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THE DOOM PATROL #86
March 1964

summary written by Lou Mougin (lomougin@wf.net)

"The Brotherhood of Evil" (17 pages)
Cover: Bob Brown
Editor: Murray Boltinoff
Writer: Arnold Drake
Artist: Bruno Premiani

Character Notes

Villains: The Brotherhood of Evil (intro; The Brain, Monsieur Mallah, Madame Rouge (Laura DeMille)), Morden (intro), Rog (intro; a giant robot)

Comments

MY GREATEST ADVENTURE becomes THE DOOM PATROL with this issue.

The Chief's birthday is celebrated, on its correct date (unrevealed).

The origins of each Doom Patrol member, except for The Chief, are recapped in an intro page.

Synopsis

Larry, Cliff, and Rita throw a faux surprise birthday party for The Chief, saying that they declared this day his "birthday" since they didn't know what day he was actually born on. They present him with gifts, and, later, the Chief tearfully muses that he could not tell them today actually was his birthday. Rita steps into Larry's room for the first time and notes that the walls are metallic. Later, taking off his bandages in private, Larry muses that if Rita ever saw him without his wrappings, she would never want to look at him again.

The next day, the components of a giant robot called "Rog" are stolen from a special train. The Chief reveals that he was Rog's creator, and that the robot was intended to be used on a moon expedition. A criminal named Morden has stolen Rog, assembled it, and uses it as a tool of destruction. Elasti-Girl grows to giant size to try to battle Rog, but has to agree to let him escape when Morden threatens to destroy Negative Man and Robotman.

Morden later contacts the members of The Brotherhood of Evil, "the most powerful crime syndicate in the world". He wishes to gain membership. He is admitted into their presence and learns that the Brotherhood consists of The Brain, a disembodied brain of a criminal genius floating in a liquid-filled dome, its body dead long ago, communicating through a special machine that translates its thoughts to sound impulses; Monsieur Mallah, a gorilla whose intelligence has been raised by the Brain to a great level, and who has been given the power to speak; and Madame Rouge, a beautiful but deadly normal female. The Brain outlines a plan to gain Morden full membership in the Brotherhood, and which will result in the Doom Patrol's destruction.

Morden and Mallah use Rog to attempt the theft of the Statue of Liberty. The Doom Patrol battle Rog and defeat it, but the two villains escape after delaying the Patrollers with a bomb hoax. The Chief later tells his partners that they successfully thwarted the Brotherhood.

Reviewer Comments

An outstanding DP story and the birth of their greatest adversaries, the Brotherhood of Evil. The trio are genuinely creepy--a brain, a beauty, and a gorilla--and the giant robot Rog, looking like the Robot Commando kids' toy of the early Sixties, is also fun. The Brain, Mallah, and Madame Rouge are terrific villains, the true Anti-Doom Patrol. In another parallel with Marvel's early X-Men, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants showed up shortly afterward in X-MEN #4.

Morden would show up later in the second DP series, transformed into "Mr. Nobody" - the leader of the Brotherhood of Dada.

Nice character bits: Cliff's despair at his "clumsy metal hands", as compared to his partners' abilities; the birthday party; the Chief's tears of sentiment when he privately acknowledges that it is his birthday; the eerie tone of Larry's acknowledgment that the sight of the face under his bandages would make Rita "run for her life!"; and Elasti-Girl matching muscles with the giant robot, proving that she was the true "powerhouse" of the team when in giant form.


The Doom Patrol is a licensed trademark of Jost Enterprises and, of course, DC Comics.
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