Doom Patrol Archives, the: 1 (DC Archive Editions) Hardcover – 1 Apr 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
I love the doom patrol .Outcasts that save the world from weird aliens beasts and dictators on a monthly basis.
The comics them selves are very "old School" and can be enjoyed as much for their kitsch value as for their stories.
So go buy
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
DC benefited from a number of excellent pencil artists back in the 1960's, such as Curt Swan, Neal Adams, and Murphy Anderson. Bruno Premiani is a name that never seems to appear in that list, but it really should. The artwork here is really impressive, comparable in places to Alex Raymond or Lou Fine.
The Arnold Drake stories are also consistently entertaining, although you have to get used to a style of dialogue and characterization that smacks strongly of 50/60's-era horror and science fiction films. But the writing is at least as good as anything being done in that period at Marvel or DC. In some ways the storytelling reminds me of some non-superhero DC titles from the time, like STRANGE ADVENTURES or MYSTERY IN SPACE.
Highly recommended to anyone who likes Silver Age comics.
Now, the DOOM PATROL. Highly imaginative, heroes that are sort of confused about their place in the world, but go ahead and save humanity whenever they can. ROBOTMAN has a human brain, but that's all that is left of Cliff Steele after a tragic car accident. Rita Farr grows to enormous heights, and Larry Trainor has a shadow that fights, flys and glows! Their leader is Niles Caulder, a crippled genius in a wheelchair. He grounds this ragtag band of heroes to their missions. This is great stuff, and it looks like a second volume is due out (hooray!). The first volume collects issues from My Greatest Adventure (which quickly changed the title to just DOOM PATROL) #80-89. There will probably be two more volumes. Then if the Grant Morrison run will be reprinted, we Doom Patrol fanatics will be in Nirvana.
No, not the X-Men...the Doom Patrol!
This DC Archives brings together the first adventures of the legendary ne'er-do-well team and found DC in a very Marvel-ous mood three months BEFORE the X-Men debuted. Stan Lee himself could do little better than these angst-ridden antiheroes: a racecar driver spared a gruesome death only by having his brain placed in a robot body; a movie actress who could grow to gargantuan heights or shrink to Lilliputian dimensions; a test pilot bonded with a strange alien radiation.
Together, they would tackle the oddest menaces to be found: a disembodied brain with a gorilla sidekick, an octogenarian madman with world-conquering pretensions, a shape-shifter able to take on any form. Unlike your other super-powered teams of the time, the Doom Patrol did not adjust well to their new situation, and the tension on the team was palpable from the first.
Arnold Drake's Doom Patrol was in many ways a precursor to Chris Claremont's X-Men. His stories were character-driven and emphasized the alienation each of the heroes felt from their comrades as a result of their abilities. The team struggled on behalf of a world which would never accept them. And behind it all lurked the unfathomable ambitions of their stricken leader, Dr. Niles Caulder, "The Chief."
This collection includes "My Greatest Adventure/Doom Patrol" 80-89 from 1963-1964.
It is a must-have for any Silver Age comics fan.
You got it...the X-Men, right? Nope. The Doom Patrol.
The comparisons are immediate and striking (The Chief/Professor X, The Brotherhood of Evil/The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants), and given that Doom Patrol actually predated the X-Men by several months, one has to wonder if Stan the Man and the merry men at Marvel didn't pass out a few copies of Doom Patrol at editorial meetings.
But to the stories themselves: the characters are great. The heroes find that their powers have literally ruined their ability to lead normal lives. They are resentful. They find code names stupid and embarrassing and call each other by their first names. Even in attempting to forge relationships with each other, they frequently fail due to shattered self-confidence over their own perceptions of themselves as nothing more than freaks. Remember kids, this wasn't written in the 80's or 90's. This was written in 1963!
Arnold Drake's scripts are hokey by today's standards, with what can be called B-movie dialogue and plots. However, once you accept them on that level (don't look for the gritty realism of the 80's or 90's), they are great fun. Bruno Premiani's artwork is simply excellent, at places it reminds me of Brian Bolland. I agree that it is simply unfathomable that Premiani is not held in more esteem.
While X-Men became a mass market phenomenon, Doom Patrol has had what can be charitably called a star-crossed publishing history. No incarnation of it has ever lasted, although Grant Morrison gave it a great run in the early 90's which I recommend to anyone. Somehow, though, this is sadly appropriate for Arnold Drake's original vision of the quintessential unhappy super heroes. They just never got popular enough to sell out.
The next time you see Hugh Jackman or Patrick Stewart onscreen, or walk past the endless rows of X-Men compilations in a comic book store, do yourself a favor and find the DC section and introduce yourself to these characters. Take the Doom Patrol challenge: go for the original.
Comparison with the X-Men are inevitable, where we have the wheelchair bound leader, The Brotherhood of Evil (Mutants). But there is also a twist here. For while the X-Men are treated as outcasts, the Doom Patrol are treated as heroes.
The X-Men won over The Doom Patrol I think because the readers wanted more 'super-hero' stories which is what they got, and they were also able to expand into other Marvel titles like The Fantastic Four, Thor, Avengers, and so on. Reading The Doom Patrol here, it feels as if they have their own DC Universe with hardly any mention of other DC characters. I felt that this was a good point, as the characters are able to develop on their own, we get to know them more, the plots are more character driven, more down to earth.
The art is a joy to look at, and Bruno Premiani is a vastly under-rated artist, who when asked today, most people would never have heard of. When people talk about the great Silver Age artists, especially from DC, people would mention Gil Kane, Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson. Bruno Premiani deserves to be ranked alongside these artists as well.
This is a beautiful edition to add to your DC Archives collection. These stories are from an era where they have never been surpassed in the quality of their stories, the Silver Age.
I do hope that a second collection of The Doom Patrol is not far away.