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