The Doom Patrol blossomed during the period 1964 – 1967: the New Look. The team would gain new members, Mento and Beast Boy, while the origin of the Chief would be revealed, and Robotman and Negative Man would each receive multi-chapter back-up stories detailing their pasts. The Brotherhood of Evil would remain the main foes of the team, but were joined by Garguax, Mr 103, and the delightfully named Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. The Doom Patrol would team up with the Challengers of the Unknown and the Flash. And the series had a show stopper wedding packed with friends and foes.
Up until now, the back-up stories in this book had been in the My Greatest Adventure format. With Doom Patrol 87 the back-ups begin featuring solo stories of the various Doom Patrol members, beginning with Robotman. Some of these are one shots, which I will discuss along with the main story in the issue they appear in, others are multi-chapter tales, which were spread out over a number of issues. Those provided the backstories for Robotman and Negative Man, and I will wedge them in during the issues where they came out.
Doom Patrol 87 brings back the Brotherhood of Evil, and centres on Madame Rouge, who shows off her abilities at disguise as she pretends to be Gabrielle Soulet, the daughter of a deceased scientist. The team come to her aid at the top of the story when the airplane she is travelling on threatens to crash, but that's just a ploy so that she can begin flirting with Negative Man. Elasti-Girl gets jealous as Negative Man begins spending a lot of time with Gabrielle. Madame Rouge spins a fairly ludicrous story to get the hero to enter a time capsule and take pictures of one of Soullet's inventions. We meet another member of the Brotherhood of Evil in this story, Giacomo a dwarf who likes to dress up as a little girl. Giacomo doesn't get to do much, and this is his only outing with the Brotherhood.
The Brain and Monsieur Mallah use the pictures Madame Rouge had Negative Man take in order to construct an enlarging machine, which they use on toy soldiers and tanks, to turn them into deadly weapons. The Brain controls the enlarged toys with radio waves. Negative Man is able to disrupt this, but only by removing his bandages, and revealing his hideously transformed body, which shocks Elasti-Girl, and puts an end to their brief romance. The enlarged toys crumble, as Soullet's machine never functioned properly, which the Chief knew all along. Madame Rouge and Giacomo get captured, but once again the Brain and Monsieur Mallah get away.
Robotman gets a solo outing, heading to a remote island to apprehend an escaped killer. The guy has had enough time to plant traps all over the island. Robotman stumbles into quite a few of them, and winds up losing parts of his body in order to continue his pursuit. The conclusion is pure Monty Python, as a limbless Robotman takes on the killer, and even manages to capture him by knocking him down and landing on him, then waiting for the Chief to send the rest of the team to lift him up.
After the phony origin a few months earlier, the true origin of the Chief gets revealed in Doom Patrol 88. The story opens with some daring robberies by a man known as the Baron. To the surprise of the Doom Patrol, the Chief is far more concerned than expected. He reveals that he has determined that the Baron has links to General Immortus, and chooses to explain to the team how he and the General came to know each other. The Chief explains to Robotman, Elasti-Girl and Negative Man that his real name is Niles Caulder, and that he was a promising young scientist, working on the secret of extending life. His experiments were financed by a mysterious millionaire. Curious, Caulder decided to find out who was funding him, and learned about Immortus, an aging criminal mastermind. Caulder refused to keep working for Immortus, so the General had Caulder kidnapped, and had a bomb implanted in the man's chest. Caulder would continue to work for him, or die. The Chief came up with an alternate solution.
He attacked Immortus in the middle of the night, and Immortus shot him. His body was retrieved and operated on by Ra-2, a robot Caulder had invented, to remove the bomb after Caulder was dead. It almost worked, but left Caluder without the use of his legs. To hide from Immortus, the Chief had Ra-2 destroy the lab, and then he destroyed his robot. The Baron then captures the members of the Doom Patrol, and reveals that he is really Immortus. He offers to exchange them for the Chief. Niles comes out, and for the first time uses what would come to be called his "action-chair," pulling a flamethrower from the arm and using it to melt the chains holding Robotman. Robotman then breaks open the lead armour holding Negative Man, and frees Elasti-Girl from a bottle. Immortus flees, but his ship explodes, and once again he appears to die. He doesn't, of course, and will be back in a few months.
Doom Patrol 89 introduces a new villain for the team, and new costumes for them as well. Sven Larsen, a scientist and former student of the Chief's, comes to the United States and gets whisked away by the Doom Patrol. Despite some accusations of stealing ideas long before, The Chief is more than happy to see Larsen and introduce him to his super-hero team, while Larsen is proud to show off his latest experiment. Unfortunately, the experiment does not go as planned. Larsen winds up falling into a pool of electrically charged chemicals, and transforms into a being capable of becoming any type of animal, vegetable, or mineral. Unlike the cover image, Larsen does not alter parts of his body into these different forms. His entire body changes. He is able to become both singular objects, as well as groups of things, such as a swarm of gnats, or dandelion seeds. In this state, he becomes crazed, and his old beliefs about the Chief stealing his ideas come to the fore. The Doom Patrol spend much of the story trying to keep Larsen contained, and preventing him from killing the Chief. The story has some excellent visuals, and Larsen makes for a very challenging opponent, despite his silly name. So it's almost a let down when the Chief invents a ray gun that freezes him in one form, and then they reverse the change in him. But the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man does return the following year.
Elasti-Girl gets the back-up story in the issue, which centres on the charity work that she does. She is hunting for the supposed foster father of a Korean boy, orphaned in the war. Or so they say. The dad wound up with amnesia, no longer remembering that he was even a soldier. Elasti-Girl tracks him down, and finds him working on a construction site. She shows him a picture of his long lost son, and the guy's memory is restored. Or so the story would have us believe. It all feels like a terribly sanitized version of a more reasonable story. The father is the real father of the boy, conceived while he was serving in the Korean War. The mother died, and Elasti-Girl is trying to bring the child to his father. The man has no interest in the child until he actually sees it. At that point, he decides to do the right thing and take the boy in.
The Brotherhood of Evil are back again in Doom Patrol 90. The Brain directs Monsieur Mallah as he operates on Madame Rouge at the start of the tale. They increase Madame Rouge's ability to disguise herself, allowing her to physically mold her face to change her appearance. The powers she gains also allows her to stretch her limbs, like the Elongated Man. Rouge is then sent out to impersonate Elasti-Girl, with the goal of killing the Chief. Her new abilities make this impersonation easy, although as the Chief is not at the site of the dam collapse, she has no chance to complete her mission. A mine cave-in gives Madame Rouge a second chance, and this time she impersonates Robotman.
But of course the Chief is not there either. For all the effort the Brotherhood put in to giving Madame Rouge powers, you'd have expected them to have a better overall plan. Her third attempt sees Rouge get the better of Negative Man, to impersonate him. The plot then takes a surprising twist. The reader is left believing that Rouge is still Negative Man when the Chief confronts the team about there being an impostor among them. But by this point Rouge has disguised herself as the Chief. While the plot to kill the Chief seems all but forgotten by this point, the story does make Madame Rouge a much stronger opponent, and is an entertaining read.
A new friend and a new foe get introduced in Doom Patrol 91. The Doom Patrol meet Mento at the top of the story, a hero with psychokinetic powers, thanks to a helmet that he has designed. He has little time for Robotman or Negative Man. Mento's primary interest is in Elasti-Girl. She accepts his invitation, and learns that Mento is Steve Dayton, the world's fifth richest man. He had developed the Mento helmet and adopted a heroic identity solely to attract Elasti-Girl's attention, claiming to have fallen in love with her. Elasti-Girl is flattered by the attention, but her no interest when Mento wants her to leave the Doom Patrol and become partners with him. Later, vast numbers of plastic men begin falling from the sky. Elasti-Girl joins Robotman and Negative Man as they try to deal with these creatures. They are not that difficult to destroy, but the sheer number of them make them a challenge.
While the Doom Patrol deal with the situation on the ground, Mento discovers the alien craft that the creatures are coming from, and heads into space. He confronts Garguax, the alien conqueror who is planning to overwhelm the Earth's defenses with his plastic men. Garguax's soldiers take out Mento. The Chief also discovers Gargaux's craft in the sky, and send the Doom Patrol after him. Mento pretends to have joined Garguax, but once the Doom Patrol show up, joins forces with them to destroy the alien base. Mento and the Doom Patrol return to Earth, and while Robotman and Negative Man still don't care much for him, Elasti-Girl is now willing to go on a date with him.
The relationship between Elasti-Girl and Mento is at the core of the story in Doom Patrol 92, although the team does battle Dr. Tyme as well. A while has passed since the previous issue, and Elasti-Girl is upset that she has not heard from Mento. As she complains about this to Negative Man, Robotman goes to Steve Dayton's house to confront him about neglecting his paramour. While the Doom Patrol bicker over the romance, Dr. Tyme perfects a device for slowing time down. He keeps it in a big clock head mask that he wears, even while riding on airplanes. No one seems perturbed by the clock head. Ah, the 60s. Tyme is also clearly quite wealthy, what with his own castle and massive clock collection. It seems he is really only turning to crime for his own amusement. Steve takes Rita on a date, which gets interrupted by one of Dr. Tyme's crimes. Steve lets it slip that Robotman goaded him into the date, which Rita does not appreciate at all.
But Steve is not a total jerk. He was just trying to respect Rita's wishes not to break up the team. Women were not allowed to have both a boyfriend and be part of a super-team. Ah, the 60s. So Elasti-Girl follows Dr. Tyme, but winds up getting captured by him. Mento joins Robotman and Negative Man, after the Chief alerts them to the situation. They arrive at Dr. Tyme's castle, and find that he has a planted a bomb under the giant sized Elasti-Girl. Tyme also manages to trap Negative Man's energy being in his time suspension ray. Mento saves both heroes with his telekinetic powers, forcing Tyme to free the energy being, and taking control of Elasti-Girl's unconscious mind to shrink her back to normal size, so they can escape before the bomb goes off. Dr. Tyme escapes, but apparently has learned his lesson. We do not see this villain again for more the forty years, when he returns in the 52 miniseries.
The Brotherhood of Evil bring back Rog, the giant robot, in Doom Patrol 93. The story opens with the team dealing with an attempted assassination. Though they succeed at preventing it, Robotman is all miserable and sulky. He hates being in his robot body, and wants to be human again. He comes to see Dr. Wilder, who has promised to be able to give him a body again. The doctor shows Robotman a bizarre monstrous form, but insists that, after the brain transfer, they can use plastic surgery to make this creature look any way that Robotman wants. You can tell just how desperate the hero is by the fact that he agrees to this outrageous plan. It turns out that Dr Wilder is really Madame Rouge in disguise. Monsieur Mallah performs the actual operation, which puts the Brain's brain into Robotman's body, and leaves Robotman's brain in the Brain's glass tank.
The Chief, as well as Negative Man and Elasti-Girl, have been monitoring Robotman from their base, but are unsure about what has actually taken place. The Brain passes himself off as Robotman for a while, luring his teammates into battle with Rog, piloted by Monsieur Mallah. The Chief finds the lab where the operation took place, and puts Robotman's brain into the monster's body. While Negative Man and Elasti-Girl fight against Mallah and Rouge, The Brain and Robtoman, in their new bodies, fight over the Chief. Lots of fighting, but a fun story. The various Brotherhood of Evil members escape at the end, and the Brain even gets to keep the original Robotman body. The Chief puts the hero's brain into a new, but identical, Robotman body at the end of the story.
Doom Patrol 94 starts off as the team investigate a supposed psychic. Although none of them believe his powers are real, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl are shocked when he manifests a ghostly image that goes on a rampage. The Doom Patrol members discuss whether the ghostly being might be an illusion, like the ones cast by Dr. Janus. But Robotman is able to see the ghost, where he was not able to see Janus' illusions. We learn that Janus had died in prison, and also get a cutaway diagram of Robotman's body. The Chief figures out that someone is using an improved version of Janus' device, which is why Robotman can see the illusions. He alters Robotman's perceptors, and sure enough, while Negative Man and Elasti-Girl see a machine become a monster, Robotman sees nothing of the kind. There is a terrifying sequence in which Negative Man unwraps, in order to create an x-ray effect on the psychic, and determine that the guy is not carrying any control machine on him. I think this radiation probably also kills him, eventually. It turns out to be the "helpful" professor who is really the son of Dr. Janus, using the upgraded device in his revenge plot.
The Chief gets the focus in the back-up story, which pits him against the Claw, a thief who uses trained birds in his crimes. But the more important element in this story is the discovery that Elasti-Girl is able to enlarge or shrink only part of her body, as opposed to the whole thing. The Chief's "action chair" is so named in this tale. Various devices will appear over time, concealed within the chair. In this case, it's a giant claw arm, a suitable weapon for opposing the Claw.
Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man returns in Doom Patrol 95. Despite the return of the powerful villain, the story deals far more with the four Doom Patrol members. We learn that the Chief hopes to restore all of them to normal bodies, and he reveals that Elasti-Girl is dying as a result of her powers. The Chief hooks the others up to a weird series of machines, but Robotman messes up the experiment, severely damaging his own body in the process. The interruption causes Negative Man and Elasti-Girl to each acquire the other person's powers. When they learn that Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man is on the loose, the Chief climbs into a robot body he has constructed for himself, and leaves Robotman behind to monitor everything from their base. Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man stories always have great visuals, so it doesn't matter too much that nothing really gets developed with the villain. The enjoyment of the story lies in seeing the switched around Doom Patrol members in action against him. At the end of the tale, after defeating Larsen, they all return to their normal bodies and powers, and are far more content with them than they were at the start.
Doom Patrol 96 has the first half of a complex, two part tale. The story begins as various highly regarded and notable people suddenly go insane, launching violent acts. They all get caught, and each one is found to be wearing an Asian idol on a key chain. The Chief sends Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl to the country of Tajali, where the actual idol is located. They get taken to the secret lair of one of three ancient families, who are battling against an international crime cartel, Cobra. How this all ties together with the key chain idols is not clear, but the story, instead of explaining this, takes an even further twist. Cobra turns out to be controlled by General Immortus, who is now working with Garguax, operating from a base on the Moon, and plotting to conquer the world together.
The crime families have also been taken over, with Madame Rouge impersonating their leader. Although the two factions appear to be at war, in fact Immortus and Garguax have joined the Brotherhood of Evil. The Brain, with Monsieur Mallah at his side, is manipulating all of this from the Moon. The Brain sets off a madness inducing ray, which strikes New York City. The Doom Patrol rush around, trying to minimize the damage. They head back to Tajali, and Robotman destroys the mind control ray, while Negative Man frees the head of the ancient family that Madame Rouge had been impersonating.
The story concludes in Doom Patrol 97. Their first plan to take over the world, though the madness ray, having failed, the Brotherhood of Evil members begin squabbling among themselves over their true goals. While the Brain, Madame Rouge and Monsieur Mallah simply intend to blackmail the governments of the world and rake in the cash, newer members Garguax and General Immortus argue persuasively that their only effective goal is global conquest. So they launch plan B, which involves transforming people into crystal monsters, who can be controlled and used as a slave army. Elasti-Girl falls victim to this, and Monsieur Mallah rides on her shoulder, directing her giant crystal attacks.
When Robotman and Negative Man prove unable to stop her, the Chief calls on Mento to help. With so many heroes and villains in the mix it makes for a great, and really kinetic, finale. Mento does an impressive job, but does not outshine the other Doom Patrol members. In the end, the battle becomes a stalemate, and the Brotherhood of Evil members flee, returning the following year in the pages of Brave and the Bold. Mento makes a formal bid for membership in the Doom Patrol, but gets secretly blackballed by Elasti-Girl, who thinks that his presence would be disruptive to the team as a whole.
Mr. 103 makes his debut in Doom Patrol 98. The story opens as the Chief announces that Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl have all failed to live up to his expectations, and he kicks them out of the Doom Patrol, stating that he will recruit new members for the team. Undaunted, the trio decide to stay as a team, calling themselves the New Doom Patrol, and find an abandoned house to use as their headquarters. The story neatly works in a map of their former headquarters at this point. Then we get introduced to Mr. 103, a villain not completely unlike the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, in that he can alter his form to any one of the 103 known atomic elements. As more atomic elements have become known over time, the characters name has changed to reflect this. His appearance remains more humanoid through his changes than the other villain, but still provides a variety of interesting visuals.
The New Doom Patrol go into action to stop him, but fail, and decide they need the Chief's advice. Returning to their old headquarters, they find the Chief near death. He had sent them all away so that they would not learn how sick he was. The Chief is dying from radioactive blood poisoning, which sounds pretty deadly. Still, he has the wherewithal to invent a ray gun able to stop Mr. 103, using an alien element. The ray gun works, but Negative Man gets a flash of inspiration. Mr. 103 is able to transmute the elements of the things he touches, as well as himself. Negative Man orders him to turn the Chief into copper (which is the source of the poison) and then back again. Sure enough, this draws all the radiation out of the Chief's blood, curing him instantly.
As if saving the Chief's life was not enough, Negative Man also prevents World War 3 in this issue, in a story by Drake and Brown. A group of conspirators plan to detonate four nukes around the world in order to trick the US and Russia into war. The bombs will all go off within a minute of each other. The Doom Patrol learn about this, and Negative Man flies off to stop each of the nukes. He succeeds with three, but fails to stop the fourth. With bare seconds to spare before nuclear war breaks out, Negative Man somehow manages to use his form to link a split telephone line, so that the leaders of the two countries can communicate, and learn that neither was responsible for the situation. I'm not sure how his negative energy body is actually capable of doing this, but it looks great.
Doom Patrol 99 introduces Bug Man, a guy in a flying bug suit. He gives the team far more trouble than he really ought to. But that is largely Negative Man's fault. Larry Trainor gets jealous of the energy being inside him, and decides not to let it out anymore. This leaves Elasti-Girl and Robotman to face him on their own, and they fail. Robotman gets away, but Bug Man traps Elasti-Girl in a tiny box. So the Chief goes into battle in his action chair. Sadly, he actually fares better than the other Doom Patrol members, and holds off Bug Man until Robotman can show up with Negative Man. With Elasti-Girl's life at stake, Negative Man decides the energy being inside him does have value, and releases it. So much for Bug Man.
Infinitely better is the back-up story, which introduces Beast Boy, a brash teenager who bursts into the Doom Patrol's headquarters, ransacking it, in a weird effort to join the team. Unsurprisingly, the Doom Patrol are none too friendly to their young intruder. Beast Boy shows off his power, to change into any animal, and fights against the team until they admit that the kid does have some useful abilities. In these early stories, Beast Boy is only completely green when in his human form. The animals he changes into wind up with green humanoid heads, but otherwise appear normal. Although we do not learn Beast Boy's real name in this story, we do get see that he attends school with other kids, where he is picked on and treated like dirt. One girl, Jill (in later stories usually Jillian), stands up for him, but he appears to be much of a loner. So we get a sense of why joining the Doom Patrol is so important to him, and why his social skills are pretty bad. The team allows him to accompany them on a mission, and he proves pretty useful, if extremely arrogant. Beast Boy tells the team they can count on him showing up again, but there is no effort to make him officially part of the team. The Chief finds the boy frustrating, but wonder who he is, and how he got his powers.
Beast Boy returns for the lead story in Doom Patrol 100, and we learn much more about him. He shows up at the Doom Patrol headquarters and begins squabbling with Robotman and Negative Man. He tells the team about being an orphan, and having an evil guardian, Galtry. The team believes him for the most part, but thinks he is exaggerating about Galtry. He isn't. Galtry is such a jerk that he calls Beast Boy Craig throughout the tale, even though, as we will later learn, Beast Boy's real name is Garfield. Galtry also forces the boy to become the subject of a scientific experiment. Shortly afterwards, dinosaurs start appearing in the city, going on a rampage, as dinosaurs are wont to do. Beast Boy suspects there is a connection between the scientist and the dinosaurs, and contacts the team. He tells them how his parents were scientists in Africa, and how he wound up contracting Sakutia, a deadly disease. To save his life, his father used a de-evolution machine to turn the boy into a green monkey. Astoundingly, this actually worked, and the boy’s life was saved, although it left him permanently green. Later, the boy and his parents discover that he is also now able to change his form into that of any animal.
Shortly afterwards, the parents died by canoeing over a waterfall, which indicates that they really were not as smart as they seemed. Neither parent, by the way, ever calls their son Craig in this flashback. Galtry knows nothing about the boy's shape changing powers, so the Doom Patrol give him a costume and a mask to help conceal his identity. That way, Galtry will think Beast Boy is just some other kid of the same age and height with green skin. There are so many around. Together Beast Boy and the Doom Patrol stop the dinosaurs and the scientist who was creating them. But there is no evidence that Galtry knew anything about this, nothing to charge him with. Robotman refuses to believe that Galtry is anything as bad as what the kid says. So the team insist that the boy continue to live with him. Beast Boy is not happy about this, but goes.
The back-up story is the first of a four part story that deals with Robotman in the days between his car accident, and joining the team. We see the accident and the operation that places his brain in the robot body. Upon waking, Robotman freaks out, and bursts out of the hospital before he has a chance to meet the Chief, who performed the surgery. Robotman goes on a crazed rampage throughout the city, which draws the police and military in an attempt to stop him. The story ends as the Chief manages to approach Robotman, who wants to kill whoever it was who put his brain into this body.
The story continues in issue 101. The Chief tries to help Robotman, and informs him that his brain needs special nutrients, or he will die. Robotman has no interest in what he is being told, and flees. He goes into hiding, and winds up meeting some former freak show performers. Eventually his body begins running out of energy, and he realizes that he needs the nutrients. The new friends help him contact the Chief. The Chief and the police set a trap for Robotman, but one of the others takes Robotman's place, so the trap does not catch him. It's not up to the level set by the first part of this story.
The Robotman storyline continues in issue 103, with the hero still wanted by the police. The Chief has figured out that the wiring to Robotman's human brain was not connected properly, causing his rage and outbursts. Although it has to be said, Robotman's behaviour in this chapter is far more rational anyway. For the first and only time we meet Randy Steele, Robotman's brother, as well as Randy's wife, Helen. Randy is being blackmailed into supplying hoods with secret weapons from the plant where he works. Robotman helps capture the bad guys and free his brother from their control. Meanwhile, the Chief works from behind the scenes to prevent the police from trapping Robotman.
The Robotman back-up comes to a conclusion in Doom Patrol 105, which is a good thing. It started strong, but had wandered badly as it progressed. Robotman learns that the Chief is the one who transplanted his brain into his robot body, and avoids the police traps as he heads for vengeance, losing a couple of limbs along the way. The conclusion of the tale brings the reader right back to the opening of the first story, with the same darkened room. Negative Man and Elasti-Girl are already there, with the Chief, when Robotman comes to attack him, and manage to persuade him to listen to what the Chief has to say. Makes for a decent, neatly circular, ending.
OK, now let’s take a step back to Doom Patrol 101. The story opens on Nicholas Galtry, Beast Boy's legal guardian. We discover that he has been stealing from the boy's trust fund, and now plots to have him killed, something that the kid overhears, and informs the Doom Patrol about. But before the team can act on that, the Chief has discovered mysterious signals coming from a remote island, and sends Beast Boy, along with Robotman, Elasti-Girl and Negative Man, to investigate. There they come across a weird entity, who claims to be an alien conqueror, Kranus. Its metallic body is able to separate, enabling it to fight against the various Doom Patrol members at the same time. But it turns out that Kranus is really the Brain, operating on its own for once. Actually, for the first and last time, I believe.
Always a problem, when you are a brain in a jar. You really need teammates. Once his true identity is exposed, the Brain flies away, turning the remaining part of Kranus' body into a small rocket. As the story ends, Beast Boy convinces the Doom Patrol to monitor events at Galtry's house, after he puts a dummy in his bed. But Galtry has become aware of the Doom Patrol's presence, and lets the hired killer know he is being watched. When the murder attempt does not happen, the team thinks that Beast Boy made the entire thing up. The story ends with a cameo by the Challengers of the Unknown, which leads into a crossover with the other team, in the next issue of their book.
Yes, Beast Boy does call Mento a pot head on the cover of Doom Patrol 102, seemingly with no awareness of any other meaning for the phrase. The story in this issue immediately follows the appearance of the Doom Patrol in the most recent issue of Challengers of the Unknown. Although it is a sequel to that tale, containing the same villains, the story does not follow on from a cliffhanger or anything. The two tales, in that issue and this one, can be read completely independently as complete stories. At the top of the tale the various Doom Patrol members are relaxing on their own, with Elasti-Girl hanging out with Mento. Their romance is clearly progressing, despite their banter, as Mento is talking about marriage. Professor Haley, of the Challengers, has been working with the Chief to track down the members of the League of Challenger Haters, who had escaped at the end of the Challengers issue. Though Haley and the Chief get along, the rest of the Doom Patrol spat with the other Challengers they way they usually fight amongst themselves. Multi-Man, with his giant robot Multi-Woman, Kra and the Volcano Man are in the underwater ruins of an Atlantean city.
Kra uses his alien technology to revive the Atlanteans, using them as an army to attack the surface world. Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl work alongside Haley, Red, Rocky and Ace to take down the Challenger Haters and the Atlanteans. It's a really enjoyable battle sequence, particularly when the Atlantean weaponry is able to shatter Negative Man's energy form. Beast Boy and Mento even get involved in the battle, and as usual, prove to be of critical importance to the victory, even though neither is officially a member of the Doom Patrol. This two parter is the only team-up of the Doom Patrol and the Challengers of the Unknown.
I guess it was the time for team-ups, because this is also when Brave and the Bold 65 was released, featuring the Doom Patrol, with the Flash in a guest starring role. The story opens on the Doom Patrol, as the Chief tries to keep the peace while Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl squabble amongst themselves. Then the action moves over to the Brotherhood of Evil, which at this point consists of the Brain, Monsieur Mallah, Madame Rouge, General Immortus and Garguax. They have a plot to cause chaos around the world using subliminal messages in advertising, but want the Doom Patrol out of the way first. They lure Negative Man, trapping his energy form in a lead box, in order to keep the other Patrol members at bay. To try to convince the Brotherhood that they have not succeeded at their plan, the Chief enlists the aid of the Flash.
He provides the Flash with a costume that makes him look like the negative energy being, and sends him out to monitor the suspicious ads. There is one fairly obvious flaw to all of this, although the Brotherhood do not spot it. Negative Man flies, and the Flash does not. So although the Flash visually resembles Negative Man, he does not move the same way, not even close. With the Flash's help, they locate the satellite sending out teh subliminal messages and destroy it. The Brotherhood then decide to shoot the lead box containing the negative energy being into space. The Flash finds their headquarters, and together with the Doom Patrol they rout the Brotherhood.
Doom Patrol 103 features the Doom Patrol members, as well as Beast Boy and Mento. The Chief sends Negative Man, Elasti-Girl and Robotman into space with another scientist, Professor Ormsby, to study an approaching meteor. Cosmic rays wind up changing Orsmby into a rampaging monster, because that is what cosmic rays often do in comics. The ship returns to Earth, and Ormsby, as Meteor Man, causes a lot of destruction, but also manages to write messages pleading for help. The Doom Patrol rush around trying to limit the destruction, as the Chief works to figure out a way to transform the man back. So it's a pretty basic tale, but an enjoyable one, with some good visuals. Each of the team members, as well as Mento and Beast Boy, help to subdue and change the man back to his old self.
Wedding bells are ringing in Doom Patrol 104. While Mento continues to have difficulty dealing with Robotman and Negative Man, his relationship with Elasti-Girl is becoming much more serious. And though, when he is with the rest of the team, Elasti-Girl openly rebuffs Mento, when the two are alone together, the situation is quite different. Once again, Steve Dayton proposes to Rita Farr, and this time she accepts. The Chief is fine with the news, but Negative Man and Robotman are not. Robotman actually forges a letter to make it look like Dayton only proposed to Elasti-Girl because of a deal he made with a movie producer. By the time Elasti-Girl learns of this letter, Robotman has already regretted sending it, and admits that it is a fake. Nevertheless, Elasti-Girl decides that she cannot marry Mento, that it would cause too many problems for the team. This decision leaves absolutely no one happy. Mento decides it's time for a new costume, which actually manages to be uglier than his original one. That took effort. We then see Mento attack the Doom Patrol's headquarters, and the Doom Patrol boys trash his place in return. But both sides are being played by the Brotherhood of Evil, with Madame Rouge impersonating Mento to cause problems.
Garguax, the Brain and Monsieur Mallah are also involved in this scheme to pit Mento against the Doom Patrol, and have them bring each other down. Elasti-Girl gets temporarily blinded in "Mento's" attack. The plan works remarkably well, bringing Robotman and Negative Man to a confrontation with Mento. But before things can get irrevocably violent between them, the Chief figures out how they are all being played. The Brotherhood reveal their involvement, and the story turns into a big fight between all the characters, as one might expect. The Brotherhood members flee, and Elasti-Girl decides that she will marry Mento after all. The wedding gets attended by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash, as well as the members of the Teen Titans, who had just begun appearing in their own book.
In an interesting subtlety, Beast Boy pays more attention to Robin, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl than he does to the wedding ceremony. In a couple of months, Beast Boy would guest star in the Teen Titans book. Super-Hip, a character from the Adventures of Bob Hope comic, is also in attendance. The story has an interesting twist at the end, for the time period. An emergency requires the Doom Patrol to go into action, and Steve is dismayed that Elasti-Girl is still continuing to be a member of the team. And, for 1966, that would have been somewhat shocking. In stories from this time it was always envisioned that Lois Lane, for example, would retire from her job if she married Superman.
The role of women in married life serves as the backdrop for the story in Doom Patrol 105. Now married, there is no question that Steve Dayton will continue to operate his various businesses, and heads off to work the morning after the wedding. Elasti-Girl, on the other hand, winds up lying not only to her new husband, but even to his butler, Osmun, in order to head off and work with the Doom Patrol. Elasti-Girl, Negative Man and Robotman are joined by Beast Boy as they check out a location with unusual radioactivity, which had been spotted by the Chief. This turns out to be the lair of Mr. 103, who had escaped from prison. Mr. 103 is trying to get his hands on an alien element that will protect him from the ray the Chief uses to neutralize his powers.
He displays some impressive shape changing abilities, which makes him even more like Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. But these battles really largely serve as the background to the arguments that Elasti-Girl gets into with her husband, about whether she should continue to work with the Doom Patrol. The conclusion wedges in another developing plot line. While Steve Dayton is making plans for the honeymoon trip, Elasti-Girl has been following up on Beast Boy's stories about his evil guardian, Galtry, and finds out that the boy has been telling the truth. Galtry is so obsessed with getting rid of his ward that he is oblivious to the giant eyeball sticking in his open window.
The Mr. 103 story concludes in Doom Patrol 106. Once again gender roles play a part in the tale. Elasti-Girl prepares a big meal in order to butter up Steve Dayton, trying to get on his good side when she brings up the idea of helping Beast Boy. Steve reacts quite harshly to the idea of, presumably, adopting the boy, and instead suggests that Beast Boy could take Elasti-Girl's place in the Doom Patrol. Because she ought to quit. Because she is now married. These plot threads converge neatly when Galtry begins working with Mr. 103. The repeated presence of the Doom Patrol has convinced Galtry that they are involved with Gar Logan, although he hasn't yet figured out that green skinned Beast Boy and green skinned Gar are really the same person. Perhaps Galtry has severe colour blindness.
At any rate, Mr. 103 has eaten the alien element, which immunizes him against the Chief's neutralizing ray, and he makes things very difficult for Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl, when they come to capture him. Steve finds out from the Chief that his wife is battling Mr. 103, and is none too happy about this. He dons his Mento costume and comes to their aid, although his helmet does get wrecked by the bad guy. In the end, the team doesn't even really defeat him. Rather, the alien element turns him radioactive, and Mr. 103 needs the Chief's help simply to survive. The Chief does save the villain, though Mr. 103 flies off and escapes afterwards. But he has made mention of Galtry, which is enough to convince Mento to begin an investigation of the man.
Doom Patrol 107 feels scattered all over the place, although the following issue will tie the threads together more neatly. Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl wind up dealing with a giant destructive robot, Ultimax. Ultimax uses a shrink ray on Elasti-Girl, which reduces her so much that she winds up in a microverse, taken prisoner as a spy. Meawhile, in the Galtry plot thread, Steve Dayton continues his investigation into Beast Boy's guardian, which turns into a financial battle between them. Galtry turns out to be tied to a mysterious (and masked) Swiss financer, Abu Hallam. The Chief tries to figure out who might be controlling Ultimax, but determines that no one is controlling the robot with radio waves. But schematics of the creature show that no one could possibly be controlling from the inside either. While Hallam gloats over his secret battle with Steve Dayton, the man gets into his Mento costume, and the Chief shrinks him down to go rescue his wife.
The diverging plot lines from the previous issue pull together in Doom Patrol 108. Elasti-Girl has a full adventure in the microverse, as the king of that realm falls in love with her. Each of them save the other from death, and the king even winds up battling against his own people to protect her. But Elasti-Girl never returns his feelings, and is more than happy when Mento shows up, with an enlarging gas that the Chief has developed, to bring them both back to the normal world. Negative Man and Robotman continue their struggles with Ultimax, eventually discovering that it is merely another robotic form for the Brain, and that the Brotherhood of Evil is back to their old tricks.
While the Brain uses the Ultimax form to capture Robotman, Garguax seals Negative Man into a lead box. Even Steve Dayton is being played, as Abu Hallam is revealed to actually be Monsieur Mallah. While Mallah takes down Mento, Elasti-Girl finds herself ambushed and captured by Madame Rouge. That leaves Beast Boy. We catch up with Gar Logan at school, and see Jillian with him as he bests an arrogant bully in a footrace, thanks to his powers. The Chief contacts Beast Boy and sends him to rescue the rest of the team, but by the time Gar gets there, the Brotherhood has apparently killed them all.
In Doom Patrol 109 Beast Boy turns into a large gorilla and carries the seemingly dead members of the Doom Patrol back to headquarters. The Chief is able to revive them all, but only because someone sabotaged the weapon that the Brotherhood of Evil had used. The Chief has no idea who their secret helper might be. The Doom Patrol decide to play dead, and have a whole funeral staged for them, to lure the Brotherhood of Evil into action. The Brain, Monsieur Mallah and Madame Rouge take second place to Garguax in this outing, as the alien conqueror refashions his plastic men into one giant being, who he calls Mandred. Garguax sends Mandred after the Chief and Beast Boy. Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl and Mento all fall to the creature, trying to protect the boy. But in the end, it's Beast Boy who winds up taking Mandred out, turning into a snake and cutting off the creature's air supply. Galtry, believing Steve Dayton to be dead (because of that whole funeral thing) intensifies his actions to steal Beast Boy's inheritance.
There is another romance in bloom in Doom Patrol 110. The Doom Patrol continue to pretend to be dead at the top of the story, while keeping Mandred a captive. The Chief uses his computer to determine that it was Madame Rouge who sabotaged the machine that could have killed the Doom Patrol a couple of issues ago. He figures out that she is secretly in love with one of the members of the team, but doesn't clue into the fact that he is the one she has fallen for. The Brain creates an energy body for himself, so is able to join the other members of the Brotherhood of Evil, Garguax, Madame Rouge and Monsieur Mallah, when they come into conflict with the Doom Patrol, even though they are surprised to find the heroes alive. Though there is no great bond between the Brotherhood and Galtry, the Brain decides to aid him and revive Mandred.
Now that the Doom Patrol are openly alive again, Steve Dayton has begun court proceedings to remove Garfield Logan from Galtry's guardianship. The more trouble the Brotherhood can cause with that, the weaker the team will be. The team face Mandred again, and this time it's Robotman who manages to defeat him, reflecting the villain's solar powered blast back at him, and sending him flying into space. There is a good conclusion to the court trial as well. Galtry accuses the Doom Patrol of endangering Logan's life, by taking him into battle as Beast Boy. But then Beast Boy seems to show up in court, while Gar Logan is sitting there. This disproves Galtry's accusations, and with the evidence that Steve Dayton has provided against the man, the trial ends with Steve and Rita being allowed to adopt Gar. The second Beast Boy turns out to have been Elasti-Girl, who shrunk herself to fit into Beast Boy's costume.
A Negative Man back-up story had already begun in issue 106. We get to meet Larry Trainor's mother, who tries to care for her depressed son. Larry winds up finding a job with a crazed scientist, who gets known as Dr. Death, although his real name is Dr. Drew. At first Larry goes along with the man's weird actions, until he figures out that the guy is plotting globally destructive blackmail. He uses his Negative Man powers to screw up Dr. Death's plans, and even winds up learning more about controlling his own abilities, to fend off Dr. Death's vengeful attack on him.
In Doom Patrol 107, we get to meet Larry Trainor's mother, who tries to care for her depressed son.Larry winds up finding a job with a crazed scientist, who gets known as Dr. Death, although his real name is Dr. Drew. At first Larry goes along with the man's weird actions, until he figures out that the guy is plotting globally destructive blackmail. He uses his Negative Man powers to screw up Dr. Death's plans, and even winds up learning more about controlling his own abilities, to fend off Dr. Death's vengeful attack on him.
In the Negative Man story from issue 109 we see Larry Trainor trying to put together some sort of normal life for himself. He gets hired to pilot a plane over a volcanic island and drop a sort of bomb that will render the volcano dormant. Every other pilot who has tried this has died, but despite some sabotage to his plane (by Dr. Death), Larry figures out how to glide over the caldera while dropping the bomb. It's an ok chapter, but not great.
Negative Man's back-up series concludes in Doom Patrol 111, once again pitting him against Dr. Death. This time, Dr. Death is disguised as a harmless old man, and gets Negative Man to help him cook meals for seniors, which is really all an elaborate cover to get Negative Man to retrieve a rare herb, which the villain intends to use to drive the leaders of the country into madness. Dr. Death really put a lot of planning into this outing, even having a lead box prepared in which he can capture the negative energy being. But the Chief pays a visit to the villain, and cuts a hole in the box, allowing the energy being to escape. The tale ends, much like the Robotman did, back at the start of the first Doom Patrol story, as the Chief first assembles the team.
More gets revealed about the alien civilization that Garguax belongs to in the lead story from Doom Patrol 111. Garguax turns out to be the subordinate of Zarox-13, who comes to Earth to find out why Gargiax has taken so long to conquer the planet. Garguax is not aware that his boss has come to check up on him, and is still playing the big alien warlord with the Brotherhood of Evil. But Monsieur Mallah informs the Brain that Garguax has been secretly sending messages off into space. When Zarox lands on Earth, the Chief send the Doom Patrol out to confront him, but Elasti-Girl makes Mento stay behind at home to look after Beast Boy. The Doom Patrol try to outwit Zarox and make him think that Earth is far more technologically advanced than it really is, but Gaguax shows up and exposes their game. The conclusion of the story brings a big twist, as the Brain, Monsieur Mallah and Madame Rouge, now openly enamoured of the Chief, come to the Doom Patrol headquarters to propose an alliance with the heroes, to take down Zarox-13.
Doom Patrol 112 concludes the Zarox-13 story. At the end of the previous issue, The Brain, along with Monsieur Mallah and Madame Rouge, proposed an alliance between the Brotherhood of Evil and the Doom Patrol, to deal with Zarox-13 and Garguax. Knowing that Madame Rouge is interested in the Chief, Elasti-Girl insists on sticking by him. So Mento and Beast Boy decide to stay at headquarters as well. They have little to fear. While Madame Rouge does try to charm the Chief, he is so cold and scientific that he winds up pissing her off without even trying. Robotman, the Brain and Monsieur Mallah attack Zarox-13, attempting to stop his plan to destroy the Earth, but even together find themselves overwhelmed. Meanwhile, the Chief drugs and hypnotizes Madame Rouge.
He delves into her repressed memories, learning that she was an actress, Laura DeMille, who suffered a brain injury after a car accident. At the Brain's command, Monsieur Mallah operated on her to heighten her schizophrenic tendencies, turning her evil. Everyone joins in for the big final battle against Zarox-13 and Garguax, who are plotting to fly the Earth into the sun. They defeat the aliens, but this also ends the alliance between the Doom Patrol and the Brotherhood. But now, the Chief is determined to free Madame Rouge from the Brain, and rehabilitate her mind.
I ought to mention that a multi-part Beast Boy story begins in this issue as well, but I will be looking at that when I get to the next period, because…
Doom Patrol continues in the next period, 1967 – 1970: It’s a Happening!