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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I'd be happy to argue Thor was based on the Fox Thor. He initially had long hair, and a comparable helmet. The catch with that is it's hard to believe Lee had old Fox comics in the cupboard and went through them looking for ideas.

A point to note: Larry Lieber has said he worked full script with Kirby, and Lieber scripted Thor's and Ant-Man's early appearances. Kirby may not have been deeply invested in "Thor" at that stage.

Kirby did work from scripts. Paul Kupperberg has written here the second Super Powers mini was written full script. He probably worked from full scripts at DC in the 1950s, as DC stories were usually written that way. Possibly he took part in the plotting conferences.

Artists working from full scripts pencilled in the dialogue for the letterer, so they could make dialogue and story changes if the editor would let them. I've think I've read that when Simon and Kirby did Captain Marvel Adventures #1 they asked if they could make changes, as they were used to doing, and were told not to.

C. C. Beck wrote one Captain Marvel story, for Whiz Comics #22. My recollection is he had to submit a full script for it. So at Fawcett there was a script even when an artist drew his own story.

I linked to an article by Nick Caputo on Dr Strange's creation. It quotes Ditko as having written he came up with the character and first story on his own. I wanted to change my post to take account of that but the board wouldn't let me.

Funny that this topic should come up now. I just started reading The Doom Patrol: The Silver Age volume 1. Even though my personal Golden Age was in the mid to late Sixties, I read very little DP material, so these stories are new to me. I credit Arnold Drakes writing for making this an above average Silver Age DC book. Drake did some very nice work during this period between DP, Challengers of the Unknown and the DC humor books.

"Doctor Solar didn't get his visor costume until Doctor Solar #5 in Jun. 1963, a month before the X-Men's debut."

I was thinking there was more lead time than that. I hadn't considered that Doctor Solar didn't debut with a costume, but you're right.

The very young Li'l Capn really liked Doom Patrol. Drake's deliberately Marvel-esque writing and Premiani's unique art -- I loved how Robotman looked like "soft" metal, and Premiani's machines were wonderfully retro and plausible-looking -- was irresistible. I never thought about any of the things on this thread back then, I just knew I liked it.

Luke Blanchard said:

Larry Lieber has said he worked full script with Kirby, and Lieber scripted Thor's and Ant-Man's early appearances. Kirby may not have been deeply invested in "Thor" at that stage. Kirby did work from scripts. Paul Kupperberg has written here the second Super Powers mini was written full script. He probably worked from full scripts at DC in the 1950s, as DC stories were usually written that way.

My understanding has always been that everybody worked full script until Stan Lee*, because he was swamped with writing and editing all of the Marvel books, started having Kirby , Ditko and others if they were capable to plot the stories and determine how to allocate the panels on the pages (which was also part of scripting). Am I mistaken? Did other artists who weren't also writers plot stories before this?

* Which is why we refer to it as "The Marvel Way"

Writer/artists can write the story on the page as they draw it, or work from a plot in their heads. Kirby's solo work was apparently done this way in the 1970s. I can't name a pre-Silver Age story done this way, but I think some must have been.

The writer can also draw the story in layout form, as Jim Shooter did when working on "Legion of Super-Heroes". My understanding is John Stanley worked this way.

This Wikipedia article on comics scripting describes another method it calls the EC style which I haven't heard of before.

I was on a listserve years ago, and someone posted a reminiscence by Al ("Smart Answers to Stupid Questions") Jaffee. To the best of my recollection, Jaffee said that when he worked for Lee at 1950s Timely, Lee would sometimes toss artists no more than the bare bones of a plot, and would dialogue the completed story later. However, this wasn't the case across the board. I remember asking another Timely artist-- I think it was Jack Keller-- if he got full scripts from Lee, and that the artist said he did. So it's possible that even back then, Lee wrote full scripts for artists who weren't all that independent, and let other artists do what they wanted, as long as they understood what he the editor wanted.

Lee had more writers working for him in the 1950s. However, he also had a lot more stories to bring out, given Martin Goodman's tendency to flood the newstands. So "the pre-Marvel way" makes sense under those circumstances.

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