Omniverse Comics Guide: Comic Book Reading Guides, Podcasts & Previews

Doom Patrol Reading Order: Crawling from the Wreckage (1987-1998)

Known for some of the most bizarre stories in the DC Universe, the Doom Patrol are about to get stranger! Following the death of the original Doom Patrol at the hands of Madame Rouge and General Zahl, Robotman become part of a new line-up when he met Celsius, Negative Woman and Tempest. The team remained in operation right up to the end of Earth-One continuity with the CRISIS OF INFINITE EARTHS (1985-1986) that reset the DC Universe.

Following the Crisis, the Doom Patrol’s New Earth continuity keeps their previous history relatively intact. The new team may have gone their separate ways, but Celsius – still claiming she’s Niles Caulder’s husband – believes the Chief and perhaps the rest of the original team are still alive.

The Doom Patrol will reach new, weirder heights when writer Grant Morrison picks up the series from Doom Patrol #19, remaining on the title until #63, after which Rachel Pollack takes over as scribe. Doom Patrol #64 is marks the moment when the series joins the ‘mature readers’ Vertigo Comics line. While the Vertigo titles are largely considered to sit outside of mainstream DC Universe continuity, later stories do refer back to the events of this series and there’s no reason why this can’t still be considered to be a part of New Earth’s history.

Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔ are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.

When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four

The pre-Crisis Doom Patrol stories will be covered in this reading order:

  • DOOM PATROL: The World’s Strangest Heroes (1963-1986)

Want to keep it simple? A version of this reading order without story descriptions, page-by-page breakdowns or less non-essential guest appearances – just the primary stories:

  • Secret Origins Annual #1[1/2]
  • Doom Patrol #1-6
  • Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1
  • Doom Patrol #7-10
  • Superman #20
  • Doom Patrol #11-14
  • Doom Patrol Annual #1
  • Doom Patrol #15-17
  • Invasion! #2
  • Doom Patrol #18
  • Invasion! #3
  • Doom Patrol #19-69
  • Vertigo Jam #1[4/7]
  • Doom Patrol #70-73
  • Doom Patrol Annual #2
  • Doom Patrol #74-87

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Chronology: Every appearance of Doom Patrol from this period is included in chronological order, mapping out their timeline rather than just the order the issues were released.
Spoilers: The issue/story overviews may include spoilers, so be warned!

Must ReadsTitle, Synopsis & First AppearancesCrossover / Event
New Teen Titans #28-31 (1987)
Robotman assists the Teen Titans when Brother Blood returns from the dead and brainwashes Nightwing and Raven to fight alongside him.
Teen Titans Spotlight #9 (1987)
Robotman hangs out with former teammate Changeling; after a fight with Mister 104, Changeling tries to convince Robotman not to retire from the ‘hero game’.
Secret Origins Annual #1[1/2] (1987)
Robotman relays the origin of the Doom Patrol to the computer in their old headquarters and discovers his old teammate Valentina Vostok is still alive and working for the US Government; Robotman heads to California to retire.
Doom Patrol #1-6 (1987-1988)
Celsius calls on Robotman and Tempest to find out of the Doom Patrol really did die; the group fight Celsius’ father Kalki, Karma and Dr Goodman’s band of super-villains; Negative Woman and Negative Man return to the line-up, along with new members Scott Fischer, Karma & Lodestone.

1st appearances: Blaze/Scott Fischer, Karma/Wayne Hawkins, Lodestone/Rhea Jones.
Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1 (1988)
The Doom Patrol rush to Nicuragua to rescue the captured Hawk from the Russians, believing Task Force X have been sent there to kill him; when Rick Flag’s Suicide Squad team are all killed, it’s up to the Doom Patrol to rescue Flag and Hawk.
Doom Patrol #7-9 (1988)
The new Doom patrol test their mettle against the hitman Shrapnel and face an army of Plastic Men sent by their old foe Garguax; the Chief’s death is confirmed; Negative Man’s loyalty to the team is called into question.

1st appearance: Shrapnel/Mark Scheffer
DC Bonus Book #3 (1988) – included in Doom Patrol #9 (1988)
While wondering if her husband is still alive, Celsius helps a woman find peace before she dies.
Doom Patrol #10 (1988)
Superman #20 (1988)
Metallo uses Robotman’s spare parts to form a new body; Superman and the Doom Patrol join forces against Metallo and his robot army.

1st appearance: Reactron/Benjamin Krullen
Must ReadsTitle, Synopsis & First AppearancesCrossover / Event
Doom Patrol #11-14 (1988)
Negative Man plans to use Reactron’s powers to get his own abilities back from Negative Woman; Garguax initiates his plan to invade Earth; the Doom Patrol and Power Girl face Pythia, the rampaging agent of the Lords of Chaos; Karma leaves the team due to his criminal background.

1st appearance: Dorothy Spinner
Doom Patrol Annual #1 (1988)
Lex Luthor tries to turn the public against the Doom Patrol, using their battle with Maddax the Destroyer against them.
Doom Patrol #15-16 (1988-1989)
The Chief makes his return, which brings out both the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man and General Immortus, both seeking their chance for revenge; the Chief and the Doom Patrol are reunited.
Doom Patrol #17 (1989)
Invasion! #2 (1989)
Doom Patrol #18 (1989)
Invasion! #3 (1989)
The Doom Patrol and Gaguax make a surprising alliance with the Alien Alliance attempt an invasion of Earth; Celcius and Scott Fischer fall in battle; the Doom Patrol, Aquaman and the Sea Devils fend off the invading Gil’Dishpan; Martian Manhunter assists the Doom Patrol when they lose control of their powers due to exposure to the Gene Bomb; Negative Woman loses her powers and leaves the team; Lodestone is left in a coma.

1st appearances: Lyrissa Mallor, Strata
Doom Patrol #19-33 (1989-1990)
Mercurius brings Dr Eleanor Poole into his shared being with Larry Trainor to form Rebis; Will Magnus introduces Robotman to Crazy Jane; Dorothy Spinner & Crazy Jane join the Doom Patrol; the team face the reality-defying Scissormen of Orqwith; Red Jack kidnaps the comatose Lodestone; Dorothy Spinner fights her own imaginary friends; having been kicked out of the Brotherhood of Evil, Mister Nobody forms the Brotherhood of Dada to bring chaos to the world using the Painting That Ate Paris; the Doom Patrol, Superman and the Justice League battle the Fifth Horseman; Crazy Jane faces Daddy Challis; Willoughby Kipling meets the team when the Cult of the Unwritten Book attempt to summon the Decreator;

1st appearances: Botherhood of Dada (Fog/Byron Shelley, Frenzy/Lloyd Jefferson, Quiz, Sleepwalk/Holly McKenzie), Crazy Jane/Kay Challis, Willoughby Kipling, Painting That Ate Paris, Eleanor Poole, Red Jack, Scissormen

New Identities: Negative Man/Larry Trainor as Rebis, Eric Morden as Mister Nobody
Justice League Europe #17 (1990)
Rebis & Robotman cameo; the United Nations forbid costumed heroes – including the Doom Patrol – from interfering when the Extremists take control of the planet’s nuclear capabilities.
Doom Patrol #34-52 (1990-1992)
The Brain and Monsieur Mallah – the last of the Brotherhood of Evil – attack the Doom Patrol; the team rescue Danny the Street and Flex Mentallo from Darren JonesMen from NOWHERE; after conflicts with the Geomancers, the Orthodoxy of the Insect Mesh and the Beard Hunter, the Doom Patrol learn the origin of Flex Mentallo; Mister Nobody returns when Doctor Silence tries to destroy the Painting That Ate Paris; Mister Nobody forms a new Brotherhood of Dada and runs for President; Robotman and Tempest learn the origin of government agent Yankee Doodle Dandy.

1st appearances: Candlemaker, Danny the Street, Doctor Silence, Flex Mentallo, Men from NOWHERE, Wallace Sage, the Toy
War of the Gods #4 (1991)
Robotman cameo; Robotman is among the heroes opposing Circe and the Legion of Hades.
Must ReadsTitle, Synopsis & First AppearancesCrossover / Event
Doom Patrol #53-63 (1992-1993)
Danny the Street dreams up an alternative Doom Patrol; Rebis goes through major changes; Crazy Jane confronts her father; the Chief violently confronts Tempest when he believes he’ about to sabotage his plans; the true origin of the Doom Patrol is revealed; the Candlemaker unleashes his secret apocalypse; Crazy Jane and Rebis leave the team.
Doom Patrol #64-69 (1993)
The Chief returns to pull the Doom Patrol back together; the Bandage People and the Inner Child join the Doom Patrol as they face the ancient spirit Crowdark, Foxfur and the Master Cleaner and meet new hero, the Identity Addict.

1st appearances: The Bandage People, Charlie the Doll/Inner Child
Vertigo Jam #1[4/7] (1993)
Dorothy Spinner causes to Sexually Remaindered Spirits to break free from the Doom Patrol headquarters.

1st appearance: Alice Wired For Sound
Doom Patrol #70-73 (1993)
The Doom Patrol rescue Coagula – a superhuman with past connections to the team – is from the Codpiece when he hunts her down; Foxfur and Crowdark return to offer Robotman a human body; Coagula joins the Doom Patrol.

1st appearance: Coagula/Kate Godwin
 Doom Patrol Annual #2 (1994)
Dorothy Spinner is drawn away from the Doom Patrol to the supposedly perfect Free Country; the Dead Boy Detective and Doom Patrol bring her home.
Doom Patrol #74-87 (1994-1995)
Robotman hunts down discs that have duplicated his consciousness; the Doom Patrol are drawn into the magical Teiresias Wars; Dorothy Spinner loses control of her powers; the False Memory joins the team; the Chief and Alice Wired For Sound get closer; the Doom Patrol’s fight with the False Healers who plan to save the world by destroying it, with members of the team sacrificing themselves to stop them.
Guy Gardner: Warrior #29 (1995)
Robotman cameo; Robotman attends the opening of Guy Gardner’s Warriors bar.
Book of Fate #12 (1998)
Robotman cameo; Robotman drinks in the same bar as Fate and Lobo.

The Doom Patrol’s reading order will continue:

  • DOOM PATROL: The End of the Doom Patrol (2000-2011)
  • DOOM PATROL: Young Animals (2013-Present)

Notable alternate universe versions of the Doom Patrol from around the multiverse; cameos are not included.

UniverseTitle, Issue Number & SynopsisEvent / Crossover
Unspecified Alternate FutureDoom Force Special #1 (1992)
In a possible future, the disembodied head of the Chief forms Doom Force, to combat strange threats to the world like Count Anton Zero.
Amalgam UniverseX-Patrol #1 (1996)
Exciting X-Patrol #1 (1997)

When the DC Universe and Marvel Universe are temporarily merged, the Doom Patrol & Teen Titans and X-Force & Generation X are amalgamated into the X-Patrol; Niles Cable leads Shatterstarfire, Beastling, Dial HUSK and the rest of the team against Doctor Doomsday and Brother Brood.

Earth-9Tangent Comics: Doom Patrol #1 (1997)
Tangent Comics: Nightwing – Night Force #1 (1998)
Tangent: Superman’s Reign #3 (2008)
Convergence: New Teen Titans #1-2 (2015)
In the Tangent Universe, the Doom Patrol arrive from the future to prevent a cataclysm in the present, only to discover they’re the cause; they’re hunted by Night Force and lose their souls to the creation of the Ultra-Humanite; years later, Telas (the agent of various versions of Brainiac from across the multiverse) pits the Doom Patrol against the Teen Titans


The NailJustice League: The Nail #1, 3 (1998)
Justice League: Another Nail #2-3 (2004)
The Doom Patrol are among the heroes who fight some surprising foes in a ‘Silver Age’ in which Superman never came to be.

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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