Tuesday, 29 March 2016


Images copyright DC COMICS

Isn't it weird that ARNOLD DRAKE, original writer (and
co-creator) of The DOOM PATROL, also wrote X-MEN after
leaving DC to go to MARVEL?  Two misfit groups, both led by a
wheelchair-bound idealist whose intention it was to protect humanity.
If I'm not mistaken, both groups had their own BROTHERHOOD Of
EVIL to fight against, pushing credulity just a bit too far when it comes
to coincidence.  Arnold Drake later said that he thought STAN LEE
must've heard about The Doom Patrol at the preparation stage and
stolen a jump on him.  Poor Stan just can't win.  It's asserted by
some that JACK KIRBY created the X-Men, not Stan - and
now he's also accused of ripping off Arnold Drake.

Hard to believe that I bought this mag at least 30 years ago.  If
memory serves, I purchased it from PETE ROOT of AKA Books
& Comics in Glasgow's Virginia Galleries.  I more than likely bought
it primarily because I'd read the New Doom Patrol in SHOWCASE
#s 94 to 96 back in the '70s, and therefore wanted to add the original
group's first appearance to my collection.  In my never-ending quest
to give you a glimpse into yesteryear, I've decided to share the
cover and some of the interior pages with you here.

Incidentally, I've added the covers and splash pages of #s
95 & 96 of Showcase to my post about #94, which you'll see if
you click here.  Wait 'til you've savoured the mood and the magic
of the pages on display here first 'though - I wouldn't want you to
exit prematurely and miss them, especially after all the time and
trouble I've gone to in scanning them just for you.


Phil said...

always been a fan of the Doom Patrol. And I must mention before we moved to London as a kiddie in NYC I wondered about those ads for Palisades Park( it's near New York). Alas I heard that by 1970 it's was quite run down but I still read those ads and wondered if the coupons were any good.

Kid said...

These ads are so evocative, Phil, even to Brits who were never likely to visit Palisades Park - there's just something SO '60s about them. I wish they'd reprint more original ads and humour pages in collected editions.

TC said...

X-Men #1 came out only about three months after My Greatest Adventure #80. It would have been very difficult (although not impossible) for Marvel to produce and market their comic in that time. I've read that Drake later claimed that some writers from Marvel were secretly moonlighting at DC or vice versa, and they could have heard about Drake's concept before it was published, thus giving Stan time to create his version.

But there's still a problem. Magazine lead time being what it is, sales figures on My Greatest Adventure #80 could not have been available before X-Men #1 was published. Why would Stan want to imitate a series that, for all he knew at the time, would be a flop?

You could probably make a case that the original ("Shazam") Captain Marvel was influenced by Superman, that the Spider borrowed from the Shadow, and that Ka-Zar copied from Tarzan. But, in each of those cases, the imitation was not published until years after the original was a proven hit.

But it does seem to be more than coincidence when one team's cover blurb billed them as the World's Strangest Heroes, while the other's called them the Strangest Heroes of All. And the DP first encountered the Brotherhood of Evil the same month that the X-Men first met the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

OTOH, you could make a case that the Doom Patrol were influenced by the Fantastic Four (the gruff strong guy, the scientist leader, the radioactive flying guy, the token girl, all transformed by radiation exposure or some other mishap). But then, you could also make a case that the FF were influenced by the Challengers of the Unknown. And so it goes.

BTW, Drake seemed to downplay Bob Haney's contribution to the creation of the Doom Patrol. But then, didn't Kirby claim that Joe Simon mainly just "handled the business end of things"? And then there are the disputes over who contributed what to Spider-Man. But there never seem to be a lot of arguments or accusations over who really created B'wana Beast or Brother Power the Geek.

Kid said...

What's that old saying again, TC? "Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan." Of course, the similarities between DP and X-Men are superficial I suppose; one group are teenage mutants, the other are adults who acquired their powers not by birth, but by accident. The same thing happened again years later with Swamp Thing and Man-Thing, but apparently that really was a coincidence. (Or was it? H'mm.)

paul Mcscotty said...

Ditto with “Dennis the Menace” the 2 characters appeared a few month apart in the UK and US but that was just a coincidence. To be honest I never liked the Doom Patrol or the early X-Men (although of the 2 the early X-Men were (imho) the best). One of my favourite strips in these older DC comics were Henry Boltinoff’s wee funnies (and he had 100s of strips) - I always thought he was an underrated cartoonist (not sure if that was actually the case)

Kid said...

Actually, McScotty, both versions of Dennis appeared at around the same time. Our Dennis appeared in The Beano, cover-dated March 17th 1951, and 'their' Dennis appeared in 16 newspapers on March 12th 1951. However, as we all know, British comics usually go on sale up to a week before the date on the comic, so U.K. Dennis may have debuted on March 10th - certainly no later than the 12th. This means that both versions may have appeared on the same day. But there's more. U.K. comics are (or were) usually printed a couple of weeks before they were distributed to newsagents, so our Dennis was definitely published first. As to which one was created first - well, that's anyone's guess.

John Pitt said...

Wow, what have I been missing? The very first Doom Patrol! Never seen this before, Kid, I got #83 first, then shortly afterwards they named the comic the DP. One of my all-time favourite DC comics, ( the original, that is, just like the X-Men! )
Now, much catching up to do!! :-)

Kid said...

Where've you been, JP? Hope you've not been ill.

John Pitt said...

Hiya Kid, no, not been ill, sick as a parrot though with a broken tablet and broken phone. Lost LOADS of stuff, been trying to find as much as I could again. Miles behind with the blogs.
On a positive note, been working on a Dalek comic project with the Mechmaster, might take a while to materialize, but once it does, will definitely share with you and the blog. Won't count my chickens, in case it falls through, but fingers & all that! This too has been taking a lot of my time, plus the new dog ( he's BRILLIANT!! :-) :-) ), but taking it up in a nice way!! Hope all's well with you ?

Kid said...

Yup, all's well with me, JP, no complaints. Will look forward to the results of that Daleks project. What breed's the new pup?

John Pitt said...

He's a jackawawa, the missus wanted a small dog, so our2 cats wouldn't be freaked out. I said, "I don't want no handbag dog, I want a proper man's DOGGY-dog!! " But he IS!! - He thinks he's a big dog and he's great fun, he's all the dog we ever need and we absolutely LOVE him to bits.
If you check out American Dad episode "Fussy" - Stan Smith with his tiny dog, that's ME, that is!! :-D

Kid said...

I Googled some photos, JP. You sound like a proud parent - just as it should be.

John Pitt said...

Well, we ARE his Mam and Dad. And he IS "Mammy"s little soldier" and "his Dad's little Prince"!! :-) :-)

Kid said...

'Though I bet when he cr*ps on the carpet, you say "Aren't you going to clean up after YOUR dog?" Go on, admit it. Incidentally, our first dog was called Prince.

John Pitt said...

Too right I do! It's her dog, after all! :-)
I am.doing her the favour, by looking after him. But does she appreciate that?
Does she hell!

Kid said...

Women, eh? Can't live with them - can't shoot them. (Er, that's right, isn't it?)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...