Comic Book Cats, number 78: Police Comics starring Plastic Man #72

Comic Book Cats, number 78: Police Comics starring Plastic Man #72, written & drawn by Jack Cole, published by Quality Comics in November 1947.

Fellow comic book cat aficionado Cheryl Spoehr recommended this story to me. “The Curse of Mr. Cat” sees Plastic Man in Egypt tracking down a trio of tomb robbers. Things get complicated when a mysterious cat, seemingly the embodiment of Pharaoh Tat-En-Taten’s vengeful spirit, begins stalking & killing the criminals.

Plastic Man takes on the form of a cat himself and gets into a brutal skirmish with the vicious supernatural kitty. Spoiler alert: Plastic Man’s feline opponent turns out to be a robot cooked up by “Mr. Cat,” who is in fact escaped convict Electronic Jones. Even though we don’t get any real cats in this story, Plastic Man creator does a good job drawing both the robot cat and Plastic Man taking the shape of a cat.

Plastic Man is one of those characters that was subsequently purchased by DC Comics after the original publisher, Quality Comics, went out of business. At with a number of other of other properties DC acquired over the years, their efforts at reviving Plastic Man have regrettably met with variable amounts of success. I am not saying that DC has never published any good Plastic Man stories, because there have been some. That said, all these decades later the original stories by Jack Cole remain a gold standard for the character. “The Curse of Mr. Cat” is a good example of Cole’s animated artwork and offbeat writing.

The story can be read online on Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine…

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