The Doom Patrol

Created by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani

First Appearance:
 Original: My Greatest Adventure #80 (1963).
Second team: Showcase #94 (August 1977).
Third team:
Doom Patrol v.3 #1 (December 2001).
Fourth team:
JLA #94 (Early May 2004)

+ History

The Chief • Elasti-Girl • Robotman • Negative Man • Beast Boy

The Doom Patrol was assembled by Niles Caulder (the Chief) whose intent was to study the effects of traumatic events on individuals; this was a part of his greater ambition to invent an immortality serum. These heroes were different, outsiders and victims of tragedy: Robotman (Cliff Steele), Elasti-Girl (Rita Farr) and Negative Man (Larry Traynor). The team originally operated from Midway City and debuted in the Silver Age of heroes, about the same time as the Justice League. The two teams met once, early on. (JLA: Year One #5-7) And later, the JLA attended the wedding of Mento and Elasti-Girl. (Doom Patrol v.1 #104) The original team ended tragically when they agreed to sacrifice themselves to save an entire town. (#121) All but Elasti-Girl survived. Years later, the deranged Chief revealed that he could have saved Rita's life, but chose not to (D.P. v.2 #57); Robotman's brain was discovered by Dr. Will Magnus (creator of the Metal Men), and revived in a new body. Negative survived but remained comatose for years.

Beast Boy (Garfield Logan), later joined the Teen Titans, and changed his name to Changeling (DC Comics Presents #26). Recently, he changed it back (Beast Boy #1), and still participates in the Titans. Beast Boy also associated with Thayer Jost and the current Doom Patrol, but did not rejoin them permanently.

The second Doom Patrol was headed by Caulder's supposed widow, Arani (Celsius). Caulder had married Celsius as a test subject in his quest for the immortality serum. When they were ultimately reunited, the Chief denied ever having married her. (D.P. v.2 #??) Arani recruited the revived Robotman, Tempest, and Negative Woman (Showcase #94), and later added some teenaged freaks: Lodestone, Karma (D.P. v.2 #4), and Scott Fischer (#6). Negative Man and the Chief also returned from the dead at this time. Both Arani and Scott died in battle when the Earth was invaded by an alien alliance. (#17-18) Karma also died soon, on a Suicide Squad mission. (SS #58)

   
Celsius •  Tempest • Robotman • Negative Woman
Karma •  Lodestone •  Scott Fisher • Rebis

Things then got freakier (when Grant Morrison took over with #19) with the addition of Crazy Jane, Rebis, Dorothy Spinner and Danny the Street. Ultimately, Niles Caulder revealed his true colors as a cold-hearted manipulator. The team learned this truth just after Caulder killed Tempest. The Chief was decapitated, but not before setting off another mad scheme. (#55-57) During this time, Will Magnus pitched in again, rebuilding Robotman, helping Dorothy deal with her period, etc. This team ended when Danny the Street became Danny the World, an entire dimension which encompasses all fictional worlds, such as Oz, Wonderland, Never Never Land, and Slumberland. Rebis and Crazy Jane decided to stay with Danny, and Jane was "cured" of her mental condition. Dorothy and Cliff decided to return to Earth by floating on a magic balloon. (#62) Other allies during this period included Willoughby Kipling and Flex Mentallo.

The Chief decided to make amends for his past. As penance, he tore his head off from his new body and continued to lead the team in this fashion. (#64) Cliff, Dorothy and Magnus were joined by the Bandage People, George and Marion. (#67) George and Marion had been transformed into energy beings and could manipulate the bandages which covered them. (#76) Later, they also met Kate Godwin (Coagula). (#71) This team effectively ended after the Chief entered a spiritual anomaly, the Tree of Life. The others returned to Earth. (#87)

Eventually, Robotman began to grow weary of adventuring and contemplated retirement. He decided it would be best if Dorothy met her birth-mother. He and Kate took a camping trip to break the news to Dorothy, but she panicked at the idea and her reality-distorting powers kicked into overdrive. The resulting blast killed Kate and destroyed Cliff's body. (D.P. v.3 #9) Dorothy herself went into a coma and her unconscious mind created a new Robotman to look after her. This duplicate sold the Doom Patrol name to the eccentric Thayer Jost.

   
Freak • Kid Slick • Fever • Robotman

Jost founded the fourth incarnation of the team, corporatized heroes including Negative Man II, Fever, Freak and Kid Slick. Led by "Cliff," the team soon split with Jost for ethical reasons and began work on their own. Briefly, Jost hired four heroes — Metamorpho, Dr. Light IV, and Elongated Man led by Beast Boy — to oppose Robotman's team. They too quickly split from Jost. (D.P. v.3 #4) Ultimately, the imaginary Robotman vanished and the Patrol's investigation discovered his inert brain under a mountain. They revived him in a new body, designed by the Russian engineer Kolodenko. This team was also, indeed, doomed. Incessant infighting fractured their sense of unity and Robotman left them again. He was drawn back briefly by a villain named Tycho, who killed Kolodenko. (#21) After this, Jost evicted the young heroes from their headquarters. Separately, they and Cliff were again set adrift. In the end, Cliff also okayed the decision to remove Dorothy Spinner from life support. (#22)

The Inter-Crisis Doom Patrol (vol. 4)

Created by John Byrne

When the Superboy of Earth-Prime begain railing against his other-dimensional prison, its power reverberated throughout the timestream. In essence, each blow supposedly "corrected" a wrinkle left by the original Crisis. One of these reality-altering blows erased the original Doom Patrol's history, and replaced them with a completely different team. Apparently this Doom Patrol's existence was an even bigger "wrinkle" in time, because their existence was erased in favor of the original's return.

When it was created, this Doom Patrol was meant to be a bona fide reboot. Since then, it has been folded back into the team's official history.

When the Chief finally found a way to resurrect Rita Farr, Cliff and Larry could not refuse his offer to rejoin the Doom Patrol. (D.P. v.5 #6) Rita's newly revived mind was fragile, and they decided to behave as though she'd never been dead (at least, until she was better acclimated). As before, Niles Caulder was their leader and they made a new home in an old Confederate prison built in 1861 on Key Mordaz, Florida. Caulder was a notorious tycoon and technological genius who's been capable of hiding his activities even from Oracle. It was revealed that Caulder had faked his own death.

     
The Chief •  Elasti-Girl • Robotman • Negative Man • Nudge • Vortex

Farr was involved with Caulder in some capacity before their false demises. As Elasti-Girl, she was capable of both increasing and decreasing her body's size. Negative Man could, for short times, release a skeletal energy being from his body. During this time, his body remained lifeless and vulnerable.

Before becoming Robotman, Cliff Steele was a topnotch formula one racer. His armor housed his human brain and was made of a "flexi-metal" which protected against a broad array of projectile and energy weapons. The mechanical musculature increased his strength a thousandfold. His senses were also heightened by the technology.

After this, the Chief set his sights on a "mega-hominid" called Grunt. What they did not expect, was to encounter Grunt's companion, the young girl known as Nudge. Nudge was a gifted telepath (she could even boast having enthralled Superman). Before finding her way to Grunt, she was a drifter. She came upon a circus, where Grunt lived as a barely-tamed animal. When the circus owner discovered that Nudge could calm him, he hired her as well. One day, they were visited by Elasti-Girl and Negative Man, who took the pair to Key Mordaz. But Nudge and Grunt were unhappy with the Doom Patrol and once Nudge was finally able to assert enough control, they escaped — right into the waiting arms of Crucifer, the vampire. (But actually, Caulder had orchestrated the whole thing and knowingly set the pair up as bait for the vampire in order to infiltrate his organization.)

After this, it became the Patrol's mission to "reacquire" their lost members from Crucifer. The vampire's kidnappings drew the attention of the Justice League. And so the team went public, and Elasti-Girl and Negative Man encountered Green Lantern John Stewart. They convinced him to leave matters to them. That worked for a while until the Batman was able to track them down. The two teams soon allied and set about stopping Crucifer's grand scheme. The vampire had hoped to use his legion of metahuman subjects as hosts for his vampire brethren. They were able to stop the transfer and Superman delivered the fatal blow to Crucifer himself.

After this case, Nudge and Grunt decided to return to the Doom Patrol. They were also joined by the JLA's Faith, who agreed to become Nudge's tutor, and by Vortex, Crucifer's young servant who allied with Nudge to help defeat the monster. (JLA #94-99)

Vortex's life before Crucifer's service was a mystery. He could project a powerful wave of disruptive energy from his mouth, was resistant to mental control, and could open interspace portals. To look upon Vortex's face without his mask can caused incurable insanity.

Their victory was incomplete. Upon returning to Key Mordaz, the new team discovered that the place had been overrun by more vampires and that the Chief was in grave danger...

NOTES: Nudge and Grunt appear to have been Byrne's mainstream DCU version of Angel and the Ape.

Crawling from the Cosmic Wreckage

In events yet untold, the Chief returned to Earth and restored his original Doom Patrol. As always, Cliff Steele joined him. He also somehow restored Larry Trainor as the sole Negative Man. Most astoundingly, he returned Rita Farr to life! For years, he kept her brain from suffering true death by treating it with special proteins. He regrew her entire body, but she now had trouble thinking propertly becasue of the elastic nature of her brain.

Mento also returned to the fold. He too admitted his past faillings and apologized to Beast Boy for his villainous actions against the Titans (as the Crimelord). Mento's mental powers are in full force, making him hyperproductive, but not able to focus on mundane tasks. True to form, the Chief kept Mento in tow by convincing him that Rita would only love him if he wears the Mento helmet.

The Patrol's members forgave the Chief for his past treachery and agreed to work together, in hopes for a better future.

After the Crisis perpetuated by Alexander Luthor and Superboy Prime, the Teen Titans were left in ruins. Beast Boy had lost several of his friends in the Titans, and he decided to return to the Doom Patrol to help look after his parents. When Alexander Luthor's cosmic rift closed, a great wave washed over Donna Troy's band of heroes in space, which included former Titans, Bumblebee and Mal Duncan. These heroes were retrieved and treated immediately by Dr. Mid-Nite and Steel. After being stabilized, the Chief stepped in to offer further help for Bumblebee and Mal.

Beast Boy • Bumblebee •  Vox

Karen had shrunk to the size of an insect and grown real wings. The Chief invented a drug for Karen that would keep her tiny physiology functioning. Mal was hit by shrapnel from the Red Tornado and from his sonic horn. When the horn exploded, Mal lost his vocal chords. The Chief fitted Mal with a device derived from the horn that gave him sonic powers. As Vox, he now also spoke via the Red Tornado's old speaking apparatus. (52 #4-5)

Beast Boy took up a campaign to take down the Patrol's old enemies: the Brotherhood of Evil, who were still wanted for destroying the city of Blüdhaven. His former colleague Wonder Girl undertook this same mission, which resulted in a confrontation between the Titans and the Doom Patrol. (Teen Titans v.3 #34) In battle, Plasmus burned a hole in Kid Devil's chest. (#35) The Chief repaired him, and attempted to use this as leverage to keep Kid Devil with the Doom Patrol. But more pressing matters prevailed; the two teams united in a common goal —  to prevent the Brotherhood's leader, the Brain from acquiring a new host body. (#36)

The Doom Patrol learned that The Brain was also the result of one of Caulder's experiments. Weeks before Cliff Steele's accident, Caulder caused an explosion affecting one of his peers, a man renown for his work in animal evolution. Caulder took his colleague's brain for use inside the original copper Robotman body. The man's companion, Mallah, rescued him before he became bonded to the body. This unnamed scientist also claimed that there were other failed experiments: Human Cannon, Negative Girl and Electric Blu. The Brain and Mallah escaped this clash, but the rest of the Brotherhood was rounded up.

Afterwards, the Doom Patrol went to confront the Chief, and found him attempting to brainwash Kid Devil. Mento came to his senses; he and the Patrol took control of the group and proclaimed that Caulder would not be their leader, per se. (#37)

Notes

In an interview with Newsarama, Keith Giffen talked about his approach to DP continuity:

"… everything counts. There are no Doom Patrol adventures that are outside the canon. OK, maybe there are some events within those adventures that are outside the canon because the characters have been around so long, so you have to make some adjustments here and there. But the main goal was to say, Grant [Morrison]'s Doom Patrol counts, Rachel's counts, Premiani counts, but above all else, it was just to have fun with Doom Patrol and its rich history."

Members

Member (Real Name[s]) Joined Status
1. The Chief (Niles Caulder) My Greatest Adventure #80 Active in adventuring
1. Elasti-Woman (Rita Farr, Elasti-Girl) Deceased Doom Patrol #121; resurrected by the Chief Teen Titans v.3 #34
1. Negative Man (Lawrence "Larry" Trainor, with Thomas Munroe, and now Phillip Sloan) Active in adventuring. Trainors original body deceased Doom Patrol #121. New hosts created by the Chief using other bodies and Trainor's DNA.
1. Robotman II (Cliff Steele) Active in adventuring
5. Mento (Steve Dayton, Crimelord) Doom Patrol #91 Active in adventuring
6. Beast Boy (Garfield Logan, Changeling) Doom Patrol #99 Active in adventuring
ALL-NEW DOOM PATROL
7. Celsius (Arani Desai-Caulder) Showcase #94 Deceased Doom Patrol, v.2 #17
7. Negative Woman (Valentina Vostok) Deceased Final Crisis #4. Resigned from the Patrol in v.2 #18. No longer metahuman.
7. Tempest (Joshua Clay) Killed in Doom Patrol v.2 #55 by Niles Caulder.
10. Lodestone (Rhea Jones) Doom Patrol, v.2 #4 Left for deep space in Doom Patrol #41
10. Karma (Wayne Hawkins) Killed Suicide Squad #58 by agents of Circe
12. Scott Fischer Doom Patrol, v.2 #6 Deceased Doom Patrol, v.2 #18 / Invasion! #2
CRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE: VERTIGO BEGINS
13. Rebis (Larry Trainor and Eleanor Poole) Doom Patrol, v.2 #20 Unknown; last seen on Danny the World in Doom Patrol v.2 #63
13. Crazy Jane (Kay Challis) Active in adventuring
15. Dorothy Spinner Doom Patrol, v.2 #23 Life support terminated Doom Patrol v.3 #22
16. Danny the World (Danny the Street) Doom Patrol, v.2 #42 Existing! Last seen Doom Patrol v.2 #63
17. Dr. William Magnus Doom Patrol, v.2 #64 Active with the Metal Men
18. The Bandage People (George and Marion) Doom Patrol, v.2 #67 Unknown; last app. Doom Patrol v.3 #9
19. Coagula (Kate Godwin) Doom Patrol, v.2 #71 Deceased, revealed in Doom Patrol v.3 #9
VOLUME 3
20. Negative Man II(Ted Bruder, Fast Forward) Doom Patrol, v.3 #1 Active in adventuring
20. Fever (Shyleen Lao) Killed Terror Titans #1 12.08
20. Freak (Ava) Active in adventuring
20. Kid Slick (Vig Darge) Active in adventuring
—. Thayer Jost Former financier, active
—. Dr. Light IV, Elongated Man, Metamorpho Doom Patrol, v.3 #4 Operatives of Thayer Jost who using the Doom Patrol name
—. Kolodenko Doom Patrol, v.3 #4 Former ally. Deceased Doom Patrol v.3 #21
VOLUME 4
24. Grunt (unrevealed) JLA #99 Awol Doom Patrol v.4 #1
24. Nudge (unrevealed) Deceased Doom Patrol v.4 #1
24. Vortex (unrevealed) Unknown
INFINITE CRISIS, VOLUME 5
27. Bumblebee (Karen Beecher-Duncan) prior to Teen Titans v.3 #34 Active in adventuring
27. Vox (Mal Duncan, Guardian, Herald) Active in adventuring

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

Brave & the Bold #65

Brave & the Bold v.3 #8

Challengers of the Unknown #48

DC Comics Presents #52

Doom Patrol/Suicide Squad Special #1 (1988)

JLA #94-99 • JLA: Year One #5-7

Showcase #94-96

Secret Origins Annual #1

Superman v.2 #20

Teen Titans v.1 #6

Teen Titans v.3 #32-37

» SERIES:

My Greatest Adventure #80-85 (1963); becomes ...
Doom Patrol v.1, #86-124 (1964-1973)

Doom Patrol v.2, 87 issues + 2 annuals (1987-1995)

Flex Mentallo, 4-issue mini-series (1996)

Doom Patrol v.3, 22 issues (2001–03)

Doom Patrol v.4, 18 issues (2004–06)

Doom Patrol v.5, current (2009–)