Friday, October 23, 2009

Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show Profiles

Here's a quick rundown of the main characters of the old Plastic Man TV show.  I haven't watched all the episodes yet, so some of this information may be a little off.  Some spoilers will follow.  (In case anyone really cares about a really old superhero cartoon being spoiled . . .)

Plastic Man- The hero of the story. His personality is based more off the Golden Age than anything, which is quite a bit different from the Modern Age interpretation. He isn’t silly because of his personality, but because of the shapes he takes. His tongue is planted firmly in cheek throughout the series. He can stretch into pretty much any shape, and he uses this in a variety of ways. He is shown to be some sort of government agent, and is sent on missions all around the world to stop various villains. (This is in line with his Golden Age portrayal as a FBI agent.)

The fact that he is a former criminal is never mentioned, presumably to prevent children from becoming crooks in the hopes of a security guard shooting them, having acid poured on the gunshot wound and thus gaining the same powers as Plastic Man.

Penny- At first she seems to be there as the token love interest (which she is). Plastic Man is blind to her attraction to him, and far more interested in the Chief in the earlier episodes. Penny appears useless at first glance, but she is shown to be more competent than the standard love interest of the time. She is the pilot of the jet that they fly around in (giving her a legitimate reason to come along on dangerous missions). She proves that she’s at least reasonably observant and intelligent, although she acts like an idiot at times because of her crush on Plastic Man. Later, she ends up married to Plastic Man and they have a baby.

Yes, you read that properly. Plastic Man marries her, and they have a baby.

Hula Hula- Takes the place of Woozy Winks from the comics. Bumbling sidekick of Plastic Man, who has notoriously bad luck. Apparently, the producers were forced to make him a minority that “wasn’t currently represented in cartoons.” In a lot of ways, he has Woozy’s bumbling personality. However, the “race lift” makes him a bit uncomfortable to watch, since like all minorities in this age of superhero cartoons, he is forced to say nonsensical lines based on stereotypes, such as “leaping lava” and odd references to pineapples. His main contribution to the group is his inexplicable ability to meet old friends no matter where on Earth they are.  Otherwise, he's probably the most worthless good guy.

The Chief- Plastic Man’s boss. She gives Plastic Man his orders and appears to work for the government. In what position is never really said, but if it’s anything like the comics, she’s the director of either the FBI or a special branch of the FBI. Plastic Man has a crush on her which she does not reciprocate.  The Chief is all business and if she does notice that Plastic Man likes her, she ignores it in favor of making sure that their jobs get done.  She normally contacts them through a videoscreen in their jet or through Plas's communicator watch.

There are also a couple of cool toys that Plastic Man and friends use:

Plastic Jet- The jet that Plastic Man, Penny and Hula Hula fly around in. It’s painted like Plastic Man’s costume, so the first time I saw it I honestly thought that it was Plastic Man. Penny is the pilot.

Plastic Communicator Watch- A watch that Plastic Man wears that allows him to talk to the chief. Matches Plas’s costume. (It’s never actually called this, but that’s what it is.)

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