The Doom Patrol #1
DC Comics (October, 1987; as posted to comiXology)
WRITER: Paul Kupperberg
PENCILER: Steve Lightle
INKER: Gary Martin
COLORIST: Carl Gafford
LETTERER: John Workman
EDITOR: Mike Gold
So apparently in a previous story somewhere one of the Doom Patrol’s villains managed to kill them off…or did he? Niles Caulder’s’ wife Arani, aka Celsius, finds evidence that he might be alive. However, she’s being observed by government agents working for the former New Doom Patrol member Negative Woman, who realizes she’s headed to visit Cliff “Robotman” Steele. Following them both is a villain named Kalik, who has taken over a monastery and wants to capture Arani. Though not completely trusting Celsius, Robotman goes with her to check on this evidence, who in turn tricks Joshua “Tempest” Clay into also joining in. During the search Robotman finds Elasti-Girl’s body, but it proves further evidence Niles may be alive. Unfortunately this is when Kalik attacks and the story ends with him doing serious damage to Robotman’s robotic body.
What they got wrong: I’ve only seen random appearances by the original Doom Patrol in various versions, so the comic does a fair job getting the reader up to speed on their fate and the New Doom Patrol, whose members will be factoring into this story. We get a good sense of the team dynamic and various threats they’ll be facing in this storyline.
What they got wrong: Though it doesn’t explain why the New Patrol broke up or why they have issues with each other outside of Cliff questioning Arani’s claim she is Niles wife/widow. It introduces two of their former villains but neither of them have any impact on the story thus far as we introduce a new villain who apparently has ties to Arani.
Recommendation: A fair start but I’m only mildly curious about what happens to Cliff or what this villain’s problem is. It’s not a bad story and maybe you’ll get more out of it than I did but it didn’t quite win me over to the next issue.