By Ryan Wright | 2019-08-12
The original Doom Patrol first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 (June 1963) .It was created by writers Arnold Drake and Bob Haney, and the artist Bruno Premiani. The title was soon retitled Doom Patrol in issue #86 (March 1964).
Let’s be clear about one thing. The main merit of the original Doom Patrol is that they died in the number #121 in September of 1968. Over the years, different writers resuscitated and released new versions of this group of beings with powers and problems. There have been six Doom Patrol series, being Robotman the only character to appear in all of them.
In the '70s , in Showcase 94 of August 1977, the Doom Patrol returns as guests in insignificant adventures, to quickly pass to oblivion.
The Doom Patrol returns in 1987 in the magazine Secret Origins Annual #1 By Byrne and Kupperberg. Byrne was supposed to work in the monthly series after the annual but instead Steve Lightle was left in charge of the art, who would be replaced later on by Erik Larsen. With new characters and not very interesting stories, the creative team leaves the series in the # 18.
DC gives another shoot to the Doom Patrol in hand of a young Scottish scriptwriter called Grant Morrison. Morrison arrives in #19, in March of 1989 and would leave in # 63 in February 1993 revamping the title and turning his run in a must read for every comic fan. Morrison takes possession of the Doom Patrol and restructures the whole group and adds madness, culture, but above all, quality. Bizarre secret societies, elements of Dadaism, surrealism, William S. Burroughs, Jorge Luis Borges, anything is valid in these disturbing and captivating adventures.
Among the new members of the Patrol, Morrison introduces us:
• Crazy Jane, a schizophrenic with multiple personalities, each with a different power.
• Dorothy Spinner the ape-faced teenager who can make her imaginary beings come true.
• Rebis, a hermaphrodite being a result of the mutation of the negative spirit of the Negative Man and then of the Negative Woman.
• Willoughby Kipling, peculiar Knight Templar.
• Flex Mentallo, a psychedelic Charles Atlas.
• Danny The Street, which a conscious street with the power to be transported between streets of other cities.
The roster of villains is anything but dull:
• the Men Scissors, a sadistic sect that wants to replace reality and remove people out of existence.
• Red Jack, who claims to be both God and Jack the Ripper and feeds on the pain of live butterflies nailed to walls.
• The Brotherhood of Dada, a group of anarchists who fight against reason and reality.
• the Cult of the Unwritten Book that brings a philosophical Anti-Christ.
• Men of N.O.B.O.D.Y., an organization in charge of freeing the world of oddities.
• The New Dada Brotherhood with even stranger members.
• the CandleMaker, a very powerful being created by Dorothy.
One interesting fact is that there is no single issue in Morrison’s runs that goes by the label of Vertigo. In fact, the first magazine of the Doom Patrol that carries the logo of this imprint is #64, the first number of Rachel Pollack, the scriptwriter who takes charge of the title after the farewell of Morrison. The series is cancelled in # 87 by February 1995.
The following incarnations of the group were far from the dementia that Morrison proposed in his amazing run.
The 3rd series, released in December 2001, would be in charge of John Arcudi and would last 22 numbers.
The 4th series, released in August 2004, would be in charge of John Byrne and would last 18 numbers until January 2006.
The 5th series was released in October 2009 and would be in charge of Keith Giffen. Would last 22 numbers until July 2011.
The 6th and last series was released in November 2016 by Gerard Way in the new imprint Young Animal. It has released 12 numbers so far, having the last number arrived at shelves in December 2018.
The Doom Patrol it would appear to be doomed and being unable to release more than 22 numbers other than Morrison’s run.
You can find Morrison's run in a various TPBs. Don't miss it!