Sep 17, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 570: My Greatest Adventure #83, November 1963

Only a few issues in, and already the Doom Patrol have to stop one of their own from running rampant. An accident causes Larry Trainor's Negative Being to run rampant, destroying sources of radio waves, and in doing so leaving locations open to the predations of some looters. It's an interesting story as, just before the accident, Rita mentions that they all need to do more practicing and more testing in order to understand the extent of their powers. Coupled with Negative Man's rampage, we get an interesting look at a team of heroes who really are very new at what they do. Cliff is constantly pushing the bounds of his metal body, in keeping with his daredevil persona, but the other two know little about the extent of their abilities. Considering that Larry was a test pilot, you'd think he'd have experimented a bit more - though knowing that one can only survive for a minute or less without the Negative Being might make the thought of experimentation unappealing.

Reading a story like this having also read Morrison's Doom Patrol gives an interesting perspective on the Negative Being, who, we learn later, is actually a sentient creature, and not simply an emanation of power from within Trainor. The question we have to ask, and one that I don't think has been answered, is why it spent all the time with the original team in silence, only doing what it was bid, rather than what it wanted to do as we see in the later series. Perhaps Way's take on the team will address this.


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