The Doom Patrol is one of the oldest superhero groups in the DC Comics universe. Creators like Grant Morrison and John Byrne have offered their own interpretation.

As one of the classic superhero teams from DC Comics, the Doom Patrol has taken many incarnations over the years. First appearing in My Greatest Adventure #80 (June 1963), the team responsible for the initial development of the Doom Patrol was writers Arnold Drake and Bob Haney, artist Bruno Premiani and editor Murray Boltinoff.

The team of B-list misfit superheroes soon took the reigns of the comic and continued on monthly adventures until the title’s cancellation in 1968. The initial team was killed off in the final issue, Doom Patrol #121 (September-October 1968). However, the team has been relaunched numerous times, sometimes with great success, other times to a dwindling interest.

The First Run of the Doom Patrol

There are basically seven comics runs of the Doom Patrol as of 2010. The first run started with My Greatest Adventure #80 (June 1963), a title which eventually transformed into the Doom Patrol comic. It ran with notorious crossovers with the Challengers of the Unknown and the Teen Titans until it was canceled with Doom Patrol #121 (September-October 1968).

Paul Krupperberg’s Relaunch

The second run by Paul Krupperberg started a reboot with Showcase #94 (August-September 1977). However, it wasn’t until October 1987 that an actual issue debuted sporting the Doom Patrol as a main feature. This series was not very successful, prompting the replacement of the writer by issue #18. The transition was made using the Invasion miniseries, a major event in the DC Universe.

The Grant Morrison Years

With issue #19 of the series, Grant Morrison took over the writing duties of the Doom Patrol, changing the direction of the book and ultimately taking part in the comics makeover of the late 1980s and early 1990s. After the majority of the team was killed again, Morrison found himself in a position to redevelop the team. His run lasted until issue #63, with a Doom Force Special and a Flex Mentallo four-issue miniseries.

The Doom Patrol’s Vertigo Run

Rachel Pollock continued the run after Grant Morrison, building on the general principles he developed and entering into the world of Vertigo. The comic, unfortunately, lasted only from issue #64 until #87. It ended with a whimper, signaling the end for the Doom Patrol for a number of years.

The Doom Patrol Return to the DC Universe

John Arcudi relaunched the series in 2001, bringing it back to the DC Universe. However, the majority of the original intent was considered lost by most critics, many comparing it to a bad X-Men comic. The run lasted 22 issues.

John Byrne and the Failed Relaunch

The legendary John Byrne attempted a relaunch of the Doom Patrol in 2004, eliminating the previous continuity and announcing the team was “Together again for the first time!” However, the series was met with mixed results, some enjoying a concrete story, while others upset that the great runs from previous artists were disenfranchised. The series ended with issue #18.

The Future of the Doom Patrol

With all the numerous artists and writers who have worked on Doom Patrol over the years, it’s safe to say that the fantastic group of superhero misfits most likely won’t be kept down for long. DC Comics at some point in the future will make another attempt to relaunch the series. How well the Doom Patrol is received depends greatly on the success of the creative team and the state of the world itself.

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