Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Plastic Man Takes A Stand Against Torture

Back in 1943, with simple clarity, Plastic Man explained exactly why he is opposed to torture:



"We aren't sinking to their level!" That's all it takes- and the criminal starts to spill his guts. True, he's killed by the mysterious "Number Seven" in the panel that immediately follows the last one posted above, but still, you get the point.

Fox News' Shepard Smith certainly gets it, and expresses the view emphatically and in more vulgar language than Plastic Man's creator Jack Cole ever dreamed of using (NSFW):



By the time of this story, Plastic Man was working for the FBI, and therefore represented the United States government. I'm not sure that superheroes should be working for the government, but if they are, I want them to have Plastic Man's attitude. This is a guy who can stretch his body into any shape, and basically do anything he wants. Because he's made of rubber, he's "not allergic to bullets." There's really no defense against this guy. He needs to be good, he needs to follow rules of common decency, because he is just too powerful. And, perhaps as important, he's a symbol of justice.

Lest you think this was just one lone rogue FBI agent's attitude toward torture, check out what Plastic Man's boss, The Chief, tells Plas's sidekick, Woozy Winks ("the man whom nature protects!"), just as Woozy is about to question a suspect:



"The F.B.I. cannot condone third-degree methods!" The government doesn't abuse people, and does not abuse power.

One reason I enjoy reading reprints of old comics is to laugh at how out of date are the sentiments expressed.

More about Plastic Man here.

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