Every week, one item or another in my pull and hold stands out for me above the rest in one way or another. Sometimes it’s a periodical, sometimes a graphic novel, sometimes a collection. Does that happen to you? If so, let’s hear about it here. It can be an item you’ve long anticipated or something you bought on a whim. If it’s something you were really looking forward to but ended up being a big disappointment, let’s hear about that here, too. I’ve been meaning to start this topic for a long time now, but chose today to post about something I’ve been waiting for a long time, long before it was even solicited.

SILVER SURFER EPIC COLLECTION BY STEVE ENGLEHART AND MARSHAL ROGERS

This is a favorite run of mine, but I’ve read it only twice: once as it was released, and I re-read it once after that. It came out as an “ESSENTIAL” a few years ago, but for this I held out for color.

EDIT: Most weeks I make my picks before I have read them, but feel free to choose either the books you anticipate most before you read or enjoy the most after you have read them.

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Hawkeye #15 for me.

The Swamp Thing Winter Special for me -- a new Tom King/Jason Fabok  Swampy story, and a final Len Wein Swampy story, with unlettered art from Kelly Jones, and Wein's page breakdown for the issue? Yes, please.

Is Doom Patrol going to be published past the "Milk Wars" crossover? Anybody know? Bleeding Cools suggests it might be stealth canceled.

Also, is Negative Man still a hermaphrodite, or sexually ambiguous, or something? I confess I can't remember the details, but in the Morrison run he seemed to be a woman sometimes and a man other times, or maybe somewhere in between all of the time. I would think that would be very popular with the Millennials. 

I will comment on my favorite this week when I've read some of them!

As far as Negative Man goes, he isn't Rebis this time around but Larry Trainor, the original. That being said, his attitude does seem to have changed this time around.

In terms of cancellation, I expect most of the comics I follow to be canceled at some point, so I take it with a grain of salt. If this is the last hurrah for this iteration of the Doom Patrol, so be it.

When Paul Kupperberg resurrected the Doom Patrol he did it literally, except for Rita Farr (Elasti-Girl). His version had a Russian woman as Negative Woman, hosting the negative creature instead of Larry Trainor. When the dead Larry Trainor got better, they had a rivalry. It always chafed me (in a non-obsessive way) that all three DP males survived the heroic death scene but Rita didn't. Even if she came back they probably couldn't call her Elasti-Girl because Disney/Pixar's Incredibles character Elastigirl. Who needs to fight with Disney's lawyers?

I haven't seen anything on a stealth cancellation of Doom Patrol, but I think I saw the article you refer to. I think that mentioned that issue #12 was cancelled, and the 2nd trade paperback would just go up to 11.

I think the plan with Doom Patrol is to do a slightly retitled relaunch like Cave Carson, Mother Panic, and Shade are getting. But the book has been so far behind that it seems like they decided to end the story with issue 11, rather than delay the relaunch even more.  

But who knows?

Captain Comics said:

Is Doom Patrol going to be published past the "Milk Wars" crossover? Anybody know? Bleeding Cools suggests it might be stealth canceled.

Also, is Negative Man still a hermaphrodite, or sexually ambiguous, or something? I confess I can't remember the details, but in the Morrison run he seemed to be a woman sometimes and a man other times, or maybe somewhere in between all of the time. I would think that would be very popular with the Millennials. 

I will comment on my favorite this week when I've read some of them!

I also chafed a bit at that, Richard, mainly because I'm a completist -- do all of 'em, or none of 'em! But I can see the reasoning, in that they wanted to take the DP into a weirder direction, and Rita looked entirely normal. Also, like you, I suspect sexism was a factor. So it bugged me -- in a non-obsessive manner, of course.

And, here's some more stuff you probably know, but for the record I'll bring it up.

In the original revival, Larry Trainor was also dead -- but Negative Man wasn't, and possessed a Soviet cosmonaut named ... oh, I've forgotten. Vanilla Vostokovich or something. Later, however, Larry got better and challenged the Russian girl for Negative Man. So he was back in time for Morrison's revival.

In the original revival, the Chief was dead, too -- but he got better. I don't remember how.

Then, in 2004, Rita got better. She appeared in the John Byrne revival, where he pretended most of the previous DP stuff didn't happen. Strangely, all that got written out of continuity, but Rita's revival didn't -- it was made canon that the Chief restored her by regrowing her entire body from a piece of her skull, a thing her powers permitted. Most of this happened in Infinite Crisis and Teen Titans, where they teamed up with the DP for a story arc. This would be around 2006. In that series Rita changed her name to Elasti-Woman -- no doubt for the reason you cited (Disney lawyers), as The Incredibles came out in 2004.

So everyone who died in the end of the DP series got better. We have a complete collection now!



Richard Willis said:

When Paul Kupperberg resurrected the Doom Patrol he did it literally, except for Rita Farr (Elasti-Girl). His version had a Russian woman as Negative Woman, hosting the negative creature instead of Larry Trainor. When the dead Larry Trainor got better, they had a rivalry. It always chafed me (in a non-obsessive way) that all three DP males survived the heroic death scene but Rita didn't. Even if she came back they probably couldn't call her Elasti-Girl because Disney/Pixar's Incredibles character Elastigirl. Who needs to fight with Disney's lawyers?

Before I bought them, this week’s choice was between two.

After I flipped through them, I still couldn’t make up my mind.

After I read them I still couldn’t decide.

Because Rob has already chosen the Swamp Thing Winter Special, I’m going to go with my other choice: Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock

I’ll be posting my thoughts on both to “What Comics Have You Read Today?” shortly.

Captain Commics said:

In the original revival, Larry Trainor was also dead -- but Negative Man wasn't, and possessed a Soviet cosmonaut named ... oh, I've forgotten. Vanilla Vostokovich or something. Later, however, Larry got better and challenged the Russian girl for Negative Man. So he was back in time for Morrison's revival.

In the original revival, the Chief was dead, too -- but he got better. I don't remember how.

I recently obtained and read (for the first time) the original comics of the Kupperberg Showcase and Doom Patrol stories, and have them in front of me. Robotman survived because he's made of metal. He was temporarily given a new body (reminiscent of John Byrne's Rog-2000) by Doc Magnus of Metal Men fame. In the first issue of the Doom Patrol comic he reverted to his original Silver Age look, without explanation, as far as I can tell. In Secret Origins Annual #1, Cliff says that he missed his old body and Doc Magnus accommodated him. I can't find the reference, but I think that the negative being rescued Larry Trainor from being blown to pieces, but since he was in bad shape looked for a new host. The Cosmonaut's name was Valentina Vostok, and she was rescued from drowning by the negative being, which bonded with her. When we first see Larry he is on life support. When it is withdrawn he revives, but is weak and disabled. Niles Caulder, The Chief, was hinted at being alive. In issue #12 we see him, red-headed and beardless, in a government council headed by an unidentified Ronald Reagan. In issue #16 he returns, bearded and gray-haired. Without rereading every word of every issue, it seems he was rescued by their enemy General Immortus, and kept by him. This seems to contradict his appearance in #12.

Thanks, Richard! 

The new DP were introduced in Showcase at the start of its 1970s revival. Paul Kupperberg wrote, and Joe Staton pencilled. They next appeared in a dire "Supergirl" multi-parter in Superman Family. This was written by Gerry Conway,(1) but they were otherwise Kupperberg's babies.

Robotman next turned up in New Teen Titans. Changeling had him looking for Mento (who was hunting his wife's killers; he vowed to do so at the end of The Doom Patrol #121), and he'd had Dayton's scientists restore his original robot body design, which he preferred.

The new DP next guested in DC Comics Presents #52, in a story by Kupperberg and Keith Giffen.(2) The resolution of the story required Negative Woman to henceforth wear bandages as Negative Man had done.

After that they appeared in The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl, in a storyline by Kupperberg and Carmine Infantino.

They finally got a series post-Crisis. Celsius found the Chief's wrecked chair and took this as evidence he could have survived. Helping her out, Robotman found Elasti-Girl's body. Negative Man and the Chief returned in subsequent issues.

At the end of Doom Patrol #121 Murray Boltinoff and Bruno Premiani tell the reader that the issue's outcome can be different if the reader can figure out how the DP might've escaped. Larry couldn't release Neg Man as he'd been covered with radio-resistant sand. He released him through his mouth, and Neg Man saved the four of them. You heard it here first.

(1) The GCD tells me Scot Edelman did the dialogue for one part. The story was originally intended for Super-Team Family.

(2) This was also Ambush Bug's debut. He was portrayed as a wacky murderer.

Luke Blanchard said:

Robotman next turned up in New Teen Titans.

I bought this, but didn’t know about any other appearances before the Showcase issues.

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