Review: Showcase Presents the Doom Patrol

I’m still sick dammit, but that does allow me plenty of time for reading, which is sort of nice.  So I just finished DC’s collection of the earliest Doom Patrol stories, one of their better silver age books.  What sets it apart is the comic’s byline, “the world’s strangest heroes”.  The Patrol don’t see themselves as superheroes, they see themselves as freaks.

This gives the book just enough of its own identity to set it apart from most of DC’s other output at the time.  It also allows writers Arnold Drake and Bob Haney to tell some slightly odder stories, most notably ones featuring the Brotherhood of evil.  Nowhere else could you see something like Monsieur Mallah, the super-intelligent, French gorilla.

This is one of the best of DC’s Showcase collections.  The stories are fun, the characters are fairly strong, and the book has a nice air of historical significance.  It also gets bonus points for featuring a female superhero in 1963 (Elasi-Girl) that is actually portrayed as the physical equal of her co-stars.  Well worth a read.

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