Sep 16, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 569: My Greatest Adventure #82, September 1963

One thing that is typical of the early Doom Patrol stories is Cliff Steele having his robot body horribly mutilated on a regular basis. Whenever I read these early stories, I think that it's not really a surprise that Cliff ends up institutionalized at the beginning of Morrison's run. One of the great aspects of Cliff's character is that he mourns the loss of his human body, and the concomitant physical feeling associated with it. Now imagine still remembering all the sensations of having a body, but then seeing the body you're in constantly torn apart or melted or flattened. The cognitive dissonance would be enough to drive anyone mad, even a daredevil and superhero like Cliff.

The mystery of the Chief's origins is central to today's comic, and it's a mystery that is cleared up not too much farther into the series (recall, the original run of the DP only lasted about 30 issues). On the one hand, part of me wishes we'd never got a definitive origin for him, a la Heath Ledger's Joker, though the revelation of his, and his team's, origin is what sets us up for the incredible twist at the end of Morrison's run (what? You don't know what I'm talking about? Stick around, I guess....).

Today's story was okay, as was the back-up featuring a boat taken over by a weird, semi-Lovecraftian slime monster, but the real highlight was a section of the letters page in which one reader asked about artist Alex Toth, and the editors responded by having Toth himself write a brief biography. I'll post it later on today.


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