Tell me that’s not the coolest name ever for a team of weirdo superheroes!  I dare you.  I didn’t read comics a lot when I was a kid–because I spent all my time with my nose in books I wasn’t clever enough to realize were way too mature for my age–but I loved THE DOOM PATROL and had quite a stack of them after a while, mostly because I thought the name sounded cool.  Of course, they also had a robot man, an invisable guy, a stretchy girl, a fiery guy, and a dude in a wheel chair.

Sound familiar?–well, the initial Doom Patrol adventure, from DC Comics, premiered a few months before Marvel’s Dr. Charles Xavier and The X-Men but…the abilities of the original DOOM PATROL had a lot in common with Marvel’s Fantastic Four, which preceded it. Hypothesize–all these comics people stole ideas from each other like madmen, both actively and passively as writers and artists shifted back and forth between publishers.

















Like the X-Men, The Doom Patrol didn’t exactly enjoy being superheroes–especially the guy who got blown up and had his remaining bits plugged into the robot–lots of angst there.  A lot of the people they tried to help looked down on them as freaks.  Most interesting, perhaps, is that unlike most heroes, at the end of the comic’s original run, the Doom Patrol fought to their deaths to save some piece of crap little town where the citizens didn’t even like them.  And unlike their Super Peers, they stayed dead.

I read these when I was about 12, having bought a big whiskey box of comics* at a neighbors’ yard sale for a dollar that included most of the original Doom Patrol and some of the rebooted series (with a new team of different but still oddball heroes) and thought the dying thing was really, really deep.

*That box of comics also included a bunch of very nice Fantastic Four issues, including the one with the first appearance of The Silver Surfer, which is worth several hundred dollars today.  In the late 1980’s my sister brought home a kitten that tore into the box, shredded most of these comics into confetti and soaked the rest with urine.  Today, the value of that box would, conservatively, be somewhere around $23,000. Sigh.



About JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.
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5 Responses to The DOOM PATROL

  1. elmediat says:

    Great post. Always loved this group, through there many incarnations. They also have a link to the Fantastic Four & The Challengers of The Unknown in that all three groups take as their inspiration those weird Sci-Fi Drive-in B-Movies from the late fifties and early sixties. I started with the original team when I was much younger than I am today. 😀

    DC is introducing the newest incarnation in their current Justice League series. We may get a movie or television series out of this group . My inner kid is very excited, my older self hopes they do not mess up the chance. 🙂


  2. reocochran says:

    I loved Batman and Robin, also Superman comics. I followed Fantastic Four, vicariously through my friends and brothers. I guess the main reason I wanted to comment was to sympathize with you, over your ‘loss.’ I truly wish you had not had a cat get into your comics! If it is any comfort at all, my brothers and I got rid of tons of collectibles, (supposedly) when my parents’ cottage was being emptied to get sold. I will tell you that weird stuff got bought (match box covers and Freon cans, along with the traditional jewelry, sold if it were gold…) But the main thing that breaks my Mom’s heart is that Ashton Drake dolls, costing a couple hundred dollars apiece could only make $20, if lucky, and $3 for some… Crazy! Thanks for your kind comment on my post! Smiles, Robin


  3. authormbeyer says:

    I was a comic book nut as a kid, but my parents didn’t let me buy them until I was a teenager. I was way into Marvel and missed out on great books like Doom Patrol. I still don’t have any in my comic book horde.


  4. Ouch. I once had a hamster that escaped from his cage and chewed his way through a box of records in my closet. Not just through the sleeves…through the vinyl itself. I kid you not. Billy Joel was unplayable thanks to a large, gaping hole in the middle of “Don’t Ask Me Why.”


  5. JunkChuck says:

    Maybe the story is worth the loss? I’ll keep telling myself that, at least. Thanks for reading.


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