For decades there comes along a character that doesn't really ring true to fans, now granted any character can be loved. There will always be some quirk that gets some reader to love a character even when other people think they are lame. I think the most recent case was Janet Van Dyne over in Avengers. When her character was "killed off" in Secret Invasion back in 2008. Many people were in an uproar (myself included) while others went: "She really didn't have any point." Now, after the success of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and her return at the end of BMB run on Avengers. Everyone was going: "Hey, Jan rules!" It's funny how sometimes just doing something different with a character will change people's perspective on them take the following three characters:
Vibe has been considered such a laughing stock of a character since the 1980s, while Paco had cool powers, he was a dancer, wore such flair for a costume and really had the most 80s personality you could fine and he had very few fans 30 years ago. All of a sudden, he returns in the New 52 and readers were wondering "why?" Then after learning of his new origins and his motivation and how his powers work. All of a sudden you like or even love the character. The reason being is you not only got a relatable version of the character in the new 52, but he exists for a reason. When he originally showed up in JLA Detroit he really was just there being a kid who grew up in Detroit. Now, having him basically be the border cop for the DC Multiverse and having such a tragic origin, you really get into this characters head and find out he matters.
Same goes for old Rocky here, even through the character has been around for almost 40 years, Rocket Raccoon has had his share of ups and downs over the years. Depending on the writer, Rocky has either been the coolest raccoon protecting the cosmos or someone people wish would just disappear. In the last 8 years he has become a house hold name and is even getting his own movie in 2014 with the rest of the modern Guardians of the Galaxy. What change? Nothing really, it was just getting to the heart of the character. Rocket is loveable, he jumps in ready to save the day, usually relies on either having a plan and laughing in the face of danger or just winging it. He does what he has to do to save the day an protect those who need it. That's why Rocket works.
As for old Plas here, I've always loved the character but many readers have thought of him as Vibe above. What was the point of a guy who could stretch and reshape his form? Truth be told it took until the late 90s with writer Mark Waid who really got into Patrick "Eel" O'Brian's origins and why he became a good guy to begin with not to mention the family man aspect that writer Joe Kelly captured a few years ago. This guy came from a very hard life, he was on the road to being a pretty cruel guy and an unfortunate accident steered him away and not only that made him realize he could be better. That was what has worked with the character and hopefully we'll see Plastic Man in the near future in the new 52 because he is truly missed.