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November 30, 2014

Character Spotlight: Robotman

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Written by: Dr. Bustos
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Doom Patrol! A team of outcasts with superpowers. No, not the X-Men, though both teams came out at around the same time. One of those really strange coincidences in comics. Speaking of strange coincidences, what are the odds a daredevil goes through a horrific accident where a doctor is close by able to perform an experimental surgery that makes the man a Robotman? What’s a Robotman? Well I guess I gotta explain some things.

Robotman_screamingCliff Steele was an adrenaline junkie, he traveled the world doing extreme sports and living adventurous lifestyles. His career as a NASCAR driver was short-lived, when a terrible accident nearly kills him. Dr. Niles Caulder is nearby and able to assist in transferring Cliff’s brain over to a robotic body. Unfortunately, literal wires were crossed and the stress of this new form, the trauma of it all, and the bad wiring lead to Cliff going on a rampage with little to no grip on reality. Dr. Caulder is able to jump in and alert Cliff that he can repair the wiring and aide Cliff on the road to dealing with this new mechanical life.

Robotman_(Steele)Going along with Dr. Caulder, Cliff would join up with Larry Trainor (the bandaged Negative Man) and Rita Farr (the growing and shrinking Elasti-Girl) to become the Doom Patrol. The team would go on strange adventures and gain new team members, such as Beast Boy. Though Cliff felt somewhat isolated due to his mechanical exterior, he had a family who loved him. So when an old enemy of Caulder’s captured the team and gave them the choice of blowing themselves up or a town, the family took the hit.

Robotman Clifford_Steele_(New_Earth)_Schematic_002Cliff was able to survive the blast thanks to Dr. Magnus, master roboticist and creator of the Metal Man. Cliff would help rebuild the team knowing the world needs a Doom Patrol to deal with strange situations. This would become a theme for the Doom Patrol, like a phoenix (not The Phoenix, again, that’s that other team) the team would die and be reborn with new and old team members joining and leaving.

Robotman Doom_Patrol_Vol_5_21_Textless_CoverSome of the strange things Cliff and the rest of the Doom Patrol encountered were the Brotherhood of Dada, a strange team of superpowered people with powers that would make the Dada art movement proud, if that movement could be proud, that is. Other times, Cliff would deal with issues that were all too normal such as depression and dysphoria. Committing himself to asylums whenever he’d lose the team, it wasn’t just the world that needed the Doom Patrol. Dr. Magnus would aide Cliff once again by introducing him to fellow teammate and future lover of Cliff’s, Jane who would share a rocky relation with Steele (nailed it).

Robotman_BTBATBOne of the most jarring things for Cliff was learning that Dr. Caulder was responsible for his NASCAR accident as well as Negative Man and Elasti-Girl’s that gave them their powers. Worse yet, that Caulder had been manipulating the team the whole time and that this might not have been the first time they’d discovered this about their accidents. Caulder was kicked off the team and team member, Mento, took the lead. Robotman still stays with the team frequently as a heavy and consul to those who have such strange abilities and appearances. Cliff would also learn that his human brain had all of his memories and personality uploaded into a CPU thus making him entirely machine but with the thoughts and memories of a human, he was a ghost in a machine.

In the New 52, Cliff was still a daredevil and risk taker which lead to him testing out an experimental nanotech that would protect and heal him. After a would-be fatal car crash, the nanotech realizes the safest way to save Cliff’s life is to build him a new body out of itself thus creating Robotman.

There you have it! I enjoy robots and cyborgs, let’s see if I can find anymore for upcoming posts. Until then, have a good time and power down.

Suggested Reading

My Greatest Adventure #80
Doom Patrol

Dr. Bustos

drbustos@comicattack.net

 

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