- Plastic Man survived for 3000 years as little more than crumbs scattered around the Atlantic. If that doesn't give you an idea of the level of power he hides behind that doofy smile of his, then you're brain dead.
In the 1940s a crook named Patrick "Eel" O'Brian was shot by a security guard and struck by a falling drum full of an unidentified acid, some of which entered Eel's wound. He was saved by a mysterious order of monks whose example cured his penchant for crime. The acid bath gave him the ability to change his shape. He wore dark glasses and a red and yellow costume as flexible as his body. Whatever shape he took, the colors remained the same, so there would be a red-and-yellow chandelier over a table full of plotting gangsters, or a red-and-yellow abstract painting hanging on the wall, but the villains never caught on until it was too late.
Plastic Man (sometimes called "Plas") later acquired a sidekick called Woozy Winks, a doofus who was originally magically endowed with the power that nature itself would protect him from harm. Woozy became a dumb but loyal friend of Plastic Man. The two of them became members of the police squad and eventually the FBI. Plastic Man later aided his country by serving in the All-Star Squadron and Freedom Fighters. Because of their powers, "Plas" and Woozy have stayed youthful into modern times.
Strangely, Patrick became a good friend of Batman (despite Batman's lack of a sense of humor and skepticism towards reformed criminals), and an occasional member of the Justice League. It was revealed that Plas had a son, named Luke, out of wedlock whom he ignored and the son joined a gang. Batman got Luke out of the gang and tried to reunite him with his father.
In a mission Patrick and the JLA went back 3000 years into the Atlantis' past and Plas was ripped apart during the fight. The JLA returned to the present thinking him dead but in the time gap (3000 years) he pulled himself together. Batman and Firestorm found him and helped him complete the process. Traumatized, he blocked Plastic Man from his mind, became Ralph Johns, and went back to his family in Chicago. Emotionally, they took him in. He became an average Joe, a father, and was in an relationship with his son's mother.
When Martian Manhunter was possessed by a martian demon and tried to destroy the world, Batman came asking for his help (as he was immune to telepathy). After spending precious time trying to get him to remember who he was, Batman left "Ralph" to think it over. After staring out the window thinking about everything, Plas remembered who he really was after his son revealed his inherited powers and told him a joke. After the fight was over, O'Brian started a new life balancing his hero life and his family life.
In the massive prison breakout by the Secret Society of Super-Villains during Villains United, Plastic Man was a responder to Blackgate Penitentiary where he fought Clayface. During the Battle of Metropolis, he punched out their leader Doctor Psycho.
In the aftermath, he celebrates with all of the other assembled heroes. He is present when Lex Luthor causes the mass slaughter of Everyman Project participants, and shows pride for his son Offspring who saved over twenty people's lives. During World War II, he is part of the charge led against Black Adam by the Justice Society of America. Adam actually manages to somehow make his nose bleed. Despite this, he manages to give his son advice on better banter. There's another celebration after their victory and Plastic Man attends.
Plastic Man is infected by Eclipso (Jean Loring) during Countdown to Mystery, who corrupts him and reverts his personality to before he reformed his ways. He becomes a criminal again, with Woozy Winks as his accomplice. Batman and Offspring work together to take him down, but the Spectre intervenes and finishes the battle. Eclipso rescues him for her own motives. He is gathered with her other converts Dove and the Creeper around the corpse of Alex Montez for a ceremony. They break into an NSA facility together to steal government property. Huntress attempts to stop them, but they succeed in stealing the Heart of Darkness. They are freed from his grasp, but not before Eclipso can reach his true power. However, while he's defeated by the Spectre they work to eradicate his remaining agents on Earth.
Martian Manhunter is murdered by Libra and the Secret Society of Super-Villains during Final Crisis. Plastic Man is one of the many who attend his funeral, where he comforts Booster Gold and Stargirl.
Plastic Man joins the Justice League of America again. During Blackest Night his heart is ripped out by a resurrected Vibe when the Black Lantern Corps rises. This seemingly kills him. However, he survives due to his unique physiology.
This section of the history takes place during Flashpoint, a massive crossover event set in an alternate timeline to the mainstream DCU. History was completely changed when Professor Zoom finally found a way to erase his nemesis the Flash without harming his own legacy.
In this alternate timeline, Eel O'Brian is a super-villain and a member of the Legion of Doom. O'Brian is responsible for breaking Heat Wave out of prison by hiding in the body of his cellmate Cluemaster. He assists the other villains in leading a massive prison break. Heat Wave betrays O'Brian and apparently murders him, using his flame gun to melt him to death. He survives and returns to take revenge on Heat Wave when he has been returned to prison. It is implied that he murders him.
The DC Universe heavily changed its continuity into the DCnU following the events of Flashpoint in 2011. This was part of an effort to make storylines more accessible to newer readers, beginning with the New 52. This new timeline combines elements from the DCU, Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm Universe while drastically changing the origins and histories of characters.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Malleable Physiology: Plastic Man's powers are derived from an accident in which his body was bathed in an unknown industrial chemical mixture that also entered into his bloodstream through a gunshot wound. This caused a body-wide mutagenic process that transformed his physiology. Eel exists in a fluid state, neither entirely liquid or solid. Plastic Man has complete control over his entire molecular structure.
- Elasticity/Plasticity: He can stretch his limbs and body to superhuman lengths and sizes. There is no known limit to how far he can stretch his body.
- Size Alteration: He can shrink himself down to a few inches tall (posed as one of Batman's utility belt pockets) or become a titan (the size of skyscrapers).
- Shape-Shifting: He can contort his body into various positions and sizes impossible for ordinary humans, such as being entirely flat so that he can slip under a door or using his fingers to pick conventional locks. He can also use it for disguise by changing the shape of his face and body. In addition, he can alter his bodily mass and physical constitution at will, there is virtually no limit to the sizes and shapes he can contort himself into.
- Superhuman Agility: These stretching powers grant Plastic Man heightened agility enabling him flexibility and coordination that is extraordinarily beyond the natural limits of the human body.
- Superhuman Strength: He can alter his strength by growing or adding more muscle.
- Color Change: The only limitation he has relates to color, which he cannot change without intense concentration. He generally does not use this ability and sticks to his red and yellow colored uniform.
- Invulnerability: Plastic Man's powers extraordinarily augment his durability. He is able to withstand corrosives, punctures and concussions without sustaining any injury (although he can be momentarily stunned). He is resistant to high velocity impacts that would kill an ordinary person, resistant to blasts from energy weapons, and is completely bullet proof. His bodily mass can be dispersed, but for all intents and purposes it is invulnerable.
- Regeneration: He is able to regenerate and/or assimilate lost or damaged tissue, though it does take a long time, its far faster than an ordinary human.
- Telepathic Immunity: As stated by Batman (in JLA #88), "Plastic Man's mind is no longer organic. It's untouchable by telepathy." (Mostly immune to mind control. It's unknown if Batman meant that Plas is immune to just mind control or to telepathy altogether from that point on...considering Plas's history with mind scans, mind wipes, and the use of J'onn's telepathic link.)
- Immortality: Plastic Man does not appear to age; if he does, it is at a rate far slower than that of normal human beings. In the aftermath of the JLA story Arc "Obsidian Age", Plastic Man was discovered to have survived for 3000 years as little more than crumbs on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. He is now over 3000 years old and is still active as a superhero.
- Ultrasonic Detection: His body will start to "ripple" when an ultrasonic frequency is triggered.
- Rubber-Organs: As stated by a Black Lantern Vibe. Plastic Man's internal organs such as his heart when Black Lantern Vibe try to rip it out couldn't be killed unlike many of the Black Lanterns' victims, this makes him immune to such attacks.
- Skilled Thief: Plastic Man was once a very talented professional thief.
- Master Detective: Although no longer a criminal, he has insight into their mindset, enabling him to be an effective sleuth. He is also considered to be a lateral thinker and much smarter than he lets on.
When he was as tall as skyscrapers, he was able to throw/tackle the equally-giant-sized Martian Manhunter through several buildings.
- Extreme Temperatures: His semi-liquid form remains stable at relatively high and low temperatures...provided that the temperature change is gradual. A sudden change, induces a complete change of phase, creating a truly solid or truly liquid form. Plastic Man was incapacitated in the JLA story arc, "Tower of Babel", when mercenaries froze and shattered his body. Once thawed and reassembled, he was physically unharmed (though emotionally traumatized). In the JLA story arc "Divided We Fall", Plastic Man is shown to have some weakness to extreme heat (intense heat vision attack from a martian) and was temporarily melted.
- Uniform, Plastic Man's unitard can like its owner stretch, morph, and change size; it is fluid like and unbreakable (material like this is most likely rare and probably why Pat's costume is so small).
- Goggles, The groovy goggles are Pat's trademark. They can stretch and change size.
- There were at least three different Plastic Men portrayed in his various appearances from the Silver Age to the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Originally, the Plastic Man series in the 1960's tied in the son of the original as interacting with the Inferior Five, later identified as residing on Earth-Twelve  Another version actually resided on Earth-Two as DC later acknowledged that all Golden Age adventures of Plastic Man had occurred on that Earth, and this version later migrated to Earth-X along with the Freedom Fighters, where he eventually died. A subsequent version appearing with Batman in Brave and the Bold and Justice League of America was identified as residing on Earth-One.
- 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 (Oct. 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.
- Like a number of other former Quality Comics characters, some of Plastic Man's Quality Comics appearances ere reprinted without authorization by IW Publications in the late 1950s/early 1960s. Three issues of Plastic Man are known to have been published by the company.
Plastic Man has had many enemies over 70 years, he's fought:
- Archie Type
- Boss Annova
- Carrot-Man (A criminal that dresses up as a carrot).
- Chatterbox (A super-villain with a sonic weapon).
- Doctor Dome (A super-villain in a dome-shaped helmet. He is the closest thing Plastic Man has for an arch-enemy).
- Lynx (Doctor Dome's sidekick).
- Doctor Forklift
- Even Steven (A balanced-obsessed criminal).
- Goldzinger (A gold-magnetizing crook).
- Killer Joe
- King of Spades
- Lowbrow (A short criminal who killed Cindy Bloch).
- Madame Merciless
- Max the Knife
- Meat By-Product (A monster spawned from a meat by-product).
- Ooze Brothers
- Robby Reed (When Robby Reed's H-Dial was rusted, he ended up turning into evil versions of some of his hero forms).
- Roxanne Roller (A roller-skating villain).
- Rubberneck (A one-shot villain with super-strength).
- Sludge (A monster spawned from sludge).
- Snuffer (A cyborg killer once hired by Boss Annova to assassinate Plastic Man).
- Sphinx (A super-strong crook that once tried to take over Doctor Dome's territory).
- Supreme Leader
- Time Trapper
- Plastic Man was featured in his own short-lived animated series in 1979 called The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show where he was voiced by actor Michael Bell. In the cartoon, Plastic Man worked for a government agency assigned to tracking down and defeating bizarre criminal organizations. He was partnered with a fellow agent named Penny and had a plucky sidekick named Hula Hula. Often referred to simply as "Plas", Penny and he were eventually married and had a son named Baby Plas. Like his father, Baby Plas had the same ability to stretch and reform his physical features and even wore his own pair of baby-goggles. 
- Plastic Man was a Substitute-Batman for Bruce Wayne in Brave and the Bold #123
- Plastic Man is almost never seen without his trademark goggles on. One of the few exceptions was during the "Id" storyline in the pages of JLA when the members of the JLA were separated into two distinctive identities: their super-hero guise, and their civilian guise. In this story-arc, Eel O'Brian reverted to his old criminal tendencies and viciously beat up a meek and timid Bruce Wayne.
- Appearances of Patrick O'Brian (New Earth)
- Images featuring Patrick O'Brian (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Patrick O'Brian (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Patrick O'Brian (New Earth)
- Patrick O'Brian (New Earth) at Wikipedia.org
- Plastic Man at DCU Guide
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe XVIII
Discover and Discuss
- Search this site for:
- Search the Forums for:
- ↑ Infinite Crisis Special: Villains United #1
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #7
- ↑ 52 Week #1
- ↑ 52 Week #35
- ↑ 52 Week #50
- ↑ World War III #4
- ↑ 52 Week #51
- ↑ Countdown to Mystery #1
- ↑ Countdown to Mystery #2
- ↑ Countdown to Mystery #3
- ↑ Countdown to Mystery #4
- ↑ Countdown to Mystery #5
- ↑ Countdown to Mystery #6
- ↑ Countdown to Mystery #7
- ↑ Countdown to Mystery #8
- ↑ Final Crisis: Requiem #1
- ↑ Justice League of America (Volume 2) #35
- ↑ Justice League of America (Volume 2) #39
- ↑ Justice League of America (Volume 2) #40
- ↑ Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #1
- ↑ Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2
- ↑ Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #3
- ↑ Justice League International (Volume 3) #1
- ↑ Mike's Amazing DC
- ↑ Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
|Freedom Fighters member |
This character is or was a member of the Freedom Fighters, a team of American super-heroes who fight threats to the nation and its ideals under the leadership of Uncle Sam. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Freedom Fighters members" category.
Copy Edit Needed