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Welcome to Brainstorm's Corner, a monthly springboard showcase. A springboard, basically a one-page prose summary of a comic book story, is the format used for submitting stories to companies such as DC Comics. In one page, a writer must describe the plot while also trying to make it as intriguing as possible. It's quite a challenge!

Brainstorm's Corner gives YOU, the reader, the chance to critique the story before a writer sends it off to every editor at DC. So let Fanzing know…would you pay to read this? If not, why not?

Welcome to Brainstorm's Corner, a monthly springboard showcase. A springboard, basically a one-page prose summary of a comic book story, is the format used for submitting stories to companies such as DC Comics. In one page, a writer must describe the plot while also trying to make it as intriguing as possible. It's quite a challenge!

Brainstorm's Corner gives YOU, the reader, the chance to critique the story before a writer sends it off to every editor at DC. So let Fanzing know…would you pay to read this? If not, why not?

PLASTIC MAN
a series proposal in words and art by Kurt Belcher

First, a bit of personal history:
The 8 Ball! 'Eel' O'Brian was a small-time hood – a gangster, racketeer, burglar, mugger, informant … an all-around nice guy. One night, 'Eel' and some of the other low-down dirty rats in his 'family' hatched a plan to make some big cash robbing a chemical plant of it's daily receipts.
At midnight, the boys broke into the plant, and were busy at work on cracking the safe when a security guard stumbled upon them, mostly by accident. Knowing the jig was up, 'Eel' and the others made a run for it, firing blindly behind them – gunshots that the guard returned. 'Eel' was on the stairs, thinking his getaway was clean, until a wild shot from the guard winged him and he fell from the stairway into a pile of chemical waste barrels. "Get back here, you crumbs!" moaned the stricken 'Eel', already feeling the unknown chemicals seeping into his flesh wound.
'Eel' managed to escape the guard, and made his escape from the plant through a rear exit, running into the high hills surrounding the plant – running until he collapsed and knew no more.
'Eel' awoke to find himself in a comfortable bed, nearly recovered from his wounds, and being cared for by a group of kindly monks. 'Eel' was in Resthaven, one monk in particular told him – a reclusive monastery tended by only the most serious and dedicated souls. 'Eel' was touched by the honesty of the men caring for him, seeing how they offered their lives selflessly to make sure he recovered.
Later that day, the police knocked on Resthaven's door, looking for 'Eel'. 'Eel' had been given up almost immediately by his accomplices in the chemical plant robbery, all of whom had been apprehended soon after fleeing the scene of the crime. Seeing the potential for redemption in the man they were caring for, 'Eel's caretakers turned away the police. 'Eel' was changed in a fundamental way by this show of confidence and kindness, and vowed then and there to turn over a new leaf and become a good man.
Plas stretching around While still recovering, 'Eel' found that the chemicals had also changed him in a fundamental way. After interacting with his body, the chemicals had given him the power of a human piece of silly putty. He could now stretch to near-limitless degrees, mold himself into any shape he desired – even to the point of impersonating other individuals.
'Eel' took the new 'mystery men' that were then beginning to fill the skies and newspapers as an omen. He decided to use his powers as a force for good … to take on a secret identity and become a hero!
He found an abandoned circus performer's leotard in a trash can, cleaned it and patched it up, and secretly went back to the chemical plant to soak it in the same chemicals that had given him his powers. Then he began the search for the perfect name to serve his purpose – something as good as 'Green Lantern', Flash', 'Hourman', etc … a name that would hide his identity and strike fear into the hearts of evildoers. On the street, 'Eel' saw it – in a house-wares storefront, there it was: PLASTIC! It was a relatively new substance, capable of being molded into any shape, and serving any of a thousand purposes. That was it! He would become – Plastic Man!
The rest is history.
Plastic Man soon met the man who would become his lifelong friend, Woozy Winks. Their start was questionable. Woozy had saved the life of holy man and had been rewarded with invincible powers – only to allow them to go to his head and convince him he could take whatever he wanted. Plas tried to apprehend him, but Woozy was only stopped after the holy man, Zambi, returned and removed Woozy's powers. Thereafter, the two were inseparable, with Woozy becoming Plas's faithful sidekick.
Plas is in trouble! Plas used his powers to spy and gather valuable info on the underworld, using it to apprehend his former friends prevent crimes before they happened. Plas became a member of the wartime All-Star-Squadron, and served a distinguished term throughout the war as a member of the Squadron's core group. He proved invaluable on several missions, such as the protection of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Axis assassin, Kung.
After the second World War ended, Plas joined a new offshoot of the Justice Department: the National Bureau of Investigation (or NBI). The NBI had been formed by the mysterious Director, who had once been an agent of the both the FBI and OSS during the War – and hit upon the idea of using 'mystery men' as agents in the battle against corruption. To that end, he recruited Plas as his first and foremost agent.
For the last fifty years, Plas has been working for the NBI, solving crimes and destroying organized crime. Only recently, Plas was asked to join the newly formed Justice League of America to beef up its membership.
As our story starts, Plas is living in Washington in a nice little penthouse apartment provided by the NBI, and defending the Capitol in-between missions with the JLA.

The 8 Ball! #0 – Relive the thrilling origin of Plastic Man!
#1 – Plastic Man fights the super-criminal team called the Five Fingers!
#2 – Versus the jet-propelled hero called Jets!
#3 – Plas gets in the ring with the rassler with the grip of iron – the Crab!
#4 – Plas finally learns who was controlling the Five Fingers: who is…the Hand?
#5 – Plastic Man faces down the murderous Madam Brawn!
#6 – Who is he? Where is he? What is the secret of the Fiend of a Thousand Faces?
#7 – The Five Fingers! The Hand! The HEAD! After uncovering their criminal conspiracy, Plas has to confront them all!
#8-9 – The Eight Ball rolls into Washington!

Panarama pic Panarama pic Panarama pic
#10-12 – Plas finally learns that there was a mastermind behind all of his recent troubles! Who is – Gargantua!?
#13 – Plas meets his match in the alien named Amorpho!
#14-15 – Two different tales are told of Plas's encounters with the Daughter of Darkness: Dazzla!
Plas and his Offspring! #16 – Plas is ordered to take out the criminal fakir, Stretcho!
#17 – Plas and Hourman jump into Hypertime to meet Plas's possible Offspring!
#18 – Prepare to be shocked as Plas meets the Girl of Electricity, Thrilla!
#19-20 – Plas, Wildcat, Flash and Sentinel team up to solve the fifty-year-old mystery of the Moon Wizard!

Granite – Son of Lady Rock. Granite almost became a super-villain like his grandparents, but was convinced otherwise through the intervention of Plas and Lady Rock. Granite is today a valued member of the NBI.
Grim Ghost – The mysterious director of the NBI. Actually Charles Collins, ex-playboy and FBI agent, he was given the director's chair of the little-known NBI back in the '50s, and he's been running it ever since. Collins is actually possessed the spirit of the 17th Century nobleman, Keith Everett.
Lady Rock – The mother of the hero called Granite, and the daughter of the Golden Age villains called Concrete and Lady Granite. She was briefly a super-villain herself, but her heart was never in it. She went straight and joined the NBI.
NBI – The National Bureau of Investigation. Headed by the mysterious man code-named Grim Ghost, the small and overlooked NBI employs only meta-humans as agents.
Penny – Plas's beloved girlfriend. She and Plas met at an evil carnival, and have been dating ever since. Does anyone hear wedding bells?
Widow – One of Plas's villains from decades ago, the Widow has since gone straight and now works for the NBI.
Woozy Winks – Woozy has been Plas's faithful sidekick ever since the 1940s. He's apparently stayed young over the decades due to a side-effect of the superhuman powers once given him by the holy man named Zambi.

So, what did you think ? Was it good? Was it lousy? Would you fork over $2 and up to read it? Should DC hire this person immediately and you'll burn your collection (or at least Brother Power The Geek) if it doesn't happen?

Perhaps you would like to hold up your naked ideas for over 1500 people to see? If so, first check out DC's submission guidelines (available here thanks to Jon Karl Franklin Haynes).

All Characters are ™ DC Comics
This proposal is © 1999.

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