As 2021 draws to a close, allow me to wish DC Comics’ flexible superhero Plastic Man a happy 80th birthday.
Plas actually hit the big 8-0 in May. It was around this time that the first issue of Police Comics went on sale in 1941. It was originally a save feature, but showed the power of plastics by becoming the star of the book by issue. 5. And Plastic Man showed the durability of plastics by being one of the most durable of the first wave of superheroes, not disappearing from view until 1956.
Quick reminder: Plastic Man was created by legendary comic book creator Jack Cole in 1941 and has been in the spotlight of pop culture ever since. His biggest exhibition was probably in a Saturday morning cartoon from the late 1970s.
Plastic Man began life as criminal Eel O’Brian, then gained stretching and shape-shifting powers after falling into a vat of chemicals during an attempted robbery. He turned away from his previous life and used those powers to fight crime.
The character was advertised late last year when the entertainment industry newspaper Variety reported that Warner Bros. and DC Films had hired writer Cat Vasko to write a film Plastic Man as “a woman-led action adventure”. Adjacent Vasko comics credits include working with Margot Robbie – who played DC character Harley Quinn in two films – and an adaptation of the popular comic book Lumberjanes.
Rumors of a Plastic Man movie date back to the early 2010s, when the Wachowskis – who wrote The Matrix – were said to be working on a script. In October, Vanity Show published an article about the possibility that Keanu Reeves would be cast as Plastic Man if this movie had been made.
The article argued that Reeves as Plastic Man could have had the same impact as Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in the Marvel movies.
“It’s interesting to think of the butterfly effect that a Plastic Man movie could have had on the industry,” the article said. “If the first movie had been successful, Reeves could still have made those movies to this day.… Downey Jr. starred in the first Iron Man in 2008 and just had a rest in Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Think about it. it could have been Reeves! “
(Nerd note: As a longtime comic book and superhero fan, I have long thought that Marvel picked Downey Jr. as Iron Man was the biggest cast of the whole wave in superhero movie class. He’s fantastic in that role.)
Where else could Plastic Man find a home? Hello to any plastics company – or industry association – looking for a marketing idea!
My colleague Steve Toloken recently covered a conference where Kristin Kelley, Global Communications Manager at Amcor Rigid Packaging, pointed out that aluminum packer Ball Corp. was using actor Jason Momoa in ads and social media to talk about his new aluminum cup.
Momoa, as comic book and movie fans know, plays the underwater superhero Aquaman in the DC movies.
“If you look at what Ball is doing right now, their current ad campaign uses Aquaman, Jason Momoa, in an incredibly smart way,” Kelley said. “Aquaman doesn’t have any intellectual expertise on sustainability, but what he does have is a lot of influence.”
“They’ve certainly invested a lot of money and resources in education, awareness and marketing, and it’s something that we can lift and move, and we should do it, if we expect to have the same. kind of impact, ”she added.
Kelley urged colleagues at the conference to take a look at what aluminum and other industries are doing when it comes to messaging.
Sometimes marketing ideas just write on their own. The aluminum industry didn’t need to find a character named Aluminum Man to take the initiative.
And when a Plastic Man movie is made, my title remains available – “Plastic Man: Polywood Nights”. I could even find some Plastics news equipment to wear to the premiere.
To follow Plastics news Senior reporter Frank Esposito on Twitter @ fesposito22.