First Strike: The Invasion! Podcast Ep.13: Doom Patrol #17

Bass and Siskoid cover Doom Patrol #17, guest-starring Aquaman, Aqualad, and the Sea Devils, with a focus on the King of the Seven Seas in the second part of the show.

Listen to Episode 13 below (the usual filthy filthy language warnings may apply), or subscribe to First Strike: The Invasion! Podcast on iTunes!

Relevant images and further credits at: First Strike ep.13 Supplemental

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13 responses to “First Strike: The Invasion! Podcast Ep.13: Doom Patrol #17

  1. “I hate when people say you don’t like something because you don’t understand it, but I think a lot of people don’t understand Aquaman…” I totally agree with Bass’ sentiment here.

    I’m much higher on Truog’s art than Shag is. Well, maybe not “much” higher. I think his art on ANIMAL MAN was fine; not stellar, not awful, just fine.

  2. It does seem odd that DC didn’t try to give the DP a boost in their own title, when new readers were going to be picking this up. Maybe Morrison was already hired and Kupperberg was just closing up shop.

    I gotta disagree on Aquaman’s visuals. There is nothing inherently goofy about Aquaman’s classic look that isn’t found in Superman’s, for instance. His contrasting color scheme is very striking. I’ve always thought he had a very strong, unique image among the super pantheon. The Superman Animated episode proves that look can be used with a less than sunny disposition, and it still works.

    But man, those Sea Devils outfits ARE hideous!


  3. I’ll have plenty of comments about Doom Patrol. Not so many about Aquaman.

    I was nodding my head at all the Celsius/Tempest/Tempest confusion. We aren’t the only ones flummoxed or wondering if there was more there. And other people were just as confused. In the Blackest Night Doom Patrol crossover issue, Keith Giffen brought in a Josh ‘Tempest’ Clay Doom Patrol zombie to attack the team. But instead of energy beams, Giffen accidentally had him the powers of Garth ‘Tempest’ .

    As you say, this wasn’t the finest Doom Patrol issues. But Morrison was already on board. A creative team change had already been announced in the letter columns a couple of issues earlier. This was Kupperberg clearing the decks for Morrison.

  4. I feel quite offended by your presumption that I will listen to this episode! Just because I’ve listened to every other one and commented on most of them…

    But seriously, this issue is problematic, as you pointed out, in that Paul Kupperberg abandons his plots rather than resolves them. The resolution of the Niles Caulder/Arani Desai relationship isn’t clear cut as you describe. The readers only have the Cheif’s word that they aren’t married, and given what we learn later in volume 2 he may very well have been lying. But it really bothered us that Arani is clearly committing suicide rather than trying an ill-advised gambit.

    Mr Kupperberg told us in Waiting for Doom that he writes issue to issue without long term plans. I think it really shows in his DP run which was really unsatisfactory for readers. There’s likeable characters in fairly pedestrian adventures with terrible team dynamics. You like them despite the plots mostly. The end of the run is rich in wasted opportunities with characters never experiencing any growth or arcs.

    But, as is the norm around here, Mike and I found our joy in the Kupperberg run. We celebrated the 80’sness of Lodestone, the angstiness of Josh and Val’s love life, the forthright goofiness of Hot Hands, the fake punkness of Karma. And the many, many butt shots in Erik Larsen’s art. These issues were much more fun to synopsise and review than some of the much better written fare.

    The issue was a bright point in the run at this stage as the team have been basically hanging around Kansas for about a year by this point. The change of venue was very welcome and I loved the Sea Devils appearance and this was definitely my first exposure to the team, pre dating Dane Dorrance’s more serious guest spot in Animal Man.

    Plus, Bass is wrong about the pointlessness of Aquaman riding a giant seahorse. If I were editor in chief at DC I would mandate that Arthur never be seen in any panel without his butt planted firmly on the back of a giant seahorse. Under the sea, in the JLA headquarters, in space, making sweet love to Mera… It makes him even cooler.

  5. I confess to some confusion about the comments regarding Aquaman riding on the giant sea horse, especially comparing to the idea of Flash riding a motorcycle. I’m not aware that super-speed is a power that Aquaman has. Sure, he can swim. He can swim with great agility and for whatever length of time you need him to. I’m sure he swims much *better* than any human. But *faster*? And specifically, *super-fast*? I see no reason that riding on a vehicle should not give Aquaman greater speed than he could provide on his own.

    Sure, the idea of GIANT sea horse is kind of goofy, but that wasn’t the part that surprised me about the comments.

    I also feel compelled to put in my two cents of what I know will be an unpopular opinion, but I am just NOT a fan of Grant Morrison. It seems to me that the man can’t write a coherent story to save his life. He’s so consumed by being clever and metatextual that his stories get bogged down in it all to the detriment of the narrative. A comic reader shouldn’t HAVE to have a PhD in psychology, nor in comic book minutia, to generate enjoyment from a comic book story. Morrison’s writing seems to leave the more casual fan entirely out of the loop, and thus just isn’t for me.

    1. A giant seahorse just doesn’t seem as fast as someone with super-swimming, ranked fairly highly in the DC Heroes RPG, which I think is where Bass was coming from. 🙂

  6. Also, Doom Patrol preceded the X-Men by 3 months. There’s no direct evidence of anyone copying anyone, though there were some suspicions voiced by DP creator Arnold Drake, but everyone agrees if there’s was any plagiarism it’s from the Marvel camp, not DC.

  7. Very good episode on a not so stellar issue. I picked up the two Invasion issues of Doom Patrol in the bargain bin and reading it, you definitely got the feel of a scorched earth policy with respect to the team. Graham Nolan’s art was promising, but it is only when he did Hawkworld and Detective Comics in the early 90s that his art blossomed.

    It is very strange to think today that in the course of the Invasion storyline that there was no ongoing for either Green Lantern or Aquaman. How times have changed! Aquaman is a great character but unfortunately, I find that writers submerge him (no pun intended) into the politics of Atlantis too much. The better runs of Aquaman are always those that acknowledge his role in Atlantis but embrace more his role in the wider world and the world of superheroes.

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