Sunday, 25 September 2016

Doom Patrol #94 (DC/1965)

Doom Patrol #94 (DC)

No credits (w) & (a)

It had been my original attention to review the new Doom Patrol series just launched by DC under their "Young Animal" label. Except there was one problem. I couldn't find a good word to say about it. Self indulgent, pretentious rubbish was all that I could think of and have never been so disappointed by a relaunch of a group of characters that were a firm part of the Silver Age of comics.

So rather than slag it off I thought I'd purge myself of the experience by picking up one of the comics from the original incarnation of the Doom Patrol from back in the sixties.

The Doom Patrol were a bunch of "oddities" consisting of Robotman, a man whose brain had been put in a machine's body after a crash, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl and Niles Caulder their genius leader who was confined to a wheelchair. They were marketed as "The World's Strangest Heroes".

Originally appearing in My Greatest Adventure #80, the title was soon changed to the Doom Patrol. They were never more than a "second tier" group and their first solo title lasted just 39 issues with a brief 3 -issue reprint revival in the early seventies. There have been several attempts to revive the team including a stint at the older reader orientated Vertigo imprint.

Nevertheless many readers growing up in the sixties have fond memories of this team and this issue is fairly typical fare for the team featuring two stories. The first, The Nightmare Fighters sees the team take on a fake supernatural enemy involving the use of a weapon from one of their deceased foes. The second The Chief Stands Alone is more or less a solo story for Niles Caulder who faces off a villain using a newly weaponised wheelchair he has just invented. All the excitement that a child needed in those simpler days....

Perhaps one day they'll get the treatment they deserve until then there are plenty of back issues to collect from this and other series in the seventies and eighties, though I do not recommend the Vertigo version even if dreamed up by Grant Morrison.


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