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MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #81
August 1963

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

"The Nightmare Maker" (16 pages)
Cover: Bruno Premiani
Editor: Murray Boltinoff
Writer: Arnold Drake
Artist: Bruno Premiani

Character Notes

Villain: Dr. Janus (Josef Kreutz; intro; dies between this story and DOOM PATROL #94)

Comments

Elasti-Girl is called "Elasti-Woman" in this story.
Cliff Steele is called "Automaton".

Synopsis

The Doom Patrol perform two spectacular rescue operations. In both cases they are beset by what appear to be monsters, which they overcome. But Cliff Steele cannot see the monsters, and angrily accuses The Chief of having impaired his brain during the transplant to his robot body.

Meanwhile, a scientist named Dr. Janus reports on TV his belief that the monsters are creatures from another dimension, emerging from a meteorite which landed 15 years ago in Logan City. Secretly, Janus is Josef Kreutz, a former Nazi propagandist. He has created illusions of monsters through a machine of his own devising. He plans to create more monster illusions, demonstrate the Doom Patrol's helplessness to deal with them, and publicly eliminate the "monsters" himself, thus making himself a hero...and possibly gaining world power.

The Chief has discovered Janus's true identity, and also deduced that the monsters are illusions. Cliff's metal brain case has shielded him from Janus's mirage- making. Cliff, Rita, and Larry confront Janus at the meteorite site. Janus produces illusions of monsters emerging from the meteor, and fools even Rita and Larry by faking an illusion of Cliff's destruction at the hands of one monster. Finally, Cliff is able to dispel the monster-illusion, and Negative Man captures Janus.

Reviewer Comments

Not the world's greatest story, but good for its time. Cliff's anger with The Chief is an especially nice bit, and hearkens back to the conflicts between The Thing and Reed Richards in the early Fantastic Four--quite a leap for a DC Comic in 1963.


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