This story is an imperfect storm of hideous miscues, and I’m not just talking about the characters misunderstanding each other. Plastic Man is a fan favorite character, and Green Lantern’s popularity and brand recognition has never been higher, but from the cover this duo failed to impress me. The writing and the art also fall short. Given the relative popularity of both characters – among comic creators as well as fans – the mind reels at what could have been.
Instead, Plastic Man and Green Lantern fight alien ducks who wear Groucho disguises to fool the people of Earth. It’s rare that a comic with Plastic Man in it has characters even goofier than Plas, but this one does so. After reading this book, I feel compelled to dig out some Donald Duck or Scrooge comics to cleanse the palette and nullify the displeasure caused by these alien ducks.
Wolfman’s story plods along, showing decompression who’s boss, and sucking the energy out of a story that, on the surface, had a great deal of promise. Through an unnecessary long introduction over the course of four pages to another trio of pages dedicated to Plastic Man trying to figure out how to help an unconscious Green Lantern, the story suffers and withers on the literary vine. For whatever reason, Wolfman has decided that having Jordan yell “PLAS!” every few panels would be funny. It gets old a little too quickly. This is coupled with a hideously convenient plot: Green Lantern determines that “those guns are Centauri design and I was about to investigate a break-in at a Centauri weapons satellite.” It undermines the story further.
Anderson’s art is uneven, which is almost dismissible with Plastic Man, but when Green Lantern appears doughy, then there are problems. In the very next panel, though, Anderson’s art evokes images of Green Lantern once drawn by Neal Adams. The uneven art is compounded by the fact that Anderson is inking himself, which makes the overall quality of the issue feel dingy.
This comic is like a rejected story from “The Brave and the Bold” (by the way, where is that book now?!) that didn’t quite hold up to “B&B” standards, but also repelled the all ages book of the same title much like Bat-shark-repellant took care of that pesky shark back in the Adam West days. Thinking about it, I suppose I should be grateful that this wasn’t two issues of “The Brave and the Bold,” as that would have run me an additional 98¢. The shame of this issue is that both Wolfman and Anderson have delivered better books, and I’m quite sure they could give us something better than this, but this is here and the “better than” doesn’t exist.