A few random Doom Patrol thoughts that occurred to me:

1) People sometimes comment on Elasti-Girl getting the shaft as the distaff member of the group. Not outwardly a freak and the only one who "never" got revived even though she eventually did after the Vertigo run, and Negative Man was dead for nearly twenty years too. But she actually sort of dominated the team. She was treated as the most powerful member not even Sue Storm-style, just by being able to ramp up past Giant-Man size and be actually much stronger than Robotman (whose specialty was more being able to sacrifice himself due to his body being replaceable). She was treated as the strongest visual on the team, usually, thanks to her growth powers. And her storyline dominates the book once she gets involved with Mento and Beast Boy, which brings me to point 2:

2) There's a long run of the book that's essentially one long story with rolling subplots that I would even characterize past Silver Age Marvel style, it's more like a Bronze Age Claremont/Byrne X-Men thing. Beast Boy's first appearance in #99 sparks a soap opera that runs until #118 and the Chief gets in on it too, having a Batman/Catwoman style romance with chief female antagonist Madame Rouge (who turns heel again and kills them all in the last issue, sorry for fifty year old spoilers that you already know about if you followed New Teen Titans at all). Three more issues come out to end the series after that, so I guess Drake got a bunch of advance notice of cancellation and stopped progressing the soap opera at that point.

3) Something that will never not be hilarious to me is that Arnold Drake copies the Fantastic Four in coming up with the Doom Patrol and a lot of fans now make too much of the similarities to the X-Men, who were a deliberate Fantastic Four copy that was created on orders from Martin Goodman to start pumping out clones of his best-selling books. (Daredevil being the Spider-Man clone that came out late and had to have the Avengers invented to fill its production slot.) And then Drake moves over as writer on X-Men as Doom Patrol is ending, and meanwhile X-Men under Roy Thomas has been copying Doom Patrol's format by including backup continuing stories featuring expanded individual origins for its team members. I think the first one of those is Cyclops's in issue #38, November 1967; and Doom Patrol's first was Robotman's in issue #100, December 1965. Drake actually ends up writing a few of those for X-Men after he takes over. Also, the Doom Patrol fight evil mutants in DP #115 and 116; one of them is cover featured as "The Mutant Master" on issue #115.

I'm getting in the mood to do a series reread and it's been awhile, so my numbers might be slightly off with the soap opera, but I think my characterizations are basically accurate.

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My theory on the resemblances between the first issues of DOOM PATROL and X-MEN:

Marvel's already planning to do X-MEN, in keeping with Goodman's order to imitate anything that works, that being Marvel's own FF. However, somehow Lee, Kirby or someone in production gets an advance look at the DP project before it hits the stands. Lee (or someone) gets the sense that this is DC trying to do a rip on FF, so Lee gives the order to imitate a few aspects of the DP project just as a subtle shot of revenge (since the idea of Marvel suing DC in those days would've been unthinkable). Thus, Marvel bites DC's style with the two main borrowings-- the wheelchair-bound leader and the names of the villain-groups-- though X-MEN probably would've looked much the same had DP never existed (Iceman is a swipe on the Torch, the Beast on the Thing).

Even before DP, however, Goodman had given Lee orders to come up with variations of the FF & Spider-Man, which became X-Men and Daredevil, which were supposed to have come out in the same month and would have if Wild Bill Everett hadn't been so late on the artwork (as in several months late!).

Fred, I agree that X-MEN looks like a FF knock-off. Since it was dated Sept 1963, that means it was on stands more like July of that year. Others may know more than I about production schedules in those days, but I assume X-MEN got into production roughly three months previous to the actual stand-date-- maybe faster, since Kirby and inker Reinman were fast producers, unlike Bill Everett. The argument as I see it is whether or not DC's production schedule was such that someone could have relayed info to Marvel-- most likely to Stan himself-- and whether there was then time for Stan to phone Kirby and say something like, "Those DC finks are biting our style; I want you to put a wheelchair-bound leader into X-MEN because they're putting a wheelchair-leader in their FANTASTIC FOUR knockoff." Assuming anything like this happened, Stan would be the likely source, since despite his claims to the contrary, I think he kept a close eye on what DC did, whereas Kirby by some accounts paid no attention to the competition in his Marvel period. Certainly the order would have to have been given early on, for Professor X is in a lot of scenes in #1.

The only other circumstantial proof for this scenario is that Marvel's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants shares its cover-date debut with that of DC's Brotherhood of Evil, which would only be possible IMO if someone was still feeding info to Stan half a year later. After that, there seem to be no noteworthy instances of "copying" that I can find. 

Is there some reason we're assuming Stan did the copying? Doom Patrol was very specifically copying Marvel style, so it's not hard to believe they were acting on inside info.

I don't know, and I don't think anyone really does, so I'm just asking.

Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom came out before the X-Men.

My theory is that Stan Lee saw the look of Solar and came up with Cyclops.

I agree that there's no way to know, but I've always thought "Brotherhood of Evil" is more likely to have been conceived first, and "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants" came a little later, despite the fact that both magazines shared the same shelf-date.

I've also tended to think that DOOM PATROL was developed not only in imitation of the FF, but also from various DC military stories in which some physically impaired soldier showed that his impairment couldn't stop him from carrying out his mission. (I have a dim memory that both Haney and Drake wrote some stories like this, though I've nothing specific in mind.) X-MEN, by contrast, takes all or most of its inspiration from earlier SF-treatments of the mutant concept, in prose, comics and movies. The two projects share the "Marvel style" in terms of quarreling heroes, but conceptually they're very dissimilar.

Captain Comics said:

Is there some reason we're assuming Stan did the copying? Doom Patrol was very specifically copying Marvel style, so it's not hard to believe they were acting on inside info.

I don't know, and I don't think anyone really does, so I'm just asking.

According to Mike's Amazing World of DC the DP's debut in My Greatest Adventure #80 went on sale Apr. 18 1963, and The X-Men #1 Jul. 2. I suspect Marvel could've turned an issue around in that time, if the title was already on the schedule.

The question is what resemblances need explaining. These are the points that strike me:

-The resemblance I find most indicative of imitation is their leaders' both needing wheelchairs. 

-The cover of My Greatest Adventure #80 called the DP "a Legion of the world's strangest heroes", and they were afterwards called the "world's strangest heroes" on all but one of their covers up to The Doom Patrol #107. The X-Men were called "The Strangest Super-Heroes of All!" on The X-Men #1-#2. That suggests Marvel saw itself as competing with DC in the strange heroes stakes, if it was Marvel that was following suit.

-The DP saw themselves as cut-off from ordinary humanity by their powers, and the X-Men saw themselves as set apart by their mutanthood. But of the X-Men, initially only Cyclops viewed his powers as a curse like the DPers; and this could be a common debt to the Thing.

-Both teams had team uniforms, but as Chris said p.1 this was likely a common debt to Fantastic Four.

My theory is the Chief was based on the actor James Robertson Justice, who had similar facial hair and played strong-minded, bullying men. He played a man in a wheelchair in Murder She Said (1961), and a genius scientist in Very Important Person (1961).

I can imagine Martin Goodman hearing DC was doing a team of strange heroes, and ordering Lee to do something similar. I find it harder to imagine someone hearing "the leader of the team will need a wheelchair" and feeling the need to copy that. Perhaps Lee saw the first DP issue and had the element percolating in his brain when he created the X-Men. But that explanation only works if Marvel really could turn an issue around in two months.

Doctor Solar didn't get his visor costume until Doctor Solar #5 in Jun. 1963, a month before the X-Men's debut. I've seen it suggested that Cyclops was based on the Comet from the Golden Age.

I've read about the similarities between the Golden Age Comet and Cyclops too, Luke, but then the eye-beams was also just one of Superman's various powers, although he had absolute control over his eye-beams.  I have a hunch both Marvel & DC were playing like Mad's Spy vs. Spy, taking ideas wherever they could get them, "borrowing" them from one another as much as they could get away with it, although since Marvel was still very much the underdog at the time, much more on Marvel's part than DC's, although a few years later when DC felt Marvel hot on their heels, they started taking a much closer look at what was going on at Marvel. 

Lee would admit to taking influences from very old pulp or radio characters from the '30s but sure as heck wouldn't confess to any more recent influences, likely as a matter of corporate policy.  In Origins of Marvel Comics, he would talk about The Spider from the 1930s but make no mention of the Silver Spider created by Simon & Kirby just a few years earlier, and he gave the impression that while comics companies routinely used characters from Greek mythology, none had thought to use those from Norse mythology, conveniently forgetting that Kirby had over the previous 20 years Kirby had drawn several stories featuring Thor or a character inspired by Thor as had Ditko just  few years earlier for Charlton, with characteristics very similar to Marvel's Thor.  I've read an interview with Drake wherein he stated he felt certain Marvel had a spy at DC who gave Lee a basic description of the Doom Patrol.  Whatever the truth, apparently neither company sued the other for copyright infringement on their characters.  Funny that the FF was meant to be a copy of the JLA (and if Stan had taken the stale route of reviving the old All Winners Squad with Cap, Namor and the original Human Torch, it would have been much closer, and also would likely have fallen flat as it had the last time they tried that in the early '50s), but instead Lee went with something closer in spirit to the Challengers of the Unknown, co-created by Kirby.  Then Drake comes up with a DC variation of the FF in the Doom Patrol but Marvel beats it with the X-Men, which combines aspects of both the FF and the DP.

Of course, ultimately what matters is not the source of the ideas but how well they're executed.  

Luke Blanchard said:

According to Mike's Amazing World of DC the DP's debut in My Greatest Adventure #80 went on sale Apr. 18 1963, and The X-Men #1 Jul. 2. I suspect Marvel could've turned an issue around in that time, if the title was already on the schedule.

As Gene pointed out, Kirby was really fast. I think he proved it when he turned out Avengers #1 to fill the empty slot created by the very late Daredevil #1. Was Avengers already planned/begun and just had to be finished or was it, as I have heard, done at the last minute from scratch?

As for X-Men, Goodman or Stan (most likely Goodman this early on) could have heard that DC was going to try to break out of their mold with a group or tragic heroes. At various times writers and artists have worked for both companies at the same time, using pseudonyms. Drake may have had a person in mind for the spy and just didn't state the name. Apparently he was adamant about it.

I'm pretty confident that this was Morrison's run. I believe that's when it was established that the Chief had engineered the "accidents" thatgave the members of the team their powers. I know it was the case by Rachel Pollak's run following Morrison. He'd also then been reduced to a head on a trolley.

Completely agree about the second half of Morrison's run. It had been really good for a while, but then it jus started getting weirder and weirder until the actual stories were lost in the weirdness.

Captain Comics said:

 Is that when The Chief started being written as a villain? I didn't care for that -- I mean, he was an arrogant authoritarian like Professor X, but not a villain!

Fred W. Hill said:

In Origins of Marvel Comics, he would talk about The Spider from the 1930s but make no mention of the Silver Spider created by Simon & Kirby just a few years earlier... Of course, ultimately what matters is not the source of the ideas but how well they're executed. 

I very much agree. Galactus is an alien who wants to mine Earth for its resources. One can imagine a Fox/Sekowsky Justice League of America story with that plot. But the way he was handled made him more than a stock alien.

When Dr Strange was about to debut Lee told the fanzine The Comic Reader that the feature was Ditko's idea. The confounding thing about that is Strange looks like another go at Dr Droom. Maybe what Ditko suggested was creating a magician hero for Strange Tales. Anyway, magician strips were a staple of the Golden Age, and often more wildly imaginative than superhero strips in that period. Many of the elements in "Dr Strange" had been used before, including astral projection. But Lee and Ditko got much more out of the genre than anyone had before.

When you start looking at where the ideas came from, sometimes there's a surfeit of possibilities. Thor's precursors include Fox's Thor and the Thor who fought Batman in Batman #127. Blake's lameness looks like a debt to Freddy Freeman.

There had been a lot of mythological heroes in comics. Thor and Loki had appeared in Venus. Lee at least edited those stories.

Kirby had done more than one story about mutants, but so had Lee, with Kirby and apart from him.

So it's possible that sometimes Lee came up with an idea, drawing on stuff he'd written, edited or read, and Kirby had done something like that previously and brought in elements from the version he'd done.

What's more, it's quite possible for key elements of a character to be added belatedly: Spider-Man didn't have spider-senses until his third story (=the second one in The Amazing Spider-Man #1); the Beast wasn't initially a swot who uses fancy words; Nightcrawler wasn't initially a fun-loving guy; Iron Man didn't have repulsor rays.(1) So either might have come up with an idea first, and the other added something essential.

(1) Also, it's not clear from Iron Man's debut story that he was originally supposed to be able to take his iron suit off.

I just had to check the publishing dates, because the realization struck me that Mento resembles Professor X in a way that the Chief does not.

As it turns out, his debut has the same cover month as X-Men #8.

As for Rita, I seem to recall that there was once in one of the later runs a story where it is indeed revealed that she is considerably less human than appearances indicate, and that Chief made some sort of experiment on her that is to blame for that.  But IIRC her ressurrection was actually one of the side effects of the build up to Infinite Crisis, much like the unfortunate decision to decree that "Superboy Prime punched reality SO hard that reality splintered and therefore Jason Todd is now alive again".  Some checking shows me that she returned alive in 2006's Teen Titans #37, just after "One Year Later", so it took a while.  And after that, her next appearance was... almost a year later, in World War III #1?  Weird.  She seems to have made very few appearances after her ressurrection other than in the 2009 Doom Patrol series that lasted only for 22 issues and a few issues of Brave and Bold and World War III.

Luke, it is interesting that you find Don Blake's cane to be possibly inspired by Freddy Freeman, since Thor himself is sometimes perceived as a variation on Fawcett's Captain Marvel basic idea.

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