Thursday, February 26, 2009

Negative Friday 1

Quite unlike any other blog ever, this blog will feature characters in their own singularity and discuss their character and use over the years. What? Other blogs do that too?

Oh. Well at any rate, other blogs won't have Negative Fridays. This will be the first of many, many Negative Fridays, wherein we (being me and the imaginary mouse in my shirt pocket) take a look at those Negative people: Larry Trainor, Val Vostok, Rebis, Ted Bruder and any other negative nellies I can scare up. I'll post Who's Who pages or panels featuring origins. Maybe I'll post some sketches or interviews with creators about the Negative beings. We'll see what happens and try to enjoy it together.

Today, just to keep this first foray into negativism simple, we'll take a peek at the origins of Negative Man. His initial origin, related to the reader over the course of a pair of pages in My Greatest Adventure #80, is eerily equivalent to a less-comic-science-fiction version of the Fantastic Four's origin.

As the Chief debriefs the Patrol, and Larry Trainor in particular, on how they acquired their abilities from MGA #80 (1963) with artwork from Bruno Premiani, the reader learns about this band of freaks (anyone else hear Sacha Baron Cohen in their heads when they read the word "freaks"?) right alongside them. You are a freak, just like the DP. Good to know, eh? Maybe you're Invisible Reader Guy (or Gal).

Anyway, Larry Trainor was a test pilot and flew the K-2F higher than any manned aircraft had ever gone. Evidently higher also meant "less-prepared".

No, there really wasn't a K-2F. Or at least not that we know of. . . .

When Wolfman and Pérez reintroduced the Doom Patrol through the team-up of the Teen Titans (in the pages of The New Teen Titans #13-15) and Robotman, the origins of the original Patrol were retold, in all the glory of any Pérez-drawn comic.

From The New Teen Titans #14 (1981) as rendered by George Pérez and Romeo Tanghal.

If you want to get a little more detail on the origins and the powers Negative Man possesses, go ahead and click on these entries from Who's Who.

Who's Who Volume 1 #16 (1986) rendered, ironically, or perhaps in the ultimate 20-year plan by John Byrne. In case you missed it, John Byrne wrote and drew an 18-issue reprise of the DP in 2004. In the ultimate move of foreshadowing, he also rendered the original Who's Who entries for the original members of the Doom Patrol.

The entry from Who's Who v2 #2 (1988) was drawn by Erik Larsen, who at the time was the regular DP artist..

Of course, with all the reshuffling in the DCU through Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis and This Ain't Your Daddy's Crisis, a call went out for a little retcon action, as seen in the three panels below from Green Lantern #32, drawn by Ivan Reis. Carol Ferris is trying to find jet jockeys and makes a call to one doomed pilot.

While Larry Trainor doesn't actually appear in this issue, there is no denying that the two most popular test pilots in the DC Universe have some degree of shared history. I always thought Dick Grayson was the DC Universe's version of Kevin Bacon, but maybe it's Hal Jordan.

That does it for the first installment of Negative Fridays. I'll whup up another one next week and see what shakes out. In the interim, however, be sure to click back on Wednesday for an extra-special, senses-shattering blogtastic post.

My buddy in bloggery, Luke, forwarded me a link to an interview Vaneta Rogers conducted with Keith Giffen. It's fresh on Newsarama today.

The Doom Patrol are heroes in spite of themselves. They're heroes who gained their powers through tragic circumstances. They do not look at themselves as superheroes. They view themselves as freaks and outcasts.

Dr. Doom Patrol - a catchy headline from Ms. Rogers. She's one of the best interviewers Newsarama has to offer.

There's also some new art from Matthew Clark as well.

Here's a peek at that.

Looks like a little Negative Man, some General Immortus and another doodle of Robotman. Deyang, this book is shaping up to be a solid offering from DC.

Enjoy! We'll use this as the impetus to launch into a post about Negative Man. How's tomorrow sound? Everyone want to be Negative on a Friday?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

History of the DCU part 2

As promised, here's the second appearance of the "new" Doom Patrol in the pages of the second issue of History of the DC Universe. Beyond this appearance in the History, the DP hadn't truly made very many other appearances (and trio in Showcase, some glimpses in New Adventures of Supergirl and a DC Comics Presents) before moving into the Paul Kupperberg-penned, Steve Lightle-drawn Doom Patrol.

Click on it to read it with significantly less squinting.

This version of the DP made an appearance in Crisis that led to Negative Woman's critical role in the defeat of the Anti-Monitor.

For the most part, with some significant wardrobe updating, this is the team that appeared in Doom Patrol volume 2.

Of course, I just realized I might be getting slightly ahead of myself. I think I'll take the next few updates to introduce the characters of the DP to you, my Doomed readers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

History of the DC Universe

The Doom Patrol made a pair of appearances in the second issue of the two-part History of the DC Universe by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, neither of whom were strangers to Cliff Steele's band of comrades. The creative duo introduced Robotman (and by literary osmosis, or flashback sequence, therefore, the Doom Patrol) to a new generation of readers in the pages of the New Teen Titans.

Click on the image for a larger, readable version of the first of two pages.

The so-called "freaks" of the Doom Patrol perished, but Robotman was rebuilt.

This would not be the first time, nor the last time, that Robotman was rebuilt, thankfully. I'll get around to highlighting more of the rebuildings in the weeks and months to come before the next volume of Doom Patrol hits the stands. Next up, however, will be the second appearance of the DP in History.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Maybe the artist. . .

So in all the hubbub, the artist for the upcoming Giffen-fueled Doom Patrol was not announced. Makes me wonder then, why Matthew Clark is drawing Robotman. . .

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Giffen speaks to CBR

Giffen to the time to chat up his new Doom Patrol assignment with Jeffrey Renaud, one of my CBR comrades.


Here we go!

Yet another comic book blog. Just what the world needs, eh?

After being inspired by Rob Kelly's amazing Aquaman Shrine and Damian Maffei's Tiny Titan blog and all the blogs in between and since (like Frank's Idol-Head for Martian Manhunter, and another saluting the Justice League Detroit, Luke's Comic Book Bunker and more) I figured I'll do a blog. Right after I finish my work on the Hawkman Companion for TwoMorrows. Yeah. Maybe I'll do a Hawkman blog to cover all the stuff that didn't make the cut. Except Luke also created the Being Carter Hall blog, a wonderful exploration of the character. I'll be sending some of the "missing pieces" from the Hawkman Companion Luke's way. Watch for them.

"Fine," said I. "I'll do one on Firestorm, my all-time favorite character. Ever." The Shag produced his Firestorm Fan. An awesome site in its own right.

"Well frick."

Which met another "frick". I've been trying to convince John Morrow that the world needs a Doom Patrol Companion. He's not so sure. Frick + frick = Doom Patrol Blog.

This blog will cover as much of the DP as I possibly can, and not necessarily in any succinct order. For example, here's a link to the DC panel that occurred today at the New York Comic Con. Link courtesy of Comic Book Resources, the lovely Jonah Weiland powered site where I review books under the watchful eye of Augie DeBlieck, Jr.

For those of you too lazy to click the link, here's the good word from New York about my favorite team of freaks:

Keith Giffen revealed that he will be bringing back the Doom Patrol. "Way too much pressure," he said. Giffen asked the crowd if they liked Morrison's run on the series. After a loud applause, Giffen remarked, "You're going to be really disappointed."

Giffen said the mission with "Doom Patrol" is to make the series "accessible" to fans of the DC Universe.

Giffen then asked why DiDio disliked the Justice League International, and DiDio denied any such feeling. JLI artist Kevin Maguire then took the stage to announce he would be drawing a 10-page Metal Men backup series in Giffen's "Doom Patrol."

More as I know it. This blog will feature sketches, interviews, reviews and generally awesome Doom Patrol stuff. Got any? Send it my way.

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