Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Personal Problems of Radioactive Glop

Hey but you remember the Doom Patrol, don't you? I was just talking to Tom Bissell about them, and he didn't. But he's a lot younger than I am. Everybody is. Hey! Wait! Let me give you that comic book history lesson you've been craving. See, DC's characters were kind of... well, they weren't prone to navel-gazing. And the characters from the rival comic book publisher, Marvel, had a lot of personal problems and brooded all the time. I oversimplify! Not really! So when DC brought out the Doom Patrol, they took a dip in that Marvel territory, what with all the crabbing and whining. DC's Doom Patrol were kind of like Marvel's X-Men. The leaders of both teams were in wheelchairs! Both teams felt like misfits in the eyes of the world! But one comic book wasn't ripping off the other. They came out at about the same time, if I am recalling correctly, and see, I just don't care enough to google it. I can barely keep typing, I care so little. But yeah, the Doom Patrol felt like DC's attempt to do Marvel. Like, everybody called Robotman "Cliff" and Negative Man "Larry." The human aspect! And here I am reading this old comic book from 1966 in which the Doom Patrol teams up with the Flash. Within the first few pages Elasti-Girl is crying and saying to Robotman, "YOU'RE NOT DOOMED TO AN EARLY DEATH BY THE CRAZY ELASTIC POWERS THAT MADE A FREAK OUT OF HOLLYWOOD'S HOTTEST GLAMOUR GIRL! BUT -SOB- HOW COULD YOU UNDERSTAND, YOU -- YOU HEARTLESS JUNKPILE!" And Robotman replies, "I'VE GOT A HEART! A NICE PLASTIC PUMP! I HEAR IT ALL NIGHT LONG, WHEN NORMAL FREAKS LIKE YOU CAN SLEEP AND SHUT OUT THE WORLD FOR EIGHT HOURS!" Then Negative Man comes in and everybody says, "LARRY!" and he says, "IN THE FLESH... I MEAN -- IN THE RADIOACTIVE GLOP I'VE BEEN TURNED INTO UNDER THESE MUMMY WRAPPINGS!" Ha ha! Gee! Wow, it goes on and on. They never stop complaining. No wonder they call him Negative Man! Whee! Oh boy! Good one, Pendarvis. DC is trying so hard to be like Marvel that it turns into a parody. All right, that's it, goodbye forever. (Panel from the Silver Age Comics "Blog," as usual.)