it’s still befuddling how everyone patronizes rita even while rita’s doing most of the hero-ing. and it’s a real contrast to the Fantastic Four comics of the same era where Sue Storm’s pretty much a helpless damsel.
i love garguax for his weirdness. animal-vegetable-mineral man’s powers are pretty conventional, but his name puts him over the top. if he was created today he’d be called something boring and personality-free like “chimera” or “menagerie” or something.
the story where cliff has to fabricate tools out of his own limbs feels iconic! and then he defeats the villain by pinning him down under his limbless torso! that was really grim if you give it a moment’s thought.
and i wonder if mento was planned to be a villain from the start. he sure was unlikable immediately. (p.s. not a spoiler! i don’t know where his story’s heading in the comic)
I’ve read my fair share Silver Age era stories in my years of comic book fandom, but I think I can say that this era of Doom Patrol is some of the best Silver Age comics I’ve read, especially from DC. They take the standard wacky/crazy stories from the era and amp it up, and add a small amount of subversive elements to it for it’s time. Rita is definitely one of the strongest female characters I’ve seen in any Silver Age story, with her own agency and goals, and all the other characters actually have a bit of depth to them.
One little nagging detail that bothers me of this era, and that’s how they draw Negative Man. By that, I mean Larry’s face being pretty much visible through the bandages. It just doesn’t look right, like I’m not looking at Negative Man, but a PG version of Hellraiser without the needles.
You say it’s a “non-uniform,” but I kind of figured that her belt buckle was meant to invoke a “D” for Doom Patrol. Speaking of Rita and her outfit, that is pretty bold of her, to be a character who can grow miles tall and in a mini-skirt.
But yeah, the fact they had no real uniform was interesting. Reminds me a bit of the very first issues of Fantastic Four.
The interesting thing about that is that Drake was actually invoking real world events from the 50s, one of the more infamous experiments from Soviet Russia.