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The Doom Patrol Review

DOOM PATROL
(VOLUME TWO)


The second Doom Patrol series saw what I would definitely consider the greatest changes occur to the team. The "New" Doom Patrol came into it's own as a group, but wasn't allowed to stay there, as major menaces took their toll on the roster. Changes in the creative teams also changed the scope of the book several times, with the initial stories by Grant Morrison being perhaps the most shocking and the best written tales since the original series by Arnold Drake.


# 1 - 18
# 19 - 63
# 64 - 87


Paul Kupperberg, the man responsible for all of the "New Doom Patrol" stories, was the writer on the first 18 issues of the title.



Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #1Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #1

"The Doom Patrol"
Script by Paul Kupperberg
Art by Steve Lightle and Gary Martin
Cover by Steve Lightle

SYNOPSIS: Arani Caulder, also known as Celsius, had traveled to the small island in the Caribbean that had been the site of the death of the original Doom Patrol, at the hands of Captain Zahl and Madame Rouge. She had found the remains of The Chief's wheelchair, which meant, she believed, that her husband could have also survived the blast. She left the island with the chair and the intention to contact the other members of the New Doom Patrol to help her find Niles Caulder. She was unaware that a submarine off the shore of the island was watching her activities, and that they were being reported to Colonel Valentina Vostok (also known as Negative Woman) within the US intelligence community. Arani's trackers lost her in California, but Valentina knew were she was going, which was to see Cliff Steele.

Cliff Steele, better known as Robotman, had his own horse ranch in Southern California. He was riding one of his steeds when he heard a loud explosion and came upon Arani in a clearing, attacking a helicopter. Cliff scared them off (since their guns were useless against his metal body) and Arani told him that they were government agents tracking her down. She also told him that the Chief was still alive, to which Cliff became exceedingly angry with her, as he had barely survived the blast on the island himself. He also was very skeptical of her claim to be the Chief's wife, since nothing in any of the late scientist's papers mentioned anything about her (though Arani claimed that any mention of her and the immortality serum he injected her with would have led his foes to her). She did manage to convince Cliff to work with her, working on his sense of duty to his late friend.

Arani did not know that she was also being followed by a second organization, based in a small Himalayan Monastery, and had found her because of the incident at Cliff's ranch. The group's mysterious leader, Kalki, would personally supervise the operation that would capture her. Before he did so, he executed an old man who tried to escape from the compound, having strange tentacles and clawed arms pull the poor soul into a dark cavity in his chest and within himself.

The next day, Cliff Steele visited the office of Dr. Jonathan Carmichael in New York City. Carmichael was the adopted identity of Joshua Clay, formerly Tempest of the Doom Patrol. Josh had managed to purchase a new identity for himself and was trying to live a normal life being a doctor. Josh wanted nothing to do with Cliff or Arani, and was very angry when Cliff pointed out some men in a car outside, government agents who had been following Cliff since he left California, and now would be checking out Josh's new identity. After an explosive confrontation, Josh joined his former friend.

Three days later, Arani and Josh were on the shore of the Caribbean island while Cliff searched the waters for more evidence of the Chief's survival. Unfortunately, Cliff found considerably more than he wanted to ... a body that was mostly intact, with the wedding ring of Rita Farr-Dayton on it's finger. Cliff's anguish at not being able to even cry for his friend was palpable, but Arani steered things (rather heartlessly) back onto the situation at hand. She believed that if Rita's body had survived intact, then Niles could have definitely still be alive. As they two started to argue, Josh pointed out that a number of fighter craft were moving towards them in the sky. Josh took to the air and Cliff threw a boulder at one craft, and Arani torched one as well. The lead craft landed and Kalki approached her. Arani remembered his voice, and said that she had saw him die. Kalki blasted her while she was stunned by his appearance, and Cliff quickly jumped onto Kalki's hovering chair. Kalki immobilized Cliff's electromagnetic energy, and the clawed arms from Kalki's chest pulled him within the dark cavity inside the villain.

COMMENTS: This issue was a great introduction into the Doom Patrol for any reader, and still holds up quite well as a primer for the team, even after all the changes that would come in later years with different writers. It is hard to recapture something truly original in a remake, though, and it would definitely take a while and a different writer to bring the Doom Patrol back the the level of quality of Arnold Drake, Bruno Premiani and Bob Brown's work on the original series. Paul Kupperberg was directly responsible for the new Doom Patrol even getting a shot at the big time again, but he really is the least of all the writers that have worked on the series, since his basic premise of the team sort of took it way too "X-Men" or "New-Mutant"-ish, forgetting the freak/outcast side of the equation.

I have to say that Steve Lightle is probably the single best artist in the business right now. He is definitely the "best of show" of this particular style of detailed artwork that was prevalent in the late seventies and eighties, and this issue is a great example of what he can do. The strength of his brief stint on the magazine compares very favorably to the work of both Bruno Premiani and Richard Case. The sequence in which Cliff comes ashore after finding Rita's body is so powerfully drawn that you can't help but feel for the poor guy. Alas, Steve is also, unfortunately, one of the slowest artists out there, and unless he has a considerable lead time he has always had problems maintaining a schedule on any book. I've never seen him sacrifice quality for quantity, though, which is I think a good thing.

Arani is, without a doubt, my least favorite character in the Doom Patrol annals, but it was good to see her drawn and colored as if she was Hindi/Indian/Asian at long last. Unfortunately, the attitude she had back in the first New DP stories was pretty much completely changed, so while she now looked the part, her personality had changed to obsessive psycho bitch. Where she was fairly forgettable before, now you didn't really want her in the story most of the time (at least in my opinion).



Doom Patrol (Volume 2, #2Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #2

"Satellite of Doom"
Script by Paul Kupperberg
Art by Steve Lightle and Gary Martin
Cover by Steve Lightle

SYNOPSIS: Kalki had captured Arani and Josh and had taken him to his base, which was underground in the jungles of Jamaica. Josh managed to briefly free himself, but was taken down by Kalki himself while he was arguing with a still captive Arani. Kalki warned Arani not to call him by his real name (Ashok Desai) again, and revealed his master plan, "Operation Lightning", which involved launching a satellite capable of creating "negative bio-electic energy" that would destrou everyone who was not protected in one of his special shelters. He had taken his name from Hindi scripture, and fully believed that he was now the "one who has come at the end of the Four Ages" and would appear in the form of the "winged white stallion to sweep the Earth with death!" in order for the cycle of creation to begin anew.

Elsewhere in Kalki's underground compound, two doctors were tending an unknown person who had been fished out of the Caribbean by Kalki's men. He apparently was important to one of Kalki's plans, but the doctors believed that he was only alive because of the life support system he was currently hooked up to. Both were shocked when he murmured the names of "Cliff" and "Rita", considering he had been flatlining the EEG up until then.

At that moment, Cliff was fighting for what was left of his life, trapped in a demon-filled dimension within Kalki himself. Elsewhere in Jamaica, Harry Stein (formerly of the NYPD, now government agent) had just arrived at the airport and was heading in to meet up with his boss, Valentina Vostok. Valentina herself was already out in the jungle searching for the rest of the Doom Patrol.

Kalki was experiencing a great agony that made him recall his hisbeginnings with the Chief. Niles Caulder had gone to India with the Peace Corps and ended up working with Desai, who was the one of the world's leading geneticists at the time. His wife had recently passed away, and his household staff was in charge of watching over his young daughter Arani. Desai and Caulder worked along similar lines, with Desai wanting to find a genetic cure for all disease, and Caulder working on his immortality serum. Desai believed he had succeeded at his end and decided to test it upon himself. Caulder awoke to his screams of pain ... the same sort of pain Kalki was experiencing at that moment, which was being caused by Cliff and his efforts to free himself from the demonic universe within Kalki. He succeeded and turned to square off against the madman.

Valentina was accosted by some of Kalki's security men, who realized from her appearance that she wasn't a lost hiker or similar traveler. She disarmed one, but was forced to release her Negative Energy form to deal with the other gunmen with him. In that form, she was able to detect a high level of radio and energy waves coming from the ground, which led her to Kalki's base.

Cliff was forced to stand down against Kalki when the madman threatened the lives of Josh and Arani, as well as hinting that he also had another of Cliff's friends captive, which Cliff assumed was the Chief. As more of Kalki's men came in to subdue Cliff, Valentina was proceeding through the base relative unimpaired (since none of the guards' weapons could hurt her Negative Energy form). She was shocked to sense an energy source in the vicinity that was exactly like her own, and headed for it.

Meanwhile, Cliff had escaped from Kalki's men and had wandered into Kalki's hospital, where he discovered both Valentina and the comatose form of Larry Trainor. Kalki appeared on a nearby viewscreen and threatened to kill Josh and Arani with poison gas unless they both surrendered to him.

COMMENTS: I think this is the issue where Paul Kupperberg really started going wrong with some of his ideas for the Doom Patrol. On the one hand, having Larry Trainor back in the Doom Patrol fold did facilitate the creation of Rebis in the Morrison series, but the fact that somehow Larry survived the explosion on the island, and then somehow managed to float around the Caribbean for an indeterminate amount of time without drowning, being eaten by sea life or dying of exposure just does not work for me. I could even see Rita surviving the blast and showing up alive somehow, but I can't see it happening with Larry. Linking Kalki to the Chief's history was a retcon really only there to make sure there's a valid reason for him to pick up Larry out of the ocean.

(And as for the creation of Rebis, I've been wondering recently how it would've played out if Valentina had been merged with the Negative Energy Being and another man instead of Larry and Dr. Poole).

Steve Lightle and Gary Martin again provided some great artwork for this story.



Doom Patrol (Volume 2, #3Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #3

"The Fire of the Gods"
Script by Paul Kupperberg
Art by Steve Lightle and Gary Martin
Cover by Steve Lightle

SYNOPSIS: Kalki had recaptured Cliff, and he, Josh and Aarni were on hand to watch Kalki launch "Operation Lightnign" into space. Valentina's Negative Energy form was imprisoned in the rocket carrying the satellite that would rain down death upon the world in Kalki's name. At the same time, Harry Stein had broke away from the sightseeing tour he was on to explore deeper into the jungle in the area that Valentina had disappeared. He encountered several of Kalki's men, who he was forced to kill.

Kalki had also ordered that Larry Trainor be removed from life support. Afterwards, his doctors noticed that he was actually getting stronger, and refused to do anything to actually kill him themselves.

While awaiting the launch of the rocket in five hours, Arani told the others that Kalki's madness had begun with his wife's death, while giving birth to her. The Chief had told her that when Desai had first injected himself with his serum, he had been sedated by Caulder, causing the interdimensional portal that appeared in his chest to close. The two later worked together to create a protective suit to contain and control the portal and Kalki's mutating body. Arani had fled into the streets of Calcutta and didn't meet with Caulder again until much later. Cliff didn't really believe her, but Josh got them focused back on escaping and saving Valentina, who could not pass through the lead interior of the rocket.

Meanwhile, back in Kansas City, Rhea Jones arrived at the airport, for an appointment with Arani.

Harry Stein made it inside Kalki's complex, though not without being slightly injured by a bullet to the hand (the first he had ever taken in the line of duty). Inside, he got to the electrical plant and shut it down long enough for the Doom Patrol to free themselves from Kalki's traps. Kalki went after them and met up with the team in the corridors. Arani told the others to go save Valentina, and she faced off against her father.

Unfortunately, by the time they got to the mission control room through Kalki's army, the rocket had already been launched and the satellite was in place in orbit. Harry Stein also arrived to tell them that they couldn't retrieve the rocket now, only destroy the satellite. Since she was the power source for the satellite that could kill almost everyone on the planet, they had no real choice and Harry detonated it. Meanwhile, Kalki and Arani had been battling and, finally, she managed to get the creatures within Kalki to latch on to what remained of him, and he was pulled inside himself, disappearing into nothingness.

Later, both Larry Trainor and Valentina's body were being monitored when she woke up, saying that her Negative Energy form couldn't be harmed by a mere explosion. Cliff wondered if her survival meant that Larry also had a chance, but Valentina was adamant in saying that the Negative Energy was now hers and she wasn't going to give it up.

COMMENTS: As a whole, this first story arc was fairly good, though a bit of it was very reminiscent of the first story of the New Doom Patrol against General Immortus (at least in terms of the general framework and some of the situations). If Lightle and Martin hadn't been handling the artwork, I don't think the series would've gotten much of a chance on the stands (much like the fate of the 2002 series), since it was retreading too much old ground in the first months, and never really got into a stride again until Grant Morrison took over the book.

I think one of the big things that was helped along by Kupperberg's run on the Doom Patrol was the detail that had begun to be given to the DC Universe's intelligence community. Between Doom Patrol, Vigilante, Captain Atom and later Suicide Squad and Checkmate, we finally got a good look at what was going on in the shadows ... and what would eventually become Task Force Omega and the D.E.O.



Doom Patrol (Volume 2, #4Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #4

"Trouble in Kansas City"
Script by Paul Kupperberg
Art by Steve Lightle and Gary Martin
Cover by Steve Lightle

SYNOPSIS: Cliff returned to Midway City mansion that had served as the headquarters for the Doom Patrol only to find that Arani had sold it and it was being turned into a co-op. He needed to find her only because his old friend Larry Trainor was with her.

Meanwhile, Arani was monitoring Rhea Jones as she battled Josh and Valentina in exoskeletal armored suits, in the Doom Patrol's training room at their new headquarters in Kansas City. She hadn't been performing very well and got angry that her years of circus training wasn't helping her in the combat situation, forcing Arani to stop her before she did any more damage to the equipment. Arani needed to measure the limits of her magnetic-based powers to see if she was "worthy" of joining "her" Doom Patrol.

Elsewhere in the headquarters, Larry Trainor was confined to a wheelchair by his lack of strength and was remembering what he had when he was Negative Man. Outside his room, Valentina Vostok was wondering why Arani had insisted upon bringing Larry back with them, since the only apparent way to help him would be to somehow give him the Negative Energy form back. Larry tried to talk with her, but Valentina refused to allow herself to feel guilty about the situation and left.

Later, Wayne Hawkins was in a shop at the Metcalf South Shopping Center in Cleveland, Kansas. He wanted to see a stickpin that caught his eye and decided to simply take it. The clerk called the mall police, and an officer stopped him near the store. The cop attempted to prevent him from leaving, but he tripped up on himself. A group of young men saw the "freak" causing trouble and also attempted to stop him, but none of them could land a punch on Wayne, and one hit his friend so hard he knocked him over the railing on the upper level of the mall. Wayne attempted to pull him up to safety, but police below began shooting at him, making him let the young man fall. A ricocheting bullet also struck one of the officers shooting at Wayne, and he fled the scene (leaving the stickpin that had begun the brouhaha).

Later that night, Josh was up contemplating his life and his relationship (or rather current lack thereof) with Valentina. Harry Stein had promised to leave out any mention of Josh's identity as Dr. Johnathan Carmichael from his reports, but his primary trouble was Valentina, and the fact that he couldn't get closer to her anymore, not even considering the physical barrier of her bandages. His musings were interrupted by Rhea, who was up in search of a late night snack. When asked about her "secret origin", Rhea told Josh that her father had been an officer in the Air Force and she and her parents had been stationed at a base near Sacramento, California when her mother was killed in an accident. Her father was on a top security mission and could not be located. Rhea stowed away on a transport plane that was heading to the Arctic to respond to an accident at the facility he was stationed at. Rhea's father was sacrificing his own life to shut down a nuclear reactor, and Rhea barged in as the reactor went critical, killing him with an electro-magnetic pulse that destroyed everything in the vicinity ... except Rhea. The accident had altered the magnetic field of Rhea's body, giving her numerous super-powers (flight, super-strength, magnetic force field) and after she got tired of being tested by the military, she escaped and joined the circus as the "strongest little girl in the world."

Rhea and Josh's talk was interrupted by a security alarm indicating that there was an intruder in the building. Both headed out to the front hall and Rhea jumped down to ambush the person but somehow missed. Josh had to redirect a power blast into the ceiling, causing a light fixture to fall on himself, so that he wouldn't hit the brash youngster. Arani heard the commotion and entered the hall, and the intruder was revealed to be Wayne Hawkins, who asked which one of them was Arani Caulder, the person who invited him there.

COMMENTS: This was a rare, primarily-Cliff-Steele-less issue, and really a jumping on point for both readers and a couple of new characters. We're given a good introduction to both Rhea Jones and Wayne Hawkins, and we're given a lot more insight into the possessiveness of Arani with "her" team (which further helped solidify her as a "jerk" in my book), as well as some introspection from pretty much everyone else in the main cast.

And all I can say about Steve Lightle's Rhea Jones is "hubba hubba"!



Doom Patrol (Volume 2, #5Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #5

"Natural Order"
Script by Paul Kupperberg
Art by Steve Lightle and Gary Martin
Cover by Steve Lightle

SYNOPSIS: Bennett, an agent for a government organization, was killed while trying to contact his superiors by a metahuman named Thunder. A partial message did get through, which was in turn relayed so that Arani Caulder would detect it. The message contained a mention of "Operation Overcast", a project that Niles Caulder, a.k.a. the Chief, had been working on, so Arani took this as another piece of circumstantial evidence that the man she claimed to be her husband was still alive. Operation Overcast had been a planned experiment to examine the "psycho-social dynamics of human and super-hero interaction", and Arani believed that the Chief had hoped it would allow him to understand that relationship and gain public acceptance for his Doom Patrol.

Even though Joshua Clay and Valentina Vostok considered the message to be flimsy evidence at best, they went with Arani (along with Lodestone (Rhea Jones) and Karma (Wayne Hawkins) to investigate the source of the transmission, which was located somewhere in the Ozarks.

Meanwhile, Cliff Steele was visiting his ranch in Southern California and squaring away the shipment of his spare body parts to the Kansas City headquarters with his groundskeeper Benj. While he was there, he received a telephone call from Harry Stein informing him of the Doom Patrol's plans and directed him to the Ozarks as well, knowing full well that Harry was just leading him on for his organization's own purposes. But since Larry felt that he had to make sure that his friend Larry Trainor didn't get caught up in any of Arani's machinations, he headed out to meet the DP.

In Highland Hollows, Arkansas (the site of Bennett's murder), Jake Morley had been brought in front of the sheriff and a mysterious bearded individual. Morley had claimed to be the brother of Bennett, so they assumed that he was a spy as well. The bearded man (who looked remarkably like Niles Caulder), suggested that Morley be executed in public as a demonstration of their power to the rest of the town. Thunder returned and the bearded man gave him another mission.

The Doom Patrol flew in a plane in the Arkansas skies as the team discussed the situation. Joshua had to point out to Wayne that the young man was not invulnerable as he claimed, but rather was able to generate a neurological pulse that disrupted the reflexes of anyone directly attacking him (much like a form of vertigo). Arani stated firmly that both he and Rhea would be staying in the plane while the others investigated the situation (they had brought them along because Arani had not wanted to leave them along with the seemingly unstable Larry Trainor in Kansas City, who was at the same moment again feeling very morose for himself).

Their discussion was interuppted by an attack on the plane by Thunder and two other costumed individuals, Hellbender and Goldstar. Thunder had lightning/electrical abilities (which he called his "Thunder Touch"), Goldstar had a powerful ray blast that was emited from her helmet, and Hellbender had powers that were not really defined in this story (though he seemed very vulnerable to cold/ice attacks). After a pitched battle, the plane was damaged severely and crashed into the side of an Ozark mountain.

COMMENTS: Well, anyone reading the book knew that the bearded guy couldn't have been the real Chief, since there would be know way that even Paul Kupperberg would give up the ghost on his main plot point this soon in the series, no matter how much Steve Lightle made the guy look like a ringer for Niles Caulder. We also got another hint that things are definitely not what they seemed to be with Valentina. I do though wish that Kupperberg had done a little more homework, as there is (or rather, was) a heroine with the name Goldstar in the DC Universe (Booster Gold's assistant and later sister). One hero named after a bad Korean VCR is enough, in my opinion.

Steve Lightle did another great job for his last issue on the series. I liked the costumes he gave Rhea and Wayne much better than the X-Men-esque bodysuits that everyone would start wearing in a few issues (though they definitely had a bit of Legion-leftover in them).



Doom Patrol (Volume 2, #6Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #6

"Heroes and Villains!"
Script by Paul Kupperberg
Art by Erik Larsen, Gary Martin and Monika Livingston
Cover by Erik Larsen and Campanella

SYNOPSIS: As the Doom Patrol's plane spun uncontrollably toward the ground, the three villains exited the aircraft with their jet packs. Joshua and Valentina (in her Negative Energy form and carrying her physical body) took to the air while Arani encased the rest of the group in an ice sphere that Rhea levitated out of the plane before it crashed. The villains in turn started attacking Josh, forcing Valentina to "land" her body at super-speed and then return, flying through the villains and short-circuiting their flying devices. Everyone was able to meet up safely on the ground a short time later.

Meanwhile, Cliff Steele had arrived at the offices of the State Investigation Division in Little Rock, Arkansas and was trying to get some information about the location of Operation Overcast and the Chief. When he was told that Highland Hollows had been cut off from the outside world by snow for the past three weeks, he immediately set out to hire a helicopter to investigate. That fact was reported to the late Bennett's superiors in Washington, D.C.

In Highland Hollows, Goldstar was very angry with "the Doctor" (the bearded man from last issue), since their equipment had performed less than spectacularly when facing real metahumans, and Thunder was still missing in action. While Sheriff Virgil was worried about the Doom Patrol finding out what had been going on in the area, the Doctor believed that a confrontation would prove his theory that all "super-powered individuals pose a threat to the safety and welfare of normal society," and was ready to take advantage of the opportunity.

As the Doom Patrol headed into Highland Hollow on foot, yet another arguement erupted between the older members about the status of the Chief and their true mission. Arani sent Rhea to fly ahead to check for any trouble in their path, and soon came upon Goldstar and a flame-using armored being called Holocaust destroying a house. As the two appeared to be about to kill some people, Rhea laid into them to draw the two villains off.

Meanwhile, back in Kansas City, Larry Trainor's search for information on his condition (and his search through the Doom Patrol files for information on Valentina) was interrupted by the arrival of Scott Fischer, another new recruit that Arani had contacted to join the Doom Patrol.

Thunder finally woke up in the Ozark forest he had fallen in, with the trees breaking his descent enough to save his life. At the same time, Rhea was heading back to the others with Goldstar and Holocaust in pursuit, much to Valentina's dismay. A blast of Holocaust's fire knocked her out of the sky temporarily, and the two villains retreated quickly, with the others in pursuit. As the Doom Patrol arrived in Highland Hollow, the villains had disappeared and the townspeople where giving them all an unusually whide berth. The Doctor was watching the proceedings with much glee, as he now believed that G. Gordon Godfrey's claims about super-heroes had been correct (from the Legends limited series). Where Godfrey had failed though, the Doctor would provide proof to the world and then destroy the Doom Patrol, as the entire village had been heavily wired with explosives. Morley, in the jail at the sheriff's office, saw that the Doctor was obviously insane.

Outside, the Doom Patrol were attacked by two new armored men, Blockhouse and Sonar. The latter villain used a "sonic scream" to keep the team from being able to concentrate enough to use their powers against them, but Valentina got far enough away so that she was able to free her Negative Energy form. Unfortunately, she found Blockhouse's armor shielded from her energy and her form was repelled by Sonar's attack as well. Wayne goaded Blockhouse into take a swing at him and the missed punched knocked a building down and partially on the villain, as Goldstar and Holocaust also joined the fray.

While Sheriff Virgil was watching the commotion with the Doctor, Morley was able to capture the deputy through the bars of his cell and take his gun, and ordered the Doctor to call off the madness, shooting Virgil dead in the process. Outside, Joshua was able to subdue Goldstar, Rhea knocked Sonar out, and Valentina was able to disrupt Holocaust, while Wayne kept Blockhouse busy. Arani headed towards the Sheriff's office. Inside, the Doctor was wrestling with Morley for the gun when Thunder arrived, extremely angry at the Doctor for "betraying" him with faulty equipment. Thunder picked the man up and was about to toss him into the cell bars when Arani entered the room and saw that the Doctor wasn't Niles Caulder, but rather Dr. Goodman (a psychiatrist that had worked with a Washington think tank and had become embittered when his family had been killed in a battle between Green Lantern and Major Disaster). Arani stopped Thunder from throwing Goodman to his death, but he crashed onto the desk and crushed the controls for the explosives that he had mined the town. Arani rushed out of the building to warn the others when the explosives went off, destroying all the buildings in town (which had luckily already been abandoned by the residents of Highland Hollow.

Cliff arrived by helicopter and gave them the lowdown on Goodman's activities. Soon after, Harry Stein also arrived, saying that his bosses needed the Doom Patrol to handle a sensitive situation, as one of America's heroes had been taken hostage in San Salvador.

COMMENTS: All in all, this was a good story for the team's first outing with Rhea and Wayne on the Patrol. The red herring for the Chief was resolved very satisfactorily, and we even did get to see the real Chief in this issue anyway, though he sure didn't look like the man we all know and love or loathe.

It's always been my belief that your first Erik Larsen comic will always be the worst. And that the ones after that don't get much better. And I've only been proved wrong once (Doom Patrol/Suicide Squad #1). I gave up on him completely as a creator once his stuff started looking way too much like really bad John Byrne work (the beginning of the Savage Dragon regular series was a good example). Luckily, Gary Martin's inks helped save the issue and provided a good bit of continuity with the style of the previous story.

This last panel of this issue was a direct lead-in to the events of the Doom Patrol/Suicide Squad #1, which came out the next month before the regular issue of Doom Patrol.





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