Christopher Cantwell + Alex Lins combine body horror + superheroes in ‘Plastic Man No More’

The DC Black Label series begins in September.

Plastic Man isn’t the first character that comes to mind when I think “Who should star in a Black Label series?” but when you throw in the words “body horror,” suddenly it all comes together.

DC will release Plastic Man No More, a four-issue miniseries featuring a Plastic Man who suffers “catastrophic cellular damage,” loses control of his body and faces the prospect that he could die. It’s by writer Christopher Cantwell and artist Alex Lins, who work together on BOOM!’s Briar series.

“I don’t know about you, but when I think about Plastic Man, I immediately think of David Cronenberg,” Cantwell said. “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 dieWhat would that look likeIs 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.”

DC shared more details on what to expect:

Eel O’Brian might be a superhero now—but before he was anything else, he was a crook. Until the accident that turned him into the pliable Plastic Man, Eel was bad to the bone…and just because he no longer has bones doesn’t mean that’s not still true. When an incident on a Justice League mission leads to catastrophic cellular damage, Plastic Man discovers he just might be out of time to make amends for the past he’s tried hard to outrun—or to save the soul of his son, who (unfortunately for him) might have inherited more from dear old Dad than just his superpowers…

“There are many superhero stories that play with the metaphor of our own inability to control our physical bodies,” Cantwell said. “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. And when someone like Plastic Man is suddenly looking at the end of the road, and now reflecting on his legacy, he begins to wonder: was he ever taken seriously by anyone? Did he even take himself seriously? 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.”

Take a look at the first issue’s variant covers by Chris Samnee, Mike Allred and Tyler Boss:

The comic will also feature additional art by Jacob Edgar, coloring by Marcelo Maiolo and lettering by Becca Carey. Here’s a look inside issue #1:

Look for the first issue of four to arrive in stores Sept. 4.

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