Dec 27, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 671: The Doom Patrol #86, March 1964

There's a whole bunch of stuff about the Doom Patrol here, including my read-throughs of the six issues that precede this comic. As of March, 1964, the series My Greatest Adventure officially adopts as its title the name of the team that has taken over the series. For a short while, as seen with this issue's back-up feature, "A Medal for 'Go-Buggy 3'!", there is some attempt to maintain the format of the previous title, which functioned as something of a science fiction anthology title, but eventually the Doom Patrol takes over the whole comic, either with full-length stories, or with back-ups featuring the main cast.

This issue is also notable for introducing us to the Patrol's major villains, the Brotherhood of Evil. M. Mallah, the Brain, and Mme. Rogue return numerous times to bedevil various incarnations of the team, culminating in the explosive declaration of love between the evolved primate and the brain in the jar partway through Morrison's run in the 90s. Significantly, this is also the first, and I think only, appearance of "Mr. Morden - A one man crime wave," whose fate is not simply to pilot a giant robot and menace the Doom Patrol, but also to eventually become Mr. Nobody, perhaps one of the greatest super villains the DCU has ever played host to.

I will say about this issue that the story is slightly more disjointed than its predecessors - that happens occasionally in DP stories, but this one seems like it's missing a page or two (though the comic is structurally intact) of information - how exactly do the Doom Patrol know of Mr. Morden? I'm fine with them having faced him before without the story having been told, but we need to at least be told that! Perhaps it's because there was a back-up story planned for this issue.

We'll stick with The Doom Patrol for the foreseeable future, or at least until I get tired of reading it. Onward!

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