So for today's back issue spotlight, I'm reviewing one of my favorite solo issues from Keith Giffen's run on Doom Patrol.
This particular issue is a character spotlight on the Negative Man. Here, Giffen does a damn fine job of consolidating all the previous versions of Larry/Negative Man and their histories all into one.
Hard to do, but Giffen pulls it off superbly.
Doom Patrol#6 Vol. 5 " Negative Incentive" (Mar 2010) by Keith Giffen and Matthew Clark.
The issue starts off with Larry reviewing/catching-up readers new and old on his history, his accident, and how he came to join the Doom Patrol.
Larry used to be a damn good test pilot back in the day. Maybe enough to even rival another famous test pilot, Hal Jordan. (Remember when Waid wrote about them being old buddies in JLA: Year One?)
Of course as these stories go, one day Larry was behind the wheel of the wrong experimental jet, and crashed.
Larry wakes up in the hospital, bandaged from head to toe, with Dr. Caulder explaining why he looks like the Mummy.
You all know what happened, and now Larry shares his body with an alien entity, whose very radioactive.
From there it quickly becomes a game of cat and mouse between Larry and Dr. Caulder; every time Larry runs/moves away, somehow the good doctor finds him, and delivers his brand of treated bandages.
This goes on until Larry finally relents, and joins Dr. Caulder's special team of unique individuals he calls.....The Doom Patrol.
Yep.This montage stroll through memory lane covers everything. Even the Morrison years.
It then covers what led this incarnation of Doom Patrol to get back together, as well as what keeps it together.
She's the magic glue that holds the other halves together. Due to their mutually protective natures regarding her.
The issue ends on a bit of a creepy note. We see the same panel sequence of on the last page, mirroring the first page.
It's then we see the Negative Man, who refers to himself as L, as in L is for Larry.
I highly recommend this issue if you're a DP/Negative Man fan. Giffen really truly does a great job if integrating all previous versions of Negative Man in a very cohesive narrative.
The other character spotlight issues; #13 for Rita, and #22 for Robotman, are every bit just as good as this one. So go find 'em.