Robot 6

Kupperberg-era Doom Patrol joins the fight against Crime Syndicate

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With a little more than two years under its belt, DC Comics’ New 52 still has plenty of corners left to explore and hundreds of characters of varying levels of popularity to re-introduce. (Where are you, Wally West?) So when I saw Celsius, Negative Woman and Tempest pop up in this week’s Justice League #24, I couldn’t help but smile a little.

Combined with the New 52 Robotman, who’s sporting a look very similar to the one Cliff Steele had when that version of the team debuted in 1977′s Showcase #94, we officially have Paul Kupperberg’s Doom Patrol joining the ever-growing ranks of “new” heroes opposing the seemingly all-powerful Crime Syndicate. But certainly more interesting than that, this panel, almost a throwaway, fills out the current DCU in a way we haven’t seen much since the early days of the relaunch.

While introducing the Kupperberg-era Doom Patrol seems an odd choice at a glance — it’s not exactly the most popular incarnation of the team, to say it nicely — it really makes sense. Beast Boy’s current origin is tied too tightly to the Teen Titans/Ravagers soap opera to allow Garfield Logan to take a role in founding another team, and as fondly as the original incarnation is remembered by longtime fans, it’s such a delightfully ’60s concept that it just makes sense for Geoff Johns and company to skip over it (for now) and go straight to the grimmer ‘n’ grittier ’70s-’80s version — which, possibly not coincidentally, also happens to be ethnically diverse.

And all of this is part of why I’m enjoying Forever Evil as much as I am. As ridiculous as it gets, it’s maintaining its internal logic — something I’m really big on — and is expanding the DCU in ways we haven’t seen since the first Justice League arc. I’m right there, raging on the inside whenever character X acts in a manner I don’t recognize, and wondering when we’re gonna see Ted Kord don his familiar yellow goggles so we can see the new adventures of Blue and Gold. But I love a good, heartfelt exercise in world building, and while I honestly didn’t see that coming when Forever Evil was first announced, it appears as though that’s exactly what we’re getting.

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11 Comments

The Mighty Derf

October 23, 2013 at 9:13 am

If DC will bring back the Doom Patrol, I will start buying their comics again.

It’s a full reboot, but I expect some characters to be similar to who they were previously. But, why should they be, they are different people. Being different people, why should I care? I could move onto the Marvel Universe or any other cooler universes.

Same names and brand, but not the characters I enjoyed reading. Wally West, being my favorite Flash has been missing, but when he comes back will I recognize him. I stopped reading since the New 52 popped up and doubt the previous universe will return. But, I keep following up hoping one day it will.

I hope this isn’t just to kill them off.

This was my favorite version of the DP and if DC brings them back, I’ll definitely pick up the book.

Interesting timing on this, since Shrapnel is going to show up on Arrow. It’s a full-on Erik Larson DC revival!

I don’t get what people had against the Kupperberg Doom Patrol (the 70′s version at least, I get the dislike for the 80′s version). What was so wrong with the lineup of Robotman, Celsius, Negative Woman, and Tempest?

Celsius looks rather Caucasian looking for a Indian woman… but hey, let’s not quibble over details…

@Christopher Taylor

Due to the vagaries of comic book colouring, Monet looked very Caucasian in a lot of the earlier issues of PAD’s second X Factor run.

I guess if the writer, penciller or editor doesn’t send a note to the colourist saying “this character is Indian” you can probably forgive them for making a mistake with a D-lister who has made limited appearances in the last 25 years.

@Rikk Odinson- my thoughts exactly. Certain groups (like Metalmen) just scream “cannon fodder” and there is a part of me that thinks The Doom Patrol will end up that way. I can’t really see the current big wigs at DC showing the Doom Patrol any respect to their fans or history.

I would much rather see the return of the original four, since to me they ARE the Doom Patrol, but, maybe these three showing up will somehow lead to the appearance of the others…

Im excited about Celsius- I always loved her fire ice powers and hope they make her dramatic as she release steam…then fire and ice blasts the hell out of Johnny Quick or Super Woman…also she is immortal- which would be cool if Ultra Man kills her and she gets up and attacks the Technology Monster Cyborg Virus thing and melts the thing into slag!

The Steele-Rebis-Crazy Jane trio was amazing, but I wouldn’t trust that combo under the editors of the new 52.

I hope Steele stays in there, and we have someone like Larry the bandaged guy, but other than that I’m open. Make them real outsiders DC and maybe you’ll have a shot.

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