Plastic Man, himself, is strange and unusual …

DC Comics released its latest batch of variant covers a few days ago, and they’re really some kind of wonderful.

Besides being a nerd for comics, I’m also a huge fan of movies — particularly the ones I grew up on — so the movie poster mash-ups the stable of artists came up with push all the right buttons for me. And man, what a stable of artists it is; Dave Johnson (who pulls off several great designs), Cliff Chiang, Bill Freakin’ Sienkiewicz, and several others, who created spot-on homages to movies including Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Purple Rain, North by Northwest, Enter the Dragon, Westworld, and many, many more.

All in all, great stuff, though I was a little disappointed that Plastic Man didn’t seem to rate an appearance. But a closer look, a few magic words (and the realization that the covers were spread over two entries at the DC website), and the pliable paladin appeared!

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This is really a perfect use of Plastic Man and his shapeshifting ability. And who else in the JLA could you imagine dancing to calypso? This cover by Joe Quiñones does bring up a few questions, though: Could this hint at Plas’ return to the DCU? Could he be joining the Justice League, or even Justice League Dark (which would be weird). And poor Blue Beetle — Ted just can’t get a break, can he? (But that shark chewing on Aquaman’s leg is a pretty brilliant shout-out to its Beetlejuice inspiration.)

I haven’t been picking up Justice League Dark, but you can bet that I’ll be getting this issue when it’s released in March. If you’d like to see what else is planned for release during that variant cover month, go check ’em out both here and here.

LEGO loves Plastic Man

While we’re still waiting for our favorite pliable policeman to return to the DC Universe (I’ve got my fingers crossed for a return during the “Convergence” event), it seems as if Plastic Man is becoming a welcome fixture of the LEGO world.

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Planned for release on Feb. 10, 2015 (just a day before my birthday *ahem*), LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League Vs. Bizarro League will be Plastic Man’s next appearance in the LEGO Universe following this month’s release of the LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham game. I’m not sure why other folks — like LEGO and DC Nation — seem to do more with Plas than DC Comics, but I’m not complaining; maybe DC can get some pointers on how to handle the character when they eventually bring him back. (You, uh, will be bringing him back, right, DC?) Plus, the movie looks like a lot of fun!

Plastic Man only has a brief, brief cameo in this trailer for Justice League Vs. Bizarro League, so I’m hoping that he’ll have a larger role to play in the rest of the story. After all, on top of featuring a gaggle of Bizarros this will also be Darkseid’s first LEGO appearance — and who else are you going to throw at the iron-fisted ruler of  Apokolips? Watch the trailer closely, and you’ll see Plas in action as he takes his seat at the famed Justice League meeting table:

Like I said — brief. But it’s still nice to see Plastic Man taking his rightful place in the League, and hopefully we’ll be seeing even more of him in the near future. I wonder what a Bizarro Plastic Man would be like? An accountant?

A no-nonsense librarian?

That chump, Dibney?!

Plastic Man to the set, please …

I’m not usually into fan-casting very much — not because I don’t think it’s an interesting exercise, but because I’m usually terrible at it.

Still, the recent news that a Justice League movie is planned to spin out of the in-the-works Batman vs. Superman flick got me thinking: Who could play Plastic Man? Don’t get me wrong — I know there’s no way Plas is going to show up in the JLA movie. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like it if he did.

A lot of people tend to point to David Tennant when trying to cast Plastic Man, but I think that would be a bad move. SETTLE DOWN. Let me tell you why: First of all, I’m not sure he wouldn’t play the role too big. Yeah, Plas is supposed to be a fun character, but there’s the danger of just turning him into a clown, and I think it’d be too easy for Tennant to take that route (Exhibit A: His scenery-chawin’ appearance as Barty Crouch, Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). Secondly … well, let’s be honest, put Tennant in a JLA movie and all anyone’s going to see is the Doctor.

Nope, I’m a big believer in casting relative unknowns in superhero movies (or at least not casting A-list stars), and my choice fits that description, along with a few other criteria. I would cast Jerry Trainor as Plastic Man.

Oh, c’mon, you know — this guy.

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Trainor is best known as big brother Spencer on iCarly, the popular live-action show that ran on Nickelodeon for six years. Spencer was a gangly, goofy free-spirit who was nonetheless devoted to responsibly raising his little sister (and who wasn’t above getting into mischief with her and her friends and/or bailing them out of trouble). Trainor’s character was often silly but he knew when to dial it back, and was just as often supportive and in-charge when he needed to take care of business.

Sound like someone we know?

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Trainor’s also young, but not too young, and he’s got the right look (you’ve practically just got to slap a pair of goggles on him and you’re ready to go). He could possibly also help bring in a new and loyal fan-base, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

So that’s my choice to play Plastic Man — who’d you like to see in the role?

panel from Plastic Man #16

writer/artist, Kyle Baker