Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fantasy Team-Up: The Fantastic Four and the Doom Patrol


For the last couple of weeks I've been reading an expertly written and in depth analysis, issue by issue, of the Fantastic Four, their history, especially the first 28 years of the FF's existance, and how it correlates to the space race years to the ending of the Cold War with the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

It's truly a long and facinating look at FF history and where America was at culturally and historically during the early years and beyond.

Here's the link:

Please,PLEASE, do yourself a favor and give it a good read or two. Its very comprehensive, but is easily broken down and organized into main sections and sub-sections for you to follow, and it gives you that DVD commnetary that most people are so used to nowadays.

Anyhoo, this edition of Fantasy Team-U involves pairing up two very similar teams, both in powers and family, inter-personal dynamics; the Fantastic Four and the Doom Patrol.

C'mon. You can't tell me you haven't already wondered why those teams seem so similar.
First the obvious; the visuals:

-Both teams normally consist of maily four members, with there sometimes being special or certain cases where additonal team members are added/included.

-Both possess incredible and strange powers.
-Both featured some truly weird and wild comic covers in their early years.



-Both follow a family unit strucutre, albeit represented in different ways.
-Both have a super-genius as the team leader.
-Both teams feature experienced pilots as members; Ben and Larry respectively
-Both teams with the exception of Prof. Caulder, have similar-looking powers.
-Both were initally viewed by the public as freaks and outcasts; only the DP maintained that status, whereas the FF quickly became popular and beloved by the public.
-Both teams' respective inital creative teams set the tone for their success and iconic looks.
-Both were written, drawn, and inked by John Byrne

There's many, many more similarities between the two, but you get the idea.
So, how and why would these two similair, but very different teams team up?

Simple. One word; DOOM.

Dr. Doom to be precise.

As much fun as it would be to mik the excitiement and sheer novelty of the FF mixing it up with the likes of the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, or the Brotherhood of Evil, or the Doom Patrol battling the Mole Man or Galactus, only someone of the caliber of Doom makes sense as the main catalyst for an inital team-up story.

Let's say ol' Doc Doom runs across intel that there's this team calling themselves the Doom Patrol.
Doom instantly becomes both intrigued and insulted that they'd dare use HIS name!

Doom attacks the Doom Patrol because of an imagined slight, with the FF coming to their aid because Doom's mainly their problem, and off to the races we go.

A varitable who's who of writers and artists would and could, do a deceptively simple story like this justice.
For the sake of arguement, I'll pick two sets of different creative teams ideally suited to present this tale.

On the Silver Age side, of course, would be either a team-up between Lee/Kirby and Drake/Premiani, separated into chapters, or Lee/Kirby to do both teams.

 I don't see why Lee couldn't write the adventures of both teams when the personalities and family-like strucutre of both teams are so similar to each other.

Plus Cliff/Robotman talks like the Thing anyways. At least that's how I write his dialogue.

For a modern classic creative team, I'll go with John Byrne on art and co-plots, with Roger Stern as the other co-plotter. This would be to help rein Byrne in if he goes too far outside the usual charcterizations pf the team.

For those who don't remember, Byrne and Chris Claremont worked on an arc of JLA some years back, which in turn allowed Byrne to the have opportunity write and draw the Doom Patrol, albeit his version. Which basically ignored past runs by writers like Morrison and Pollack.
Fans didn't care for the Byrne reboot treatement, and the series was cancelled not too long after it started.

Now for a true modern creative team, I'm thinking a writer like Mark Waid, Karl Kesel, Dan Slott, and/or Grant Morrison would be nice.

The artist? That's a bit harder, but my suggestions would be Alan Davis, Jason Fabok, Ivan Reis, and/or Marcos Martin.

But that's just me.

Who would you have write and draw a team-up between these two teams?
Let me know in the comments' section below.

Hope you guys and gals have a good/great weekend.....


Dan W said...

Nice post! People get so tied up highlighting how Doom Patrol's origin ties to the X-Men I think they overlook howgood a Fantastic Four crossover would be. I think that silver age feeling they share wasa huge motivation behind Grant Morrison's DP run.

For artist I'd chose Darwyn Cooke to illustrate the portion of the tale that makes place in the Marvel U, and Sean Murphy for the scenes in the DCU, to play off the grunge vs clean comic images they now have. I'd even bring a third artist in for the Negative Zone - put the living street in there and watch things get real crazy!

For writer, I'd run with Joe Casey. He's IMO one of the most cutting edge writers in comics atm, knows funny, and has a strong love for the mediums history so he covers the FF, and he can do taboo and drama, covering the DP!

Dan W said...

Hit post to soon - also wanted to add one other similarity. FF gave rise to The Incredibles at Pixar, while the Doom Patrol seems to be just as obvious an influencer on Dreamworks' Monsters vs Aliens.

Dale Bagwell said...

Thanks for the commnents Dan. glad you liked this one.

I totally agree with the choice of Darwyn Cooke as artist. and if not him, than aritst Dave Bullock, since he has a VERY similar style to Cooke's.
You say Sean Murphy, I say chris Bachelo, especially for the Negative Zone bits.
As for writer, I'd add Cooke again, along with Mark Waid/Brian Augustyn and Tom Peyer since their proven wirters who can do the silver age parts justice.

A lot of people have said that the only good FF movie was the Incredible. I have to agree, although that first one and some of the second were really good, but could've been bettter.

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