Jack Cole created Plastic Man in 1941. Unlike most superheroes his debut story also featured his origin. Cole was a brilliant cartoonist but quite a tortured soul. Like most comic book artists and writers of the time he dreamed of having his own newspaper comic strip, which he achieved just before he committed suicide in 1958. Cole also illustrated some ‘good girl’ art for Playboy magazine.

Plastic Man has been revived a number of times since DC Comics acquired the rights to the character in the 1960s, but none has been as successful as the original Cole stories were. In my opinion the reason for their lack of success is that they have focused too much on the humour of Cole’s original tales and not on the hero work. Cole’s stories not only featured great art, but had a sometimes dark sense of humour.