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April 04, 2013
Cobra Strikes the Doom Patrol!
For most people, when someone says the word Cobra, the first thing to pop in their minds is probably either a really poisonous snake – or a really bad Sylvester Stallone movie. But if you’re a child of the 1980s (or the child of a child of the 1980s), when someone says Cobra your mind probably flashes the following image:
What’s everyone looking at? It’s the pimp cane, isn’t it? Too much?
Ah, happy memories – well, aside from the original cartoon movie, but that’s just my opinion. Anyway, through their wacky adventures our lovable losers up there would attempt to take over the world through many, many ridiculous plots including hypnotic rock concerts, weather control, giant water robots, insta-grow choker vines, taking over international television, a giant mutant blob/germ and more! These are villains who are etched in the minds of almost every North American child raised in the 1980s – which is why I had no choice but to buy the following issue:
Yes, Doom Patrol #96 by DC comics from way back (1965 to be exact). Besides the awesome insanity of the cover (it’s a giant, evil jukebox! Come on!) there was one point that drew me to this book. Here, let me magnify it for you:
Almost 20 years before Cobra Commander came on the scene there was another group terrorizing the world with the most ludicrous contrivance possible! How could this be? I had to have this issue in order to solve this perplexing mystery. And so, plunking down my $5 I came away a happy camper (which tells you just how sad my life is – or how easily amused I am, take your pick). Half expecting a villain who “talksssss like thissssss” I opened the book and began to read.
Well, nothing weird here…
Man, security at the UN was a joke back in 1965; you could bring anything in with you.
UN security obviously has the day off since the guy belting the peacenik is clearly a regular beat cop.
And hey, you know that whole “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument? Tell that to the gun shooting itself above. It’s possessed I tell you!
Turns out some inexplicable force is causing people around the world to go nuts in increasingly violent ways (which incidentally was the plot in Batman #455-457 which reintroduced Robin (Tim Drake) – man, evil genius’s sure lack creativity). Naturally, when the world goes nuts in the DC Universe in 1965, who else would you call but the premier crime-busting team, the Doom Patrol! Ah yes, the Doom Patrol, the very name itself echoes confidence and success! Following the clues our intrepid trio travels to Asia where they’re promptly abducted and taken to a face to face meet and greet with the greatest threat to modern man…
Uhm, anyone else notice that Elasti-Girl just cut one? Guys?
I like to think that Silly Putty actually controls Cobra.
So, Cobra is actually a large cartel of Asian legitimate businesses being framed by some unknown group for the recent attacks of madness. Yes, the cartel is completely innocent…
…yes sir, only sane, legitimate companies build giant, luxurious headquarters atop a mountainous spire. That there is the very definition of sanity – just like 1980s Cobra and their sinkable desert base, flying fortress, undersea base…
It’s a little disconcerting that the Doom Patrol never even realized they were here until the decrepit old man pointed it out. You’d think after their abduction they’d want to figure out exactly where they are in case they, you know, have to escape or something.
The Doom Patrol decide to help out Cobra, sensing a devious enemy behind everything. But before they can get too far this happens – and let’s face it, this is the only reason to buy the book…
FORCED HEARING LOSS!!! YOU BASTARD!!!
Sorry, I had to shout because, you know, the hearing loss.
For full effect I prefer blasting a little Revolution by the Beatles during this segment, but feel free to choose your own poison. It doesn’t matter what you pick, like your disapproving father the white haired guy above won’t approve.
Much like the original Megatron, Cobra’s bongo beat box bites the big one by going swimming (along with several human swimmers and fish electrocuted by the introduction of a giant electric appliance in the water – way to go N-Man!).
And we then have a weapon’s designer going insane and building the most stupidly painted buzz-saw tank in the blink of an eye.
The Doom Patrol manages to defeat the tank as well, but not before Cobra suffers huge financial loses in the stock market as people sell Cobra shares like there’s no tomorrow. Undeterred Doom Patrol continues to investigate and soon enough they put together what’s actually going on and the brains behind it all…
The Brain is the brains – see where I went there?
Seems that the Brotherhood of Evil was just using Cobra as a testing ground for their secret madness recipe (and some crappy revenge scheme because they’re evil, you know). Testing done they launch a bunch of missiles at the earth from the moon (or something, seriously at this point I’ve got no clue what’s going on) to facilitate their conquest of the earth – because it’s much easier taking over a world run by the edict “craziest rules”. The Doom Patrol manages to stop most of the missiles, except for one…
Okay, why does the girl whose power is to grow extremely tall find it appropriate to wear the shortest short skirt possible? Yeah, I know that other flying female superheroes wear short skirts (Supergirl for one) but generally they stay the same size. Your average Joe would need binoculars to see anything. Elasti-Girl is, like, 50 feet tall and walking around Manhattan. You could just be walking around minding your own business when everything gets dark, so you do what’s natural and look up and BOOM you’re staring at Elasti-Girl’s giant junk.
Also, ironically, all the stuff being thrown into the East River actually improved the water quality.
The Doom Patrol disarms the missile and New York is once more the safest city in North America and the world is saved. Yay.
Before signing off on this entry, we should address the Cobra issue again. As it turns out Cobra wasn’t the true villain in this story, rather they were pawns used by the Brotherhood of Evil, which was a bit of a let down. Still, you could always imagine that this Cobra was eventually taken over by a young Cobra Commander seeking capital for his fledgling organization and voila, a horrible 1980s villain group was born!
Well folks, that’s all for now, until next time…