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Issue 19, "Crawling From the Wreckage"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Richard Case

Summary:
written by Bob Kelly (bobek@rt66.com), edited by William Sherman (sherman@netcom.com)

Morrison/Case had to get the book to sell and Morrison specifically wanted to work with HIS characters. So at the beginning we discover Cliff Steele (Don't call him Robotman anymore) in the Mental Institution. Now first off -- _THIS_ is amazing -- GM starts with a simple idea and takes it to its logical conclusion: if you were a man encased in metal, only a brain, what would happen to you?

On page 4, we meet Eleanor Poole, a black doctor who is helping Larry (Negative Man) Trainor, who is human for the first time in a long time, and apparently enjoying it -- by flirting. We discover that Chief Niles Caulder and Joshua (Tempest) Clay are moving the old HQ and discussing whether Josh is going to join the team. [note: Josh tells us here that Val Vostok has "resigned" and that Rhea Jones is in a coma as a result of the Gene Bomb, in case you were wondering where they were. -ed.]

Will Magnus (creator of the Metal Men and of Steele's body) visits Cliff in the nut house, and vows to make a new body for Cliff. Eleanor Poole and Larry have a run-in, and then the Negative Being shows up and speaks for the first time. Cliff demonstrates his disenchantment with his metal body by ramming his head into the wall and doing no damage to himself.

Right after that, the Negative Being merges Larry Trainor and Dr. Poole into a new creature. Will Magnus grows tired of Steel wallowing in self-pity and introduces Steele to Kay Challis (Crazy Jane), who has Multiple Personality Syndrome -- and each persona has a different power. Incidentally, they pass a character in the institution who is cutting himself with a pair of scissors and talking about scissormen.

Then we meet the spectre of the enemy: a car rams into a bus in Providence, Rhode Island, and a man walks out of the flames, burning, with a book, repeating "Scissormen...the Scissormen."

This ends the first Morrison Doom Patrol. The art rivals early Byrne in quality, imho, because there is detail, but not so much that it takes away from the story.

Annotations:
written by William Sherman

p. 11: "I am the spirit in the bottle" and "I stick among the roots of the oak tree" refer to the Brothers' Grimm story "The Imp in the Bottle" (thanks to Carl Muckenhoupt [baf@tiac.net]). For a full summary of this story, see pages 22 and 23 of Issue 54, or look in any Grimm collection. The imp is trapped in a bottle nestled among the roots of the oak tree; it threatens to kill the boy who releases it, but the boy tricks it into giving him a great reward instead.

p. 12: note the "Miranda" graffito. Miranda was one of Jane's personalities, as we discover in Issue 30.

We are assured in Issue 30 that Crazy Jane took her name from the Yeats poems about a character by that name.

The name of one of Jane's personalities, the Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, comes from an Incredible String Band album (pointed out by Padgett L. Arango [plarango@colby.edu]). (In turn, the titles seems to have come from a story by Angela Carter, as discussed in the annotations for Issue 30.)

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