Dec 29, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 673: The Doom Patrol #88, June 1964

Another secret origin revealed!

It's a testament to how many times I've read these stories, and how much I love them, I think, that when we come to issues like yesterday's or today's, where major secrets of the characters are revealed, that I have trouble recognizing how significant those revelations might have been originally. I've known Larry's secret, and the Chief's origin, for such a long time now that when I read these comics, my first reaction is "Well, of course!" I'll have to embrace my inner child a bit more, and try to experience the wonder these comics might have evoked originally.

That's another thing that I forget: these comics were published over 50 years ago. Humans hadn't walked on the Moon, there were no personal computers, let alone smartphones, television was still a relatively new phenomenon, and the Internet wasn't even a twinkle in its creators' eyes. So the crazy science of Niles Caulder and the various villains the DP confront is indeed wondrous. It's not so much that the stories themselves have become dated - they're still great superhero stories. But the reception of them is jaded.


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