THE DOOM PATROL #105|
Summary written by Lou Mougin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Honeymoon of Terror" (15 pages)
Guest stars: Beast-Boy, Mento (as Steve Dayton)
When Mr. 103 breaks out of the asylum in which he has been confined, the Chief detects him through a powerful geiger counter which detects his radioactivity. Larry and Cliff go to intercept him and are joined by Rita and Beast-Boy, but they fail to capture him. 103 makes off with a chunk of a meteorite which protects him from the ray with which the Doom Patrol once subdued him. Later, Steve Dayton once again tries to take Rita on a honeymoon. She opts out in order to snoop on Nicholas Galtry, and learns that he is indeed embezzling money from Gar Logan's trust fund.
An average story, in which the subplots (Rita's DP duties conflicting with Mento's desires, the Galtry embezzling case) are really more interesting than the main action. The DP needed more realism than this to make it work, and the lack of seriousness was beginning to hurt. Drake puts more energy into his backstories in this period, and it shows.
"The Robot-Maker Must Die" (10 pages)
Antagonist: Lt. Briar
This story features all of the Doom Patrol, concludes Robotman's origin and the Robotman-Iac series, and retells part of MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #80's story in different detail.
Robotman hears a TV broadcast in which Niles Caulder, the Chief, asks for a meeting with him. Lt. Briar uses the opportunity to set a trap for Cliff, but he manages to break through, causing damage but hurting no one. By threatening to blow up an oxygen canister, Robotman gets Briar to back off. Cliff then enters a hospital office where he meets The Chief, along with Larry Trainor and Rita Farr. He is on the point of murdering The Chief when the latter convinces him that he can cure Cliff's madness, and that he, like Larry and Rita, may turn their freakish powers towards the good of society. Cliff is skeptical, but opts to give it a try.
A great story despite its shortcomings. In order for Robotman to do nothing irredeemable despite his craziness, Drake has him vacillate between evil and mercifulness. He smashes and trashes, but he also lifts a bulldozer off a fallen man. At the climax, he almost strangles Larry Trainor and does pick up the Chief and his wheelchair in preparation to smash him down. But a few words from Caulder, and Cliff is ready to give him a second chance.
This last scene conflicts with the intro of the first Doom Patrol story somewhat. Also, Drake makes a major boo-boo when he has the TV announcer, Lt. Briar, and Robotman knowing Caulder's real name. As was established in issues #80-88, no one in the DP knew the Chief's true name until the third encounter with General Immortus. The Chief was always known as the man who had transplanted Cliff Steele's brain into Robotman's body, so, in order to conceal it from Cliff (who would only have had to check surgical records to learn his leader's identity), he would have had to keep his i.d. secret from his fellow surgeons, the cops, and certainly from the public...which would certainly preclude him having it announced on a TV news broadcast. Really sloppy.
Also, it would have been more convincing to include a scene in which The Chief at least reconnected the loose wire that was making Cliff go bad. Finally, given Robotman's rampant state for the weeks prior to issue #80, a scene of Cliff getting a conditional pardon on probation would have been more convincing. But there's only so much you can do in 10 pages...or only so much Drake chose to do.
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