Thursday, July 27, 2017


Grotesque. Show me more.

My fascination with stretching superheroes is almost certainly a morbid one, owing to how completely fucking gross the power of stretching happens to be. Now, while the master of the gross form is very likely Jigsaw (A Joe Simon/Otto Binder creation whose muscles and tendons were elastic, but his skin was a series of fitted segments which would separate when Jigsaw needed to stretch. Gross af), a pretty close runner-up is Plymo, the Rubber Man.

Whoa, Dottie, language!
Described as the only person on Earth capable of absorbing "Vulcanalia" into his body in order to become as pliable as rubber, Plymo is confusing. Vulcanalia is not an object or a substance, it's a festival. I guess Plymo is a party hound. Go Plymo! It's Vulcanalia! Go Plymo, we gonna party like it's Vulcanalia!

Plymo does fall into another one of my favorite categories, namely "Circus Crimefighter!" Unsurprisingly, circuses are packed with crime. I expect that's the main attraction. Fun fact: Cirque de Soleil is also filled with crime, but mostly it's about murdering fun.

When not grossing out everyone in the midway with his elastic feats -- he lets a couple kids stretch his nose and ears out like canopies, lights a guy's cigar from a distance (how romantic!), and puffs his chest out to give himself boobs (according to the poster, anyway, and don't judge unless you can honestly say you wouldn't do it yourself) -- he's fighting crime inside the big top! Or a crime, anyway.

Mister Dasterman, the circus owner, becomes obsessed with lady aerialist Dottie Dixon, and decides that if he can't have her then the lions can. That sounded very villainous of me, I think I'm finally picking up the patter.

"...unless a sporty and sturdy suit can save her!"
Assisted by his newfound, ear-pulling pal "Red," Plymo goes about exposing Dasterman's plots to murder Dottie -- well, he exposes himself, figuratively speaking, by trying to feed her to lions - and then just murders Dasterman. "Give my regards to Satan" he says to an exploding train, revealing a pretty grim streak in a guy who was giving himself boobs a few pages earlier.

Plymo doesn't use his stretching powers to much of a dynamic effect, given his abilities. He's no Plastic Man, to be sure. Excepting a single instance of using his arms like a lasso, Plymo's stretching is almost the least interesting part of his appearance.

Fun thing, though -- CMO Comics, in which Plymo appeared, was the product of the Chicago Mail Order Company, and the story pages were dotted with ads for assorted CMO offers. Comics being formatted the way they are, though, it sort of looked like a pair of blue socks was very important to the conclusion of the story.

1 comment:

neofishboy said...

"Hey guys? Stan Lee just called. He says he thought your exposition box was a little over-the-top."

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