’s angry look with those Gouldian features as he calls out to the “putrid punks” with that snazzy lettering really sells me. Aside from the pseudo-science of the acid bath, Plas has one of the most airtight origins and modus operandi of any super-hero. Shape-shifting easily allows for a dual identity, even with the minor concealment allowed by out-sized sunglasses, and acting as a criminal affords excellent opportunity to undermine crime. I agree with your humanist assessment on Eel’s face turn, but even if it wasn’t unusually coherent for ’40s fare, this would still be a rippin’ yarn. I’m just glad the Pliable Paladin ditched the Bat-boots and asymmetrical Daredevil-riffing costume.

  14. Great job, Max! I’ve been a fan of Plas since his first appearance. Which I read in Jules Feiffer’s book. Many times. When I saw an issue of Plastic Man comics on the rack in the convenience store, #16, I was very excited! Then I read it and was initially disappointed! My thoughts then were along the lines of, “They’re not taking him seriously! He’s not funny, he’s a super-hero! Who is this Woozy guy and why is he in so much of the book!” By the next issue, I got it! I followed Plas in his Adventure Comics appearances, but once my avid collecting ceased in 1987, I haven’t paid much attention to Plas, or many other heroes. And though I am not keen on buying and reading any Plastic Man stories from the last 30 years, I am keen on hearing Max tell me about them!
    One final thing. I have hear the promo many, many times, and subsequently the little snatch of the Plastic Man song is stuck in my head. However, so is the MAD comics version of Plas from the 1950s, which was entitled “Plastic Sam.” Consequently, that little snatch of music is rattling around my cranium as “Plastic Sa-a-a-am! Plastic Sa-a-a-am!”

  15. Great show, Max!

    I first read Plas’s origin in Jules Feiffer’s The Great Comic Book Heroes. The paperback edition in the late 1970s/early 1980s still had the comic stories reprinted, and it’s a fondly-remembered part of my childhood collection. I don’t recall if I got the book before his cartoon came out.

    I certainly knew of Plas from the Superfriends, his cartoon show, the Zany Haney Brave and the Bold appearances, and the JLA issue that New Frontier borrowed so heavily from.

    The character I didn’t know from any of those appearances was Woozy Winks.

    When the Adventure Comics run started, there was an ad which had Woozy proclaim “And Woozy Winks too!” I just assumed that he was a miscoloured Hula-Hula and that Woozy Winks was some jokey expression meaning “crazy hijinks” that I just wasn’t familiar with.

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