THE DOOM PATROL #94|
Summary written by Lou Mougin
"The Nightmare Fighters" (13 pages)
Villain: Dr. John Radick (intro)
The death of Dr. Janus, the villain from MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #81, is revealed in this story.
This story also features a cutaway diagram of Robotman's body.
The Doom Patrol and Dr. John Radick, author of a supernaturalist-debunking book, are guests on a TV talk show along with mystic Rama Kara, who is a believer in the spirit Osra and presents pictures he claims are evidence of Osra's existence. When the DP and Radick scoff at the pictures and Kara's belief, the mystic proclaims that someday they will answer to Osra for their disbelief.
Soon, a ghost-being calling himself Osra appears and creates disasters, and the Doom Patrol are apparenly unable to combat him. Rama Kara is questioned by the police, but The Chief believes him innocent. When they suspect their old foe, Dr. Janus, is creating an illusion of Osra, they check up and discover Janus died in prison eight months ago.
Immediately thereafter, Cliff, Larry, and Rita go to a tractor factory where Osra appears to be raising havoc. Rama Kara and Radick are also on hand. Robotman demonstrates that the menaces are illusions, and Negative Man determines that Rama Kara is not responsible. Radick turns out to be the real culprit, and traps Robotman in a metal-compressing machine from which Elasti-Girl saves him. Cliff manages to take down Radick, and the heroes discover an illusion- projecting device on his arm. Later, they learn that Radick was really Dr. Janus's son.
A big drawback in this story, sadly, is Bob Brown's art. Brown was a competent artist, and did the bulk of the DP's Silver Age covers. But his interior work here just doesn't make the Doom Patrol look as good as they do under Premiani. He does go on to draw two more DP stories, including Beast Boy's origin, and the Challengers of the Unknown issue in which the Patrol crosses over. (Challengers was Brown's regular assignment at the time, and Drake wrote many Challs stories.)
Other than that, this is an okay story. Nice character bits: the Patrollers having a laugh over a nightcap on page 2, Cliff's and Larry's bitchy argument on page 6 (definite Stan Lee influence there), and Cliff's remark that, with what The Chief put into his robot body, he "could have built 100 pop-up toasters!"
"The Chief 'Stands' Alone" (13 pages)
Villain: The Claw (intro)
In this story, Elasti-Girl discovers that she has the power to enlarge a part of her body while leaving the rest of herself normal-sized.
While Cliff, Larry, and Rita are damping the potential eruption of a volcano, The Chief is testing out the weapons in his new "Action Chair", and the Claw, a villain who uses two trained birds of prey, is committing another daring robbery. Hearing of this, The Chief supplies guards at "the city's danger points" with sonic blasters that repulse the birds. The Claw angrily challenges The Chief to a showdown fight via a coded message.
The Chief makes the rezendevous and repulses the birds with his chair's weapons, but the Claw renders his armament useless with a bomb. Larry, Cliff, and Rita have deciphered the Claw's challenge-clue and arrive just in time to see the villain seemingly knock The Chief unconscious. Larry restrains his partners, giving The Chief a chance to strike back. It pays off. When The Claw moves within striking distance, The Chief quits playing possum and knocks him cold.
Better than the lead story in this issue, both in terms of art and characterization. Drake wanted to give The Chief a chance to shine in this solo spot, and succeeds. The Claw turns out to be another one-shot wonder, though.
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