Plastic Man is dying in a "hard-boiled" new DC Black Label series inspired by David Cronenberg

Plastic Man No More! #1
(Image credit: DC)

A new DC Black Label series will take a "hard-boiled" approach to classic DC superhero Plastic Man.

Plastic Man No More! is a four-issue series by the Eisner-nominated writer Christopher Cantwell and artist Alex Lins that looks at what might happen if Eel O’Brien's powers started to unexpectedly fail. The answer, Cantwell says, is inspired by a classic horror movie director...

"I don't know about you, but when I think about Plastic Man, I immediately think of David Cronenberg," said Cantwell in a statement. "There is an element of body horror to his story that I have always found fascinating. And I also found myself wondering recently - How would Plastic Man actually die? What would that look like? Is he immortal? And then I thought of the long and particularly nasty way real plastics and petroleum products break down when and if they finally do. That's how I learned about depolymerization and the chemical process of 'unzipping,' - from a particularly morose afternoon on the ol' Internet, picturing what might happen to Eel if his entire cellular structure started to give way."

Check out some awesome covers below by (from left to right) Alex Lins, Tyler Boss, Michael Allred, and Chris Samnee.

Plastic Man No More! sees the criminal-turned-superhero embark on a mission with the Justice League, only for it to go terribly wrong and leave him with catastrophic cellular damage. Seemingly dying, Plastic Man realises that he's running out of time to save his son who, according to DC's press release, "might have inherited more from dear old Dad than just his superpowers…"

Here's a gallery of unlettered pages from the first issue that showcase Alex Lins' interior art for the series.

"There are many superhero stories that play with the metaphor of our own inability to control our physical bodies," Cantwell continued. "Plastic Man provided a way to take that allegory even deeper. How we look in the mirror and see one thing, then see a photo of ourselves and don’t recognize the person at all. How we all break down over time. What's this strange itch? Why is this sagging? Why does this hurt now? Is my face permanently going to look like this? Or get even worse? With all these questions in the story comes a real and profound fear of aging, and yes, what lies beyond that - dying."

He went on to say that the series will find Plastic Man questioning himself and his legacy. "The character also has a history of neglect and failure when it comes to personal relationships. So quite catastrophically, Patrick O’Brien suddenly finds himself desperate, asking WHAT NOW? HOW DO I FIX THIS? 'THIS' being his very body, his very cells, as well his connections to the people he loves. And just WAIT until you see how horrifically and hilariously Alex Lins and Jacob Edgar have rendered this referendum on our vanguard ultra-bendable former-criminal-turned-hero-guy."

Every issue of Plastic Man No More! will feature 32 story pages. As it's a DC Black Label book the series will also carry an Ages 17+ content descriptor. The first issue is published by DC on September 4.

Plastic Man has been part of some of the best Justice League line-ups of all time.

Will Salmon
Comics Editor

Will Salmon is the Comics Editor for GamesRadar/Newsarama. He has been writing about comics, film, TV, and music for more than 15 years, which is quite a long time if you stop and think about it. At Future he has previously launched scary movie magazine Horrorville, relaunched Comic Heroes, and has written for every issue of SFX magazine for over a decade. He sometimes feels very old, like Guy Pearce in Prometheus. His music writing has appeared in The Quietus, MOJO, Electronic Sound, Clash, and loads of other places and he runs the micro-label Modern Aviation, which puts out experimental music on cassette tape.