By the early 1950s, Jack Cole was no longer heavily involved in the creation of new Plastic Man tales and the difference was apparent. While many talented creators were drafted by Quality to write and draw Plas’ adventures, it’s difficult – if not impossible – to equal the output of the brilliantly creative Cole.
(A more detailed account of Cole’s ghosts, as well as the writer-artist’s response to seeing others work on his prized creation, can be read at the excellent Cole’s Comics blog.)
That said, Plastic Man’s adventures toward the end of the Golden Age are still entertaining and definitely stand head and shoulders above subsequent attempts to reinvent the character for modern audiences.
By 1953, the popularity of horror comics compelled publishers of the few super-heroes left standing to incorporate supernatural elements into their characters’ four-color adventures. Plastic Man was no different, as the pliable super-sleuth found himself battling monsters as well as criminals.
As today’s tale demonstrates, however, Cole’s ghosts were wise enough to keep things from getting too heavy. The 13 Days Of Halloween continue with “The Evil Terror” from Plastic Man #43 (Quality, November 1953).
The writer and artist are not credited, although GCD guesses the story was drawn by Al Luster.
Coming tomorrow: The House Of Wax as interpreted by Charlton Comics’ House Of Recycled Ideas!