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In 1941, petty crook "Eel" O'Brian was shot during a botched robbery attempt and his wound contaminated by unknown chemicals which altered his body chemistry, giving him the ability to change shape. Nursed back to health by an order of monks, and now truly repentant, O'Brian embarked on a new career as the crime busting Plastic Man (often aided by his idiot sidekick Woozy Winks).

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  • This version of Eel O'Brian (Quality Universe), including all history and corresponding appearances, was initially erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. However the ending of Convergence retroactively prevented that collapse, saving all the alternate realities, though in an "evolved" form. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • In 1956, DC Comics obtained the rights to the Quality Comics characters, and re-introduced them 17 years later as the Freedom Fighters in Justice League of America #107 (October 1973).
The Freedom Fighters were relocated to a parallel world, one called "Earth-X", where Nazi Germany had won World War II. The team was featured in its own series for 15 issues (1976–1978), in which it temporarily left Earth-X for "Earth-One" (where most DC titles are set).
In 1981, some Quality Characters became recurring guest-stars of All-Star Squadron, a superhero-team title set on "Earth-Two", the locale for DC's WWII-era superheroes, and at a time prior to when the Freedom Fighters were supposed to have left for Earth-X. They later appeared with the rest of DC's superheroes in Crisis on Infinite Earths, a story that was intended to eliminate the confusing histories that DC had attached to its characters by retroactively merging the various parallel worlds into one. The Freedom Fighters became a mere splinter group of the All-Star Squadron.

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