The second volume of ‘Doom Patrol: The Silver Age’ has just come out, going to show that some books are still being released and even getting to the UK. This time we have Doom Patrol # 96-107 plus their appearances in Challengers Of The Unknown # 48 and The Brave And The Bold # 65 co-starring with the Flash.
The latter is of special interest as I suspect many of you would have seen the cover when in DC Comics adverts when it came out but never came across a copy and it is certainly a superb cover despite the weight problems of Elasti-Girl just expanding her arm and it having enough mass to do anything. Oddly, I pulled the original comic last year as it was on my bucket list to read and at least I can now see it in context to their continuity.
Interestingly, Bob Brown drew all the covers while the content is written by Arnold Drake and the ‘Doom Patrol’ comicbook itself is drawn by Bruno Premiani. The art is expressive and functional than being great work.
Considering the bickering the Doom Patrol do on a continual basis, you would think calling them the Whining Patrol might have been more appropriate.
This volume also introduced Garfield Logan aka Beast Boy. His green complexion and shape-changing abilities were the side-effect of a cure his dad saved him with from a fatal illness. Although his shape-shifting ability wasn’t publicly known, you would have to ask him wearing a mask with the Doom Patrol would hide the fact that he was the only green-skinned person on Earth in that time period.
Saying that, while masked Beast Boy is frequently coloured purple although when he changes into an animal, he suddenly becomes unmasked and green again. His tenure with the Doom Patrol was spotty but better than Steve Dayton aka Mento who had one vote against him joining and not from the person you would suspect.
Oddly, the original Doom Patrol had only two exceptions to Bruno Premiani drawing them. With Challengers Of The Unknown # 48 it was Bob Brown who took years off the age of the Chief and with The Brave And The Bold # 65 it was Dick Giordano and Sal Trapani, although oddly Premiani drew the interesting cover.
In the back of several issues we see what happened to Cliff Steele after he became Robot-Man and part of the same for Larry Trainor when he became an outcast for wearing bandages to keep his radioactivity in. Considering that these bandages are lead-based, you do have to wonder if it wasn’t for him being able to open his mouth then how could Negative Man get out?
The Brotherhood of Evil only appears a couple times. Rita Farr marries Steve Dayton and, much to his reluctance, still does duty in the Doom Patrol. Oddly, the book ends mid-story and it looks like another year before the next volume. Considering the stories originally saw print in 1965-66, they still hold up pretty well. As they rarely connect to other characters in the DC Universe, the Doom Patrol is pretty much self-contained. Quite an eventful run of issues and, rare for DC Comics, a sense of continuity at the time.
(pub: DC Comics, 2020. 360 page graphic novel softcover. Price: I pulled my copy for about £22.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-77950-098-4)
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