Plastic Man
by Kyle Baker (DC Comics, 2005)

The whimsy of Plastic Man's first modern collection, On the Lam, continues with writer/artist Kyle Baker's second volume, Rubber Bandits. It doesn't always make sense, and plotting isn't necessarily Baker's strongest suit, but this book is less about logic than it is about making with the funny.

Case in point: In one time-traveling episode, we are asked to believe that African-Americans would still be second-class citizens if Abraham Lincoln had not been shot after the close of the Civil War. Huh? OK, never mind. We are asked to believe that the shapeshifting Martian Manhunter, a hero, would connive with bad guys to fool Plastic Man. We are asked to believe Plastic Man would deny having a son, although DC continuity has made it clear he does.

But never mind, because the story -- which involves everyone from John Wilkes Booth to a middle-class vampire to a goth orphan to a single-minded librarian -- is funny, goofy and downright hilarious. That's all it strives to be, and it does a good job at it.

review by
Tom Knapp

15 September 2007

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