Plastic Man turned 75 last weekend. He's looking pretty good. Thank you, antioxidants and UV stabilizers!
Plas — as he's often called by comic book nerderati — debuted in the first issue of Police Comics, which hit the stands on May 14, 1941. He appeared on that issue's cover, but wasn't the star. That honor went to Firebrand, a non-powered hero clad in a billowing, see-through pink shirt. Quality Comics soon realized the error of their ways and put Plas front and center for good as of issue 5.
By 1944, Plastic Man had earned his own comic as well. He outlasted many of his contemporaries, appearing into the early 1950s. DC Comics later acquired the character and has resurrected him a few times over the years, most recently in the pages of Plastic Man & the Freedom Fighters, a 2-issue series that came out last year. A 20-issue revival of the character by writer/artist Kyle Baker won numerous comics industry awards in 2004-06.
Plastic Man sprang from the creative mind of Jack Cole, who later became an early cartoonist for Playboy Magazine. DC published eight hardback volumes of those early Plas stories, showing that interest in the character and in Cole's work remained strong.