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Issue 50, "Tales of Hofmann"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Richard Case, Jamie Hewlett and Rian Hughes

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

Prologue: Albert Hofmann invented LSD in 1943, in Switzerland. He experienced the first acid trip while riding home on his bicycle.

In Venice, Mr. Nobody is telling his new group this story, and says that the bike has now become imbued with an aura of hallucinogenic strangeness. As he rides away on the bike, he tells them that Number None is a being which can occupy anyone or anything. Number None is every little thing that goes wrong in your day, every stupid little mishap that interrupts your life. Along with Number None and the still-missing Toy, this little group is christened the New Brotherhood of Dada.

On Danny the Street, Cliff and Josh contemplate the reports of new Dadaistic activity in Venice. They decide to investigate, and Rebis reappears. S/He tells Cliff and Jane that yes, s/he was having sex with him/herself.

In Venice, the Brotherhood is standing around, waiting for Mr. Nobody to make his debut. He does so, riding on the hallucinogenic bicycle, causing the bystanders (Brotherhood included) to experience LSD-like trips.

Danny and the DP arrive, and the two groups look at each other. Rebis realizes that the Brotherhood are under some narcotic influence, while Cliff goes looking for the American Embassy. Bobby (the Love Glove) is pulled through a sort of dimensional gate to a place where there's a whole tree of left-handed gloves to match the right-handed Love Glove. He takes one (the Shove Glove) and returns to our world, and uses it to knock the approaching Rebis into a wall. Number None defeats Jane, making her slip on a banana peel.

Cliff encounters Mr. Nobody, but adjusts his brain chemistry to counter the effects of the bike. A giant creature made from a building or two throws Cliff into a canal. This creature is probably a hallucination.

Back with the others, Alias the Blur stuns Rebis' Negative Spirit, while Mr. Nobody hits Crazy Jane with a bus. Mr. Nobody hijacks Danny by threatening to remove a bystander's sanity, and Danny takes them to New Mexico.

There, in the desert, the Brotherhood (using Bobby's Techno-Glove) refit the bus so that Hofmann's bicycle is its source of power. Mr. Nobody intends to run for President, taking the bus on a cross- country tour of mind-expanding crazyness. He still has the painting, and plans to eventually free his trapped colleagues (the Quiz, the Fog, Sleepwalk and Frenzy).

The remaining ten pages of this double-sized issue are taken up by one- or two-page spreads depicting DP adventures that never happened. Some are quite intriguing, but I won't attempt to summarize them.

Annotations:
written by William Sherman and Scott Rogers

issues 50-52: "...the slogan "Nobody for President" is from a Max Fleischer Betty Boop cartoon (circa 1920's?) called "Betty Boop for President" - Her political rival, Nobody, bears more than a passing resemblance to Mister Nobody. I believe the character's design was originally taken from this character." -- from Scott Rogers (ScottR at capcom dot com).

p. 8: "Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!". This is from Marx and Engels' "Communist Manifesto." It's definitely a famous Communist-revolutionary slogan.

p. 17: Mr. Nobody seems unfamiliar with psychedelic guitarist Jimi Hendrix... or maybe it's the letterer's fault. "Are You Experienced" is one of Hendrix' classics. For the curious, Hendrix' real name was James Marshall Hendrix.

p. 26-27: Mr. Nobody is referring to the atomic-bomb tests. The story about Ferdinand Cheval is true.

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