November, 1976

SUPER-TEAM FAMILY was one of a bevy of DC reprint comics of the 70s–one of the best ones, under the stewardship of editor E. Nelson Bridwell. Bridwell’s encyclopedic knowledge of DC’s back-catalog made any reprint collection he assembled a treasure-trove of obscure and terrific stories. STF was no exception.

The Teen Titans tale that leads this book off is solid-but-unspectacular, with excellent artwork by George Tuska and Nick Cardy (who was doing virtually all of DC’s covers in the early 70s when I started to read the books.) But the back-up tale of the World’s Weirdest Heroes is where the issue really scored!

The Doom Patrol is a real favorite of mine, and this was my first encounter with both the team and its creators. Off-beat, edgy an ahead-of-its-time, Doom Patrol read more like a Marvel book of the period than the standard DC output. The team was shunned and feared by ordinary people because they were all freaks–and freaks they were! In order to get into the Doom Patrol, you had to live through a horrifying, life-changing accident, and emerge with fairly piddling super powers. A total flip on the usual “power fantasy” appeal of super heroes, the DP were all characters that you wouldn’t want to be–a race car driver whose human brain had been transplanted into a clunky, crude robot after he was burned alive, a pilot whose body became dangerously radioactive after an encounter with the Van Allen Belt, and who had to spend every waking second swathed in protective bandages, head-to-toe, and a size-changing former actress whose powers were quickly killing her.  

My copy is in such awful shape because I’d traded it at one point to my next door neighbor Johnny Rantinella, and later traded again to get it back once I’d decided I’d made a mistake.

2014 Note: Image is no longer of my copy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s