We're all aware that the X-men and the Doom Patrol debuted pretty closely to one another. Assuming sales data is available, which one sold better initially? Was either one considered a hit, sales-wise? 

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My guess is Doom Patrol sold better at least initially due to DC having the stronger presence at that point.



doc photo said:

My guess is Doom Patrol sold better, at least initially, due to DC having the stronger presence on the newsstands and spinner racks at that point.

What I found over at Comichrom.com from the annual postal statements.

I don't think there is a year where we have statements from both titles

1965 Doom Patrol:  200,188

1966 Doom Patrol:  191,420

1967 Doom Patrol:  157,900

1968 X-Men:  273,360

1969 X-Men:  235,811

Doom Patrol ended (wow, really ended-  they were blown to bits, but they did get better) with #121 cover date Sept/Oct 1968

X-Men ended with #68 cover date March 1970

I don't think Doom Patrol was ever a big seller

X-Men ended with #68 cover date March 1970

Actually, the March 1970 issue was #66. It was the last all-new issue until #94 (AUG75), which followed Giant-Size X-Men #1(introducing Storm, Nightcrawler, et al). #67-93 were reprints.

It's too bad that the Doom Patrol has struggled over the years. The original run was one of my favorite titles.

Our late fellow Legionaire Robin Olsen recommended the Paul Kupperberg run (1987-89) which with its 19th issue became the Code-less Grant Morrison run. I enjoyed the Kupperberg run until the end when they took Morrison's contract to kill the bulk of that team. So far I haven't been inspired to get the Morrison issues, which seem to be the main inspiration for the TV show. The Kupperberg run had a Teen Titans introduction.

I recently obtained the 2004-2006 John Byrne* run, which I like even better than the Kupperberg run. Byrne even had a temporary fix for the explosive end of the original series (the timeline snapped back, invalidating it). I only have four more unread issues before the end (sob!). The rebooted characters were introduced in a multi-part JLA story.

I likewise haven't checked out the John Arcudi run (2001-2002) or the Keith Giffin run (2009-2011), both of which seem styled like the Morrison run.

* Speaking of John Byrne, I recently bought the Sensational She-Hulk by John Byrne Omnibus.

Richard,

Good catch, of course it was X-Men #66.

I also agree Doom Patrol was fun.  There was actual real continuity and character development.  It was probably the most Marvelesque of the DC titles, although I think sometimes it may have read more as a poor imitation by just capturing the surface aspects of "Marvel" (e.g., bickering).  However, at its worst it never read as "off" as Mighty Comics.

Richard Willis said:

X-Men ended with #68 cover date March 1970

Actually, the March 1970 issue was #66. It was the last all-new issue until #94 (AUG75), which followed Giant-Size X-Men #1(introducing Storm, Nightcrawler, et al). #67-93 were reprints.

It's too bad that the Doom Patrol has struggled over the years. The original run was one of my favorite titles.

Our late fellow Legionaire Robin Olsen recommended the Paul Kupperberg run (1987-89) which with its 19th issue became the Code-less Grant Morrison run. I enjoyed the Kupperberg run until the end when they took Morrison's contract to kill the bulk of that team. So far I haven't been inspired to get the Morrison issues, which seem to be the main inspiration for the TV show. The Kupperberg run had a Teen Titans introduction.

I recently obtained the 2004-2006 John Byrne* run, which I like even better than the Kupperberg run. Byrne even had a temporary fix for the explosive end of the original series (the timeline snapped back, invalidating it). I only have four more unread issues before the end (sob!). The rebooted characters were introduced in a multi-part JLA story.

I likewise haven't checked out the John Arcudi run (2001-2002) or the Keith Giffin run (2009-2011), both of which seem styled like the Morrison run.

* Speaking of John Byrne, I recently bought the Sensational She-Hulk by John Byrne Omnibus.

Richard, these are my experiences with latter day Doom Patrol comics:

* Never read the Kupperberg run, so no opinion. 

* I have a love/hate relationship with Morrison in general (I don't think he's nearly as good as most people think, but that doesn't mean he's never done anything I've liked). I thought his run started out well and did a really good job of establishing the Doom Patrol's niche in the shared universe--namely if something weird turns up that doesn't appear to be magic, you call the Doom Patrol.

Anyway, like I said it started well, but at a certain point Morrison's excesses in terms of weirdness reared their ugly head and the book became almost incomprehensible. 

* After Morrison was Rachel Pollak. I have not read the entirety of her run (I was able to pick up a bunch of quarter bin issues) I think she did the best she could to follow Morrison. The stories made more sense too.

* The Jon Arcudi/Tan Eng Huat series was fun. All new characters (except for Robotman), and something of a different style, a lighter tone with a decent touch of weirdness. 

* The Byrne run was fun. Maybe not brilliant, but fun. Byrne is nothing if not competent.

* Keith Giffen--I'd like to say something good about him as a creator, but that would be difficult for me. Rather than sidelining a character he didn't want to use, he instead killed her off, and in the most random way possible. I feel as if he likes to just poop all over characters he doesn't like, and I think that's pretty uncool.

* There was a reboot a few years ago whose creative team I don't remember that wasn't bad, but also seemed to havd weirdness for the sake of weirdness. I think it may have been canceled quietly after around 7 issues.

* I did watch the TV series, and I thought it was good, but a little dreary for my tastes, so I didn't finish the first season. 

Except for a few excerpts online, I haven't read any of the original run of Doom Patrol, which ended about 5 years before I began collecting comics in earnest.  But by the early '80s I'd read several references to them and when I saw an issue of Kupperburg's run, I got it just out of curiosity but it didn't particularly do much for me.  Much later, I read about Morrison's run and on the basis of that got the first TPB and found it entertaining enough to eventually get the full run.  For me, it was a wild ride and often bizarre, but I enjoyed it throughout and thought it came to a satisfying end.  I'm well past the age wherein I want to keep collecting any series just for completion's sake so I haven't gotten any of the later runs.  From what I've read, Wood's may fit well enough to my tastes to want to check out, but I'll pass on Byrne's, although our good Captain's description of it solved a bit of a mystery for me. 

I have watched and liked the tv series, but was puzzled at what seemed to me a big change to Rita's powers, mainly that she would turn into a blob, somewhat similar to the monster of that name in the '50s horror film.  While I don't have any comics featuring Rita as a living character, I knew her power's were more like a mix of Plastic Man's (or Mr. Fantastic's) and Giant-Man's and didn't involve her transforming into a shapeless blob.  Of course, I know film and tv versions of many comics characters will make major changes to their backgrounds and powers for a variety of reasons, and I figured this was just another example of that.  Hadn't previously realized that was one of Byrne's innovations when he brought her back to life.  I felt that worked very well in the tv series.

I goofed earlier in misspelling Rachel Pollack's name, omitting the 'c'. 

Maybe I misunderstood something, but isn't it the 2009 series by Keith Giffen that made Rita Farr into protoplasm?  I don't think that happened in John Byrne's 2004 run.

Original Doom Patrol

On the first two pages and in the last panel of Doom Patrol #121, Murray Boltinoff and Bruno Premiani (dialogue by Arnold Drake) break the fourth wall  in an effort to stir the readers to save the title :

PREMIANI: Then it is true! They are dead! The Doom Patrol will never fight again!

BOLTINOFF: It would take a miracle to change that ending, Bruno! A tougher job than even the D.P. ever faced! And only you out there--the reader--could do it! You always wanted to be a super-hero, didn't you? Okay, Charlie, let's see you try!

CAPTION: The end--or is it, Charlie?

I have always wondered and have long since strived to discover (unsuccessfully) whether or not Arnold Drake had something specific in mind or whether he'd cross that bridge when if he came to it. It's been a while since I last raised this question in this forum, but we have several new voices here since I last asked.

Also, while I'm at it, in his foreword to The Silver Age Doom Patrol Omnibus, Arnold Drake cites the circulation of Doom Patrol #121 to be 250,000. 

Kupperberg Era

I had read some original and transition era Doom Patrol, but never really got into it. I was really looking forward to the 1987 series being "my" Doom Patrol. And it was... for five issues. I don't think of it as the "Kupperberg era"; I think of it as the "Lightle era." That first Larsen issue was a huge slap in the face, but I stuck with the series until #18 and Invasion. In a classic case of bad (?) timing, I jumped off just before the...

Morrison era

I had a roommate at the time who raved about Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol. A couple of years later I got the opportunity to buy up the entire run at a quarter sale when my LCS at the time opened up its legendary "back room." I read through about half of it and decided it was largely (not entirely, but largely) "weirdness for weirdness' sake." I questioned the guy who recommended it (no longer my roommate but still my friend), and he admitted that he didn't really understand a lot of it and therefore simply assumed it must be good. 

Byrne Era

I've got to admit, my main problem with Byrne's run at the time was that he chose to ignore all previous continuity. I was convinced that he would eventually reverse his position and come up with some mind-blowing, reality-bending explanation of how both versions fit together. I was so focused on that, I was willing to forgive a lot of the storytelling choices leading up to it. Someday I need to re-read it with the knowledge that he wasn't kidding. 

[Also... this hasn't come up in a while, either, but if anyone thinks Superman and Big Barda were ever forced to participate in a porn movie together really needs to re-read Action Comics #592-3 because that's not what happened (although, admittedly, many people remember it that way.]

Other versions

I have read at least some of most subsequent versions, but none have supplanted those five Steve Lightle issues as "my" Doom Patrol

I'm not sure that actually remembering what happened in Action #592-3 is much better, as I've never understood how it got passed the Comics Code that Superman was making "solo" videos, as pairing him with a human partner would most likely result in the classic "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" messy end to her.  They were interrupted before he and Barda (who was presumably durable enough to be a recurring co-star) could film anything, and exactly what Barda filmed, and with whom, was left to our imagination, altho Darkseid DID show one of the tapes to Scott Free at some point...

"I'm not sure that actually remembering what happened in Action #592-3 is much better"

It is a matter of accuracy. Most people remember it differently and (I know from past discussions) will do anything to defend their memories... short of actually re-reading the story. Every time I have addressed this topic, most people fight tooth and nail to defend the factoid that Superman and Barda had sex with each other in a porno film, and that is simply not accurate. I debated with myself whether or not to mention it at all (in a discussion of Doom Patrol); I wish now that I hadn't. 

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