THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #65|
Summary written by Lou Mougin (email@example.com)
"Alias Negative Man" (26 pages)
Villains: The Brotherhood of Evil (the Brain, Mallah, Madame Rouge), Garguax, General Immortus
This story features the Doom Patrol and the Flash.
Negative Man is lured into a lead coffin by a ruse of The Brain's. To save Larry Trainor's life, The Chief places him in a deep-freeze. But to confuse the Brotherhood of Evil and their allies Garguax and General Immortus, The Chief enlists the aid of The Flash. The Scarlet Speedster dons a disguise and uses his speed to masquerade as Negative Man and to serve as the fourth "member" of the Doom Patrol. Garguax sends a satellite into orbit that broadcasts subliminal advertisements causing worldwide chaos, but The Chief, with the Flash's help, locates the satellite and has the U.S. government destroy it with a missle. Balked, the villains attempt to launch into space the lead coffin bearing Negative Man. The Flash, Cliff, Rita, and the Chief manage to rescue Neg Man, though the five villains escape once again. Negative Man later returns to Larry's body, and Larry is freed from suspended animation.
This was the only BRAVE AND BOLD appearance by the Doom Patrol, but it was handled so well that it's a mystery why they never made a return appearance. A team-up with B&B perennial host Batman would have been interesting indeed. Bob Haney, who co-created the group, writes the characters well and doesn't violate the Drake versions. (If the DP had lasted beyond issue #121, Haney would have been a good choice to continue the series.) Giordano's and Trapani's art is also clean-cut and well done, with the prettiest Elasti-Girl yet. They, too, would have been worthy substitutes for Premiani after DP #121--but by that time, Giordano was a DC editor. Nice bits: the tears and complaining of their fates by Rita and Cliff on page 4, with the admission by Larry that "if we ever stop whining...it'll mean the Doom Patrol is really in trouble!"; the "square dance" of the Brotherhood of Evil on pg. 6; and Mallah's Shakespeare quotation on pg. 6. A bit lamer bits: Negative Man carrying the Chief and his wheelchair through the solid wall of the bad guys' escape craft on pg. 24, without explanation of how he did it; and the fact that The Flash is not treated character-wise as well as the Doom Patrol. But then again, B&B team-ups tended to favor one hero's focus over the other.
All in all, a good issue and a worthy addition to the Doom Patrol canon.
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