With the April 29 release of Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters #1 slowly inching closer, the two-issue Convergence mini-series is finally getting some love from the comics press. Newsarama posted a great interview with PM-FF writer Simon Oliver yesterday, and it gives some insight into what readers can expect when the first issue finally drops.
Oliver mentions more than once his aim to explore the emotional depth of Plastic Man, and that is really encouraging. That doesn’t mean I want Plas to become an angsty mope – far from it. But I do think the character has been allowed to be seen as a one-note clown, a court jester dancing around the more-serious – and more seriously taken – superhero royalty. It’s easy to forget that Plastic Man is also a former most-wanted criminal turned Nazi-fighter and government agent. Plas gives a writer plenty of avenues to explore, many that are much more interesting than the prankster role he’s usually shoe-horned into. As I’ve said before, Plastic Man is definitely a smart-aleck, but he’s no dummy.
Here’s some of what Oliver had to say:
But I got to kind of pick the storyline and characters, at first honestly because of the Nazis in New York City angle, but then when I started digging more into Plastic Man, who he was, who he had become, I really started to find that emotional connection I honestly didn’t expect going in.
And then there’s this:
I think one of the things I picked up on going in was in the past, readers had felt Plastic Man had fallen a little too hard into the comic relief role, without making him dark and gritty (which is itself becoming a well-worn trope). I wanted to stay true to who I felt Plastic Man was, but at the same time show some inner conflict, and at the heart of this huge story is his coming to terms with who he once was and who he is now.
Sounds good to me! And as Oliver also said, the book’s “got robot superheroes and frickin’ Nazis in it!”
Go read the whole interview for more about Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters mini-series, and be sure to put it on your list for April!
cover image by Hilary Barta