The Golden Age (POLICE COMICS #1-102, PLASTIC MAN #1-52, 1941-1955)
Plastic Man was introduced in POLICE COMICS #1, where he starts the story as “Eel” O’Brian, and gains his super powers during a heist gone wrong. After meeting and teaming up with his sidekick and pal Woozy Winks, Plas faces off against a bevy of weirdo villains. It doesn’t take long for Plas to enjoy his new life as a crimefighter, working hard to stop the weirdest of bad guys.
Post-CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS (PLASTIC MAN #1-4, 1988-1989)
Following the events of 1985-1986's CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, the DC universe's history was rebooted. Eel O’Brian still gained his powers in a heist gone wrong, but now wandered the streets afterwards as a shape-shifting “monster”. It was only when O’Brian met newly released mental patient Woozy Winks that his life turned around. Deciding off a coin toss, “Eel” decided to become a DC Super Hero and use his powers for good.
Plas Joins the Big Leagues! (JLA #16-100, 1998-2004)
Plastic Man is recruited into the Justice League by Batman, and proves himself a formidable team member, in spite of his crazy puns and off-beat humor. Plas proves a dependable and regular member of the JLA, and faces off against foes such as Ra’s al Ghul and Dr. Polaris. He does hold the distinction of nearly getting a beat-down when he posed as Big Barda’s new red dress.
Plastic Man is stranded thousands of years in the past during a mission, where he becomes frozen and shattered, his body parts scattered across the ocean floor. When he is recovered and restored in the present day by the JLA, after 3,000 years of trying to piece back together, Plastic Man leaves the JLA to focus on his personal life. Blocking Plastic Man from his mind, he continues life as “Ralph Johns”. Plas also reveals he is a father, to a son named Luke. During his JLA membership, Plastic Man comes to terms with his estranged son, who at one point turns to the gang life.
When the JLA are faced with a mentally unstable J’onn Jonzz, Batman appeals to Ralph Johns and brings his Plastic Man side out. Immune to the Martian’s telepathic control, Plastic Man is able to stop J’onn -- and save the world.
Goofy Again (PLASTIC MAN #1-20, 2004-2006)
In his own comic series, existing outside of main DC continuity, Plastic Man is an FBI agent not only tasked with hunting down “Eel” O’Brian, but must also contend with a new partner, Agent Morgan! Plas’s past life is discovered, and he goes on the run from the law.
Plas clears it up with the law, becomes an agent once more, and has a roster of wacky adventures, from time travel to adopting a teenage vampire girl named Edwina.
"One Year Later" and BLACKEST NIGHT (2006-2010)
Plastic Man comes to the aid of his son, now operating as Offspring, during the One Year Later storyline. Plas continues as a superhero, facing off against JLA villain Prometheus, who injures Plas with a chemical injection. The Pliable Paladin is unable to shift without suffering great pain; this remains through the events of Blackest Night, where Plas’s heart is literally torn out of his chest by the Black Lantern version of Vibe. Plas recovers and is soon back on his rubbery feet, with his condition either cured or in remission.
New 52 (2011-2016)
“Eel” O’Brian is re-introduced in 2014's JUSTICE LEAGUE #25. When the Earth-3 version of Batman, the villainous Owlman, breaks up a gangland meeting in a factory, “Eel” is shot and heavily doused in toxic chemicals, which turn him into a pile of goo.
During 2017's DARK DAYS: THE FORGE #1, Batman brings Plastic Man, kept in containment in the shape of an egg, planning to release him to help with his mission against Barbatos and the Dark Multiverse.
THE TERRIFICS (2018-Present)
After the events of Metal, Plastic Man becomes a member of The Terrifics, a quartet of unlikely Super Heroes, led by Mr. Terrific and with Metamorpho and Phantom Girl. Plas starts the first issue still in egg form, but eventually gets back to his old rubbery self.