The Baron Re-Reads the John Arcudi/Tan Eng Huat Doom Patrol (SPOILERS)

Doom Patrol #1 (December 2001): "--Doom Patrol!"

Written by John Arcudi, art by Tan Eng Huat

As the cover says: "4/5 new! All different!" The cover picture is amusing - it's a head shot of Robotman with the other members reflected inhis face, and him thinking "We're doomed."   As I said about Alllred in the X-Statix thread, TanEng Huat's art really suits this book, and was a big draw for me.

 

The premise of this is that a fellow by the name of Thayer Jost is sponsoring a super-team.  The members include:

 

  • Fast Forward (Ted Bruder), the team leader, who can see 30 seconds into the future.
  • Freak (Ava) - a girl who can extrude tendrils from her hands.
  • Fever (Shyleen Lao) - she can raise the temperature of objects around her.
  • Kid Slick (Vic Darge) - he can eliminate friction around his body.

 

When we meet our heroes, they are in the midst of doing very badly in a rescue simulation. Jost cancels the team's debut.  Elsewhere, we see Cliff Steele working in a boiler room. Jost hears of him, and  hires him to shape up the team.  After some initial relcutance, Cliff signs up, and begins helping them train. As an additional bonus, hiring Cliif allows him to name the team - the Doom Patrol!

Overall: Another book that I picked up on a whim - I never was a big fan of any previous versions of this team.  The combination of Arcudi's writing style and Tan Eng Huat's art really drew me in, however!  Fun stuff!

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This was a very good run.  I'll be following along.

Doom Patrol #2 (January 2002): "The Wrong Way......To Do Right!"

We start with our heroes on a resuc emisison on a tropical island, after which they hold a press conference. The others nickname Ted "Negative Man" because of his attitude.

 

They are subsequently sent to rescue embassy staff - they rescue Americans, but not their local employees.  This upsets Cliff, so that even as Jost tells Ted that Cliff is the new team leader, the latter tells him that he is quitting. Ava, Shyleen and Vic quit in sympathy, and Ted goes along more reluctantly. Cliif offer to fund the team with his own money.  We end with Jost unconcerned that they have quit.

 

A fun issue - I like the development of the characters. I'd forgotten the similarities between this book and X-Statix. It wasn't in my mind when I started to re-read them.  Interesting that two such similar books came out around the same time. But then, that's not the first time that's happened with an X-team and the Doom Patrol.

Interesting comparison to X-Statix,  I hadn't noticed the plot similarities myself until you pointed them out.

Doom Patrol #3 February 2002): "Grudge Match"

Our heroes have moved to their new HQ, an old nightclub that Cliff has bought.  We see Cliff off by himself, wondering whether he even counts as the real "Cliff Steele" anymore.  An interesting question - how much of ourselves can we lose and still be ourselves?

 

The team is attacked by a super-thug who was hired by Jost to stage a fight, who gets upset when he finds out they don't work for Jost and so he won't get paid!  This is a pretty funny character, a sad man with delusions of grandeur.

 

During the fight, Shyleen accidentally burns Ava, and Ted sees her looking all mutated, which freaks him out.

 

We end with Cliff getting a cease-and-desist to stop being the Doom Patrol!

 

Overall: Another fun issue, with a mixture of humor - the battl eis pretty funny - and mystery - the whole issue of what's going on with Ava.

I read this series and I remember liking it, but I’m not remembering too much about it until your summaries refresh my memories. I agree that Tan Eng Huat’s style suits this book perfectly. Shortly after this run he did some JLA issues, but his style wasn’t as well suited for that team. I have both runs filed together in the same slot. This isn’t my favorite run of the DP, but that’s another discussion for another time.

Doom Patrol #4 (March 2002): "Blink and It's Gone"

Two major plotlines which eventually converge:

  1. Jost has hired a new "Doom Patrol" consisting of Beast Boy, Doctor Light (Kimiyo Hoshi), the Elongated Man and Metamorpho. Our heroes debate whether to choose a new team name.
  2. A zoo tiger has been killed and skinned, and various ancient artifiacts stolen. These turn out to have been stolen by a man named Tycho Bray.

 

The two teams track Bray to his home, where the witness the stolen objects turn into a beastman, who then runs Bray through with a big sword!

 

Overall: Lots of fun in this, as the two teams compete to score points off of each other, while tracking down Bray.  I'm glad they avoided the whole thing of having them actually fight, it's all just business to them.

Doom Patrol #5 (April 2002): "Fade"

Tycho and his buddies are possessed by Chinese ghosts, who battle the two Patrols, then flee. Cliff is surprised to see Rex still alive. (Why is anyone surprised to see a formerly "dead" hero alive again, especially someone like Rex, who isn't exactly human?)

With some help from a museum curator, the teams track down the ghosts, and Ted figures out how to beat them.  (I was particularly by this, the fact that Ted is reasonably bright gives a reason why they keep him around despite his attitude.)

Before Cliff can ask Rex how he's still aliive, Rex asks Cliff how he's still alive, sinc ethe last Rex had heard, Cliff was dead!  On hearing this, Cliff vanishes!

 

Overall: Another fun issue. I remember that when I first read this, the whole business with Cliff's disappearance confused the heck out of me.I had to read it a few times before I got it.

Doom Patrol #6 May 2002): "Dead?"

Interesting developments abound as Jost discovers that since Robotman has been dead for years, the contracts he signed recently are invalid. He freezes the current Patrol's assets as he tries to reclaim the money he paid them.  The two Patorls discuss what happened to Cliff. Shyleen is the most upset and Vic tries to comfort her. She worries who else will turn out not to be real.

 

In Subplot Land, we meet Kolodenko, a comedy weird scientist that no one takes seriously.

 

Gar reveals that the last time Robotman was killed, they never found his head, which means he might still be alive somehow.  Ted is fed up and wants to leave, but Ava asks him not to go.

 

Elsewhere, one of Jost's lackeys suggest finding the only surviving member of the previous doom Patrol, whoever that may be.

 

Overall: Still fun and enjoyable stuff. I'm enjoying the ways they develop the relationships between the characters.

 

Question: Ralph Dibny says that he only signed up with Jost for financial security.  Would he be hard up for cash? Wasn't Sue an heiress?

Over the years, I've seen it explained that either Ralph had earned a fortune over the years, or that Sue was an heiress.  I couldn't really say one way or the other, although it seems that in the Silver Age it was Ralph that was wealthy.

The Baron said:


 

Question: Ralph Dibny says that he only signed up with Jost for financial security.  Would he be hard up for cash? Wasn't Sue an heiress?

Ralph & Sue were always presented as independently wealthy, as in neither of them ever seemed to hold a job of any kind and could afford to travel anywhere, any time.  While they were never quite the Nick & Nora Charles I wanted them to be, they were at least Hart to Hart.

I haven't read this, but it does sound interesting.

Doom Patrol #7 (June 2002): "O, Captain! My Captain..."

The Patrol and Gar search for Robotman's head, eventually finding it buried in the mountains down south. they debate what to do - Ted argues whether they should bring him back at all.  Eventually they hire Kolodenko to build him a new body.

 

In Subplot Land: Just bribes a hospital administrator to help him find a patient's next of kin, and a weird, white-faced guy visits a gravesite.

 

We end with Kolodenko presenting the new Robotman!

 

Overall:  Good stuff. Interesting to see Ted develop as a leader, and there's a funny Shrek reference with Gar as a talking donkey.

 

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