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The Doom Patrol Review

JLA: YEAR ONE

JLA: Year One was one of the better retroactive continuity attempts by DC. Mark Waid wrote an excellent story that only had a few flaws in modern post-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity.







JLA: Year One #4JLA: Year One #4

"While You Were Out"
Script by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
Art by Barry Kitson and Michael Bair
Cover by Barry Kitson

SYNOPSIS: The Brotherhood of Evil were revealed to be working with the organization Locus in developing their GeneGraft weapons. Madame Rouge and Monsieur Mallah were show capturing the original Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett) to use as their first super-powered test subject. The Brotherhood volunteered to perform the first field test of the modified weapon.



JLA: Year One #5JLA: Year One #5

"A League Divided"
Script by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
Art by Barry Kitson and Michael Bair
Cover by Barry Kitson

SYNOPSIS: The Brotherhood of Evil attacked Manchester, Alabama with Locus's GeneGraft ray, creating an army of pseudo-beings from the various body parts they stole from the general populace on the streets. This was brought to the attention of the Chief and he sent the Doom Patrol out to investigate and hopefully defeat the Brotherhood once and for all.

The Brain, Madame Rouge, Monsieur Mallah and Mr. Morden were awaiting the arrival of not the Doom Patrol but the Justice League of America (The Flash, Green Lantern, Black Canary, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter). The Doom Patrol was has shown up, but the unaffected locals weren't confortable with them, flocking to the JLA as soon as they arrived. After the teams were introduced to each other, the army of beings created by the GeneGraft ray attacked, but were fairly quickly corralled by Rita, Black Canary, and Green Lantern.

The Brotherhood of Evil then put in their appearance, luring the JLA into the path of the GeneGraft ray themselves. The Flash lost his legs, Black Canary her larynx, Green Lantern his right arm and Power Ring, and the Martian Manhunter lost his eyes. All of the parts were fine however, on a large pseudo-body which also held ... The Brain.



JLA: Year One #6JLA: Year One #6

"Sum of Their Parts"
Script by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
Art by Barry Kitson and Michael Bair
Cover by Barry Kitson

SYNOPSIS: The Doom Patrol returned to their headquarters with the "damaged" Justice Leaguers, and the Chief created devices to help compensate for their missing parts. Green Lantern's arm was replaced by a clunky power blaster. The Martian Manhunter's eyes were being compensated for by a visor that gave him partial vision (he also mentioned that, with his eyes missing, he still had eight senses). Black Canary was given an artificial voicebox to repalce her larynx, and the Flash was given a strange wheelchair that linked his speed energy to the radiation that powered Negative Man, allowing him to create a mentally-guided lightning creature. Aquaman had, fortunately or unfortunately, escaped the effects of the GeneGraft ray.

Meanwhile, the Brain had used Green Lantern's Power Ring to create a fortress in the middle of Manchester. Both Madame Rouge and Mr.Morden had concerns over the Brain's plans, which involved double-crossing Locus and keeping the GeneGraft ray, and asked Monsieur Mallah to speak with him about it. The Brain was not worried about the Doom Patrol, the Justice League or Locus.

The Doom Patrol and the Justice League split up into teams to attack the Brain's fortress. Aquaman and Cliff went in from one direction, and were attacked by Madame Rouge. Cliff was able to deal with her fairly quickly, and then, to get inside the fortress walls, Aquaman revealed that the weakness to Green Lantern's Power Ring was the color yellow. He lent his belt to Cliff, wrapped his fist in the yellow material and started punching the green wall. At the same time, attack ships from Locus started blasting a different part of the fortress.

The Martian Manhunter, Black Canary, and Rita watched the Locus ships attack. While they talked, J'Onn admitted that he was disappointed that Rita wasn't making films anymore, and had been a fan of Rita's "chiller" pictures (which he saw while learning what he could about Earth's culture from television). The three were suddenly confronted with Monsieur Mallah and his Uzis. Black Canary and J'Onn's unfamiliarity with their conditions made them ineffective against the talking gorilla, but Rita grew to giant-size and picked up Mallah and just tossed him away, into the side of a Locus ship.

The Flash, Negative Man, and Green Lantern were discussing the Brain's fortress, and Green Lantern was worried that by the time his Power Ring's power supply ran out, the Brain would've realized its full potential and they'd never been able to stop him. When Green Lantern said "Where there's a will, there's a way", Larry realized that he was really Hal Jordan, since he had used that corny phrase back when both of them flew together in the United States Air Force. As the three talked and commiserated, Mr. Morden's giant robot Rog suddenly burst from the grown in front of them. Green Lantern couldn't get the hang of his lasers and make them focus properly, and Rog was able to grab him. Green Lantern was able to finally get them to work and cracked the dome of the machine holding Morden. The Flash's speedster captured Morden while Negative Man freed Green Lantern from the robot's grip. As they watched, the pressure that the Locus forces had been putting on the fortress finally bore out, as the entire structure collapsed. The Brain went into battle personally and destroyed all of the Locus aircraft, and then blasted the Doom Patrol and the Justice League when they attacked. He captured Rita, Cliff, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Negative Man's negative energy form, and began deciding who to experiment on first.

Aquaman was trying to help the Flash, who was trying to summon his speedster. Black Canary was trying to help one of the injured Locus men, who told her that she couldn't stop them, and that they were using alien DNA to build host bodies for themselves to survive a coming holocaust. The Flash finally was able to summon the speedster, and used it to carry Aquaman to the Brain, pitting his willpower against the villain's to control the Power Ring (especially since the Brain had been ignoring the powers of the other grafts for Green Lantern's). Aquaman was able to wrest control of the Power Ring from the Brain, creating a giant green cutlass to sever the villain from the pseudo-being he had created. Black Canary found the GeneGraft Ray intact the the JLA went off to repair the townspeople of Manchester and themselves while the Doom Patrol cleaned up the Brotherhood and Locus.

Back at Doom Patrol Headquarters, the Justice League was back to normal and both teams vowed to see what more they could find out about Locus and their plans, and the two teams parted very amicably.

COMMENTS: JLA: Year One, as a whole, is probably my favorite bit of retroactive continuity out there. Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn really did a good job of rationalizing the newest origin of the JLA with the timeline of the Silver Age stories (JLA: Incarnations is another excellent series along the same lines).

These two issues are probably my favorite of the series, primarily for the appearance of the Doom Patrol. We've got a little updating of the team itself (Rita mentioning that she knew Sigourney Weaver and that she'd approve of J'Onn was a nice little touch at the end) and the establishment of a previous relationship between Larry and Hal was, I think, an excellent thing to do. I wouldn't be surprised is somehow both of them also knew Ace Morgan of the Challengers of the Unknown as well.



JLA: Year One #11JLA: Year One #11

"Stalag Earth"
Script by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
Art by Barry Kitson and Michael Bair
Cover by Barry Kitson

SYNOPSIS: The Doom Patrol appear in this issue, as part of the large group of super-heroes imprisoned in the stockade on Blackhawk Island by the Appellaxian aliens.







JLA: Year One #12JLA: Year One #12

"Justice For All"
Script by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
Art by Barry Kitson and Michael Bair
Cover by Barry Kitson

SYNOPSIS: The Doom Patrol was show to be helping fight the aliens in Peking, China, along with Metamorpho and the Martian Manhunter. Cliff was also shown talking to a member of the Challengers of the Unknown on Blackhawk Island after the final battle was won and the heroes were preparing to start cleaning things up.

COMMENTS: Not much Doom Patrol in this issue, but things were naturally a little crowded. Besides the Justice League and the Doom Patrol, you have the Justice Society, the Challengers of the Unknown, the Sea Devils, the Freedom Fighters, the surviving members of the All-Star Squadron, the Blackhawks and, enigmatically, the Seven Soldiers of Victory (with Wing). Great two-issue battle that really capped off a great limited series showing the Justice League come of age.



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