THE DOOM PATROL #100|
"The Fantastic Origin of Beast-Boy" (16 pages)
Summary written by Lou Mougin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cover: Bob Brown, Bruno Premiani
Guest star: Beast-Boy (origin revealed)
Beast-Boy shows up at the Doom Patrol's headquarters again, tries to convince them he is an able candidate for the group, and gets into a fight with Robotman. The Chief rejects his petition again, and Beast-Boy angrily leaves. When he returns home, Beast-Boy (now as Gar Logan) is told by his cruel guardian Galtry that he must appear at the laboratory of one Dr. Weir (who is paying Galtry $10,000) for tests to study his green pigmentation. Gar shows up at Weir's lab, undergoes a hypnotic treatment, and leaves.
Later, Midway City is menaced by dinosaurs on the rampage. The Doom Patrol appears and kills one of the giant lizards. Beast-Boy tips off the Patrol that he knows how the beasts were created, by a reverse evolution process applied to tiny lizards.
He explains his origin to Cliff, Larry, the Chief, and Rita. His father, Mark Logan, was a biological researcher who took his family to Africa to perfect his experiments on devolution. Just as Logan made the breakthrough, he learned from his wife Marie that their son, only a few years old at the time, was dying of Sakutia, a jungle fever.
Only one animal can survive Sakutia, the green monkey of West Africa. To save his son, Mark Logan subjected Gar to the devolution ray and turned him into a green monkey. After 24 hours had passed and the danger period was over, Gar Logan was restored to human form--but his skin was still green. Later, he saw his mother menaced by a Black Mamba, the deadliest snake in Africa. Instinctively, Gar Logan activated a newly- gained power within his body, changing himself into a mongoose with a green head, fighting the snake, and killing it. Then he returned to normal form again. Dr. Logan swore Gar to secrecy about his shape-changing abilities. He also gave him a key in a metal capsule on a chain about his neck, told him it contained the secret of reverse evolution, and charged him to keep it with him at all times and not to crack its secrets till his 21st birthday.
Later that year, during the rainy season in West Africa, both of Gar's parents were killed when their escape boat plunged over a waterfall. Gar saved himself by changing to bird form. Beast-Boy ends his narrative there, in tears, and Rita consoles him, realizing his guilt over his parents' deaths had prevented him from telling his origin to them earlier.
When Gar opens the capsule before the others, they see that it contains a key to a bank vault deposit box. The Chief deduces that Weir duplicated the key while Gar was hypnotized, found Dr. Logan's notes on the devolution ray, and used it to create such a device with which to spawn dinosaurs, looting the city while they rampaged.
Beast-Boy, given a Doom Patrol uniform and a mask, joins Cliff, Larry, and Rita and uses his animal powers to help them defeat the dinosaur menace. Then they capture Weir. But afterward, the Chief explains that they have no legal right to adopt Gar while Galtry is his guardian, and Beast-Boy reluctantly leaves.
A very good story, one of the better ones of the latter DP days. Beast-Boy's origin is interesting enough, and the introduction of Galtry as a secondary menace begins a subplot that will last for quite a few issues to come.
"Robotman, Wanted Dead Or Alive" (8 pages)
This story begins the in-depth retelling of Robotman's origin (the "Robotman-iac" stories) and features Robotman and the Chief. It takes place before MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #80 and continues next issue.
When racing driver Cliff Steele's car crashes and burns on a track, his body is burned beyond hope of recovery. But Niles Caulder, The Chief, answers the challenge and uses a radical surgical technique to transplant Cliff's brain into a robot body of his own devising. Cliff finally awakens, sees his new, metallic form, and goes berserk. Despite the efforts of The Chief and the authorities to restrain him, Robotman escapes, endangers lives, destroys property, and threatens to weaken and destroy an occupied baseball stadium with an electric charge unless the police let him leave the scene unpursued. But The Chief feels that Cliff's evil personality change has been caused by a mistake he made during surgery. He confronts Robotman at the scene, and desperately tries to convince the cops to let him try reasoning with the mad Robotman.
This is one of Drake's most exciting stories, with a rampaging Robotman smashing up anything in his path, wisecracking with a deadly undertone, and conveying a real sense of menace. When he takes two men in one arm and threatens to "crack [them] like a pair of walnuts," you're pretty well convinced that he'd do just that. The story ends with a nifty cliffhanger, and begins the best DP "backstory" serial of all (the other two are Negative Man's and Beast-Boy's, to come in later issues).
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