More from the 1982 DC Style Guide

1982 seemed to be a good year for Plastic Man.

Not only was he coming off a string of recent earlier appearances in various team-up books — including a year-long run in Adventure Comics and featured roles in Super Friends, All-Star Squadron and a few others —he was a cover boy for the ’82 DC Style Guide! Of course, “seemed” is the key word; except for some sporadic pop-ups in All-Star Squadron (nooo, I’m not going to abbreviate it), Plas would almost disappear from the DCU until he and everyone else walked on for the Crisis on Infinite Earths in ’85.

(I’m planning to get into it for a future post, but man, does the Earth 1/Earth 2/Earth X-ish timelines for Plastic Man get a little confusing.)

Still, there was obviously some love for our Indian rubber man in the DC offices, and he got some repeated play in the style guide from who I’m still pretty sure was José Luis Garcia-López. And that’s never a bad thing.

Here’s the cover, with Plas taking a stretch on the back. (Don’t think I didn’t notice that chump Dibney on the front cover). I’m always amused by the way artists hide Plastic Man in crowd shots, but reward the viewer if they’re paying attention. He’s like a super-powered Waldo.

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This black-and-white detail is gorgeous, and somehow looks less crowded (even with the addition of Red Tornado). But now that I think about it, what the hell happened to Plas’ arms?! Is he doing the T-Rex?

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And here’s a really well-composed splash page — including arms!

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I love, love, love this art and could look at it all day (and have!) I do have one question, though. Go back and look at the covers: What’s the deal with the baby Dynamic Duo? And the Li’l Superman and Wonder Woman? And wouldn’t this have been a perfect time to plant a tiny Baby Plas?!

(Check out Plastic Man’s Pantone appearance in this earlier post!)

Now in full-color!

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I love little behind-the-scenes bits of ephemera, and this DC Comics color guide from 1982 may be one of my favorite things. Part of the reason these character and costume designs are so iconic is because they are (or were) consistent, and that helps make them instantly recognizable. (The artwork doesn’t hurt either. It’s hard to tell at that size, but is that José Luis Garcia-López’s work, praised be his name?)

I think it speaks well of Plastic Man as a character that, in a group of fairly static poses, the wise-acre is still managing to get into some mischief!

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Plastic Man by José Luis Garcia-Lopez (praised be his name)

from the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide

Is there a better superhero artist than Garcia-Lopez? And am I the only one who hears “Stayin’ Alive” looking at this image?!