We all know the Justice League and it’s main characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. But do many remember the spin-off series about the witty one-line shooting, elastic bodied, silly superhero Plastic Man? Maybe not as much. I do vaguely, so I was really intrigued to dive into the full series when it was released on DVD. And what I discovered was 35 episodes of vintage glorious cheese-ball fun. My full review after the jump:
First off the show was called The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show, which is pretty much exactly what you get. Classic 70’s cartoon style good vs. evil, with an ironic wink to the audience and goofy characters galore. Plastic Man doesn’t fly solo, by the way, he rolls with Hula Hula the bumbling Hawaiian sidekick who, in a more paranoid PC world, could be deemed slightly racist as the obligatory ethnic goofball, but this was a simpler time. Plas (that’s his nickname) is followed by his jealous girlfriend Penny, and relationship jokes ensue. Even a stretchy superhero like Plas can’t escape Penny’s jealous vice grip. The highlight of this show is the villains, which are some of the most absurd and overtly named villains in TV history, whether it’s Solex, Half-Ape, Computer Head, Magnet Man, Gold Teeth, Ant Head, Baby Man, Dr. Icicle, Fish Face, Catman; the list goes on and on. And it’s pretty hilarious to see what villain will come up next from episode to episode.
Each episode plays out kind of like Scooby Doo, we catch up with our heroes in some silly situation, only to be interrupted by news of some new dastardly villain’s plans. Plas and his crew hop aboard the Plastijet and fly into danger, where Hula always gets them into more trouble and Penny is always the damsel in distress, eventually leading to Plas figuring out several different shapes and sizes and objects to form his body into to defeat the villain of the week. There’s no real continued plot, although there may be a baby Plas somewhere in this show… The real reason to watch this is for pure nostalgia. It holds up if you appreciate just how silly it is, but compared to some of the later superhero shows like Batman The Animated Series or X-Men, it doesn’t really age well.
I would recommend this if you were a fan of the show growing up, or just a fan of the cheesy 70’s cartoon genre for sure. However, if you like your superhero cartoons with a bit more substance and plot, I would search elsewhere. I had a fun time watching Plas and company battle ridiculous evildoers; it’s expendable entertainment at its best.
Plastic Man Retrospective Featurette
Unaired Pilot Episode
Show: B+ (for what it is)
Features: B (it’s amazing they could dig up anything for such an obscure show)