Plastic Man 4

Quick Rating: Squishy
Title: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Writer/Artist: Kyle Baker
Editor: Joey Cavalieri

Why am I losing interest in Plastic Man? Is it just not that interesting? Do I have the attention span of a gnat? Is the story moving too slowly? Do I just need to relax and let the tale wash over me? Should I continue to make my purchasing decisions based on the desire to have something to review? Should I stay or should I go? Am I a spring or an autumn?

In this issue of Plastic Man, Plastic Man investigates the accusation of murder that has been pinned on Eel O’Brian (his not-so-secret identity). Also, Woozy Winks, Plastic Man’s long-suffering sidekick, lands in a difficult situation. The chapter entertains. The art is wacky in a good way.

So, why complain? Because it’s been four months to tell this story. This tends to happen to me with series which insist on long arcs. My patience wears thin because it too often feels like a two hour movie that should have been cut in half. If I had simply horded the issues and read them all at once, then I have little doubt that I would love them.

Everyone who has read a magazine or a comic book can remember the first time they ran into those horrible words “continued next month.” You could not believe the inhumanity. And yet the problem is compounded month after month in comic books. Who can honestly give a damn about Woozy or Robin or Speedy for half a year? When this storyline began in Plastic Man, we were still awaiting the first heavy snowfall of winter. Now, the first buds of spring are peaking out and it’s still continued next month.

Do I think the story should always end in each issue? Of course not. I enjoy the groundwork being laid for future developments, but I don’t necessarily appreciate a hundred fifty page book being broken into five bite-size chunks.

So, the story is still good, I think. The art continues to entertain. But I want something else to happen. I’m really starting not to care.

February, 2004

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