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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Doom Patrol Key Issues

Another request and another key issues list. This time we're going to delve into some Doom Patrol key issues and this will predominantly be a titled based key issues series.

The key comics featured in this series will extensively cover the first incarnation and 2nd incarnation of the team. There are a total of six roster the team has, and that's including the New 52.

I will detail a few first appearances of members from the later rosters and some of the retcons that took place for some Doom Patrol members as well. Alright, here's Part 1 and hope you enjoy!

1st appearance of Doom Patrol
Origin of Doom Patrol
1st appearance of Dan Salem
1st appearance of General Immortus

When it comes to the holy grail of Doom Patrol key issues, it's pretty obvious that their first appearance in My Greatest Adventure #80 is it. This issue holds the first appearance of Doom Patrol as well as the origin of the team.

This issue doesn't just have the first appearance of the original team, it also has the actual first appearances of the characters Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, the Chief, and Robotman also. In their first story, The Doom Patrol, each character gives a bit of background about themselves after the Chief assembles the group of super powered misfits.

The Chief is an aging, wheel-chair bound, scientist and he would be the leader of the group. Robotman was once Cliff Steele, a sportsman and daredevil who had his body burned to ashes after a tragic race car accident. It was the Chief's mad, super scientific genius that transferred Cliff's mind into a robotic body.

Larry Trainor, once a civilian test pilot, had flown an experimental suborbital aircraft into a stratospheric belt of radiation. The radiation had disfigured his body and now he was a living mummy, covered with special bandages designed to contain that very radiation which can summon a dark energy of sorts. He calls it Negative Man.

Once a Hollywood starlet, Rita Farr was exposed to strange vapors on the set of one her movies. These vapors somehow mutated her and gave her the ability to change her size at will. Thus, she became the heroine Elasti-Girl.

Not only are our heroes first introduced in this issue, but one of their deadly foes, General Immortus, also makes his first appearance in the Doom Patrol's debut as well. This comic is no light weight key issue, and it's definitely not over-looked either. It's already quite expensive in even low grade.

June, 1963 was when My Greatest Adventure #80 was published.

2nd appearance of Doom Patrol

This here is the 2nd appearance of the Doom Patrol and all four original members of the team. The Doom Patrol stories would become regular features in this titled comic until the series was actually changed to Doom Patrol.

Dr. Janus is the villain in the this issue, but this issue has his first and last appearance. He only makes a single appearance, so definitely not even a minor character for the Doom Patrol group.

Alex Toth does pencils and inks for this comic. The Doom Patrol were created by writer Arnold Drake, co-writer Bob Haney, artist Bruno Premiani, and editor Murray Boltinoff. However, there is dispute amongst the creators, and Drake insists that Bob Haney had no actual part in the creation of the team.

Gotta love that kind of stuff.  My Greatest Adventure #81 was published August, 1963.

3rd appearance of Doom Patrol

In the early appearances of the Doom Patrol, Elasti-Girl is referred to as Elasti-Woman. This issue sees the first appearance of the Green Headed League, but the group is extremely minor.

I'm not even sure if they ever make another appearance or not. Of course, this is the 3rd appearance of the Doom Patrol, and their 4th appearance is in the next issue of My Greatest Adventure #83.

The 3rd appearance of Doom Patrol in My Greatest Adventure #82 was published December, 1963.

2nd appearance of General Immortus

We have the 2nd appearance of General Immortus here in this issue. Not much is known about General Immortus.

He is centuries old and a certain potion keeps him alive indefinitely. When he lost the formula to this life-extending potion, he hired scientist Niles Caulder (the Chief) to recreate it.

After Caulder learned of the General's identity and evil plans, he sabotaged his research. Immortus has been a foe of Caulder's ever since and his main objective is to recover Caulder's scientific findings.

My Greatest Adventure #84 was published December, 1963.

1st issue to titled series
1st appearance of Brotherhood of Evil
Issue #86 is the issue where My Greatest Adventure officially becomes Doom Patrol vol one. Of course, they continued the numbering.

Aside from being the 1st issue of their headlining comic series, this issue also sees the first appearance of the Brotherhood of Evil brought to you by none other than the Brain. The Brain is the head of the group and is actually just a brain in a metal casing but was once a brilliant scientist.

The Brotherhood of Evil also consisted of Madame Rouge, the only female member of the group, who was once a French stage actress by the name of Laura De Mille. After a car accident, De Mille developed a split personality disorder of a good self and evil self.

Sounds pretty normal to me. Anyways, she was recruited by the Brain and his associate Monsieur Mallah. Mallah is a super intelligent Gorilla and was created by the Brain back when he was a scientist and had a body.

Rog was a robot that was originally designed by the Chief. Mister Morden is the person who controls Rog, though he controls a lot of the Chief's stolen droids. Mister Morden is an original member of the Brotherhood of Evil.

Pretty big issue considering Doom Patrol key issues. March, 1964 is the publishing date for this comic.

Origin of The Chief
3rd General Immortus
Doom Patrol #88 finally tells the 1st ever origin of the Chief or Niles Caulder. In the Incredible Origin of the Chief story, a new criminal named the Baron has arrived on the scene. Although he escapes from the clutches of the Doom Patrol, the Chief believes him to be General Immortus in disguise.

The Chief then tells the members of the Doom Patrol his origin story. I've already spoiled this origin story, but it is the one where the Chief is scientist Niles Caulder and is employed by General Immortus, which was an unnamed benefactor, to find a way to cheat death.

Niles Caulder devised a ray that could bring the dead back to life shortly after death. Upon finding out that his employer is indeed the evil General Immortus, Caulder refuses to relinquish the secrets to his ray.

Immortus implants a bomb inside Caulder's chest that Immortus can detonate anytime he chooses. Afterwards, Caulder would confront Immortus and be shot by him. Caulder would escape to his home and have one of his trusty robots remove the bomb from his chest.

Caulder's heart would have to be stopped in order to remove the bomb, but of course, the robot was instructed to use the ray after all was well and done. Caulder would destroy the ray and all his notes to prevent it from getting into the hands of General Immortus.

At the final confrontation of this story, the Baron reveals that he is General Immortus. Thus, marking this issue as the 3rd appearance of the character. So, a double whammy key issue right here.

Over-looked key issue for sure, Doom Patrol #88 was published June, 1964.

It should be noted that there's a large belief among comic fans that the Marvel's X-Men were inspired by the Doom Patrol since there are a few similarities between the two groups. The first appearance of the X-Men in X-Men #1 was published 3 months after the first appearance of the Doom Patrol in My Greatest Adventure #80.

The similarities of the two group's leaders being wheel chair bound and the fact that the two groups are made up of outcast superheroes has also fueled the belief that the X-Men are Doom Patrol rip offs. Also, if you noticed, both group's rivals are quite similar in name - Brotherhood of Evil and Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

The first appearances of both the Brotherhood and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants were published the same month and year however. Also, it is highly likely that the X-Men were in production before the first appearance of Doom Patrol was released.

Mere coincidence? Whether it's true or not that the X-Men characters were indeed influenced by the Doom Patrol, it's still a debate that rages on currently. Either way, I could care less. It's a bit of a fun conversation, and truthfully, whether it's true or not, I'm still an X-Men fan regardless.

Still Doom Patrol definitely deserves to be discussed and they are an interesting rag-tag outfit. So whether you're on the hunt or want to dig through your collection to see if you have any of these keys, it's all good to me.

Click the PART 2 link below to continue this series and for more Doom Patrol key comics!


  1. Hey Mayhem,

    super happy with what you did here! I fear these little gems are really hard to find even in low grade. If someone drops any movie news, these babies will go through the roof!


    1. Not sure, but I think you requested or suggested this key issue list Ace. Maybe it was Triple A or maybe both. My memory is getting bad. They're definitely not easy when it comes to hunting down. CGC copies are pretty low in submission totals.

      As for a movie or the Doom Patrol appearing on a television show. Highly possible since a few members are keyed into Teen Titans and one I know of is tied to Checkmate, the Agency and Amanda Waller from the Suicide Squad.

      I'm wondering if there is movie news, how many copies of these early Doom Patrol key issues will magically appear in the market? They seem pretty rare and scarce now. Curious if they will stay that way. If so, maybe even low to mid grade copies will be worth picking up.

  2. a decent copy of #80 is impossible to find. from what i've seen recently, they are going to much more than guide. comic connect auction a few weeks back saw a 7.5 cgc copy sell for a little over $1200. a 9.0 last year sold for $1200+ that i know of. all i've seen on Ebay recently, are very sub par copies, for much much more than guide.

    it's definitely an undervalued issue.

    1. I agree with your findings. There are not that many high grade copies out there in the market currently. Even the CGC totals are amazingly low for even the major Doom Patrol key issues, so that's interesting in itself.

      As for undervalued, some are getting up there in price for sure and they're hard to find at decent deals or prices like you mentioned even for mid or lower grade copies. It's a bit frustrating, but maybe some good deals can be found at comic cons since the over-all market is over-looking these keys on a grand scale.