Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Droom Patrol

Defenders #27 (Sept. 1975) took the non-team to the year 3015 A.D. In that future timeline, Dr. Strange, Hulk, Nighthawk and Valkyrie teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to battle the Badoon, a species of green-skinned extraterrestrials that had conquered the Earth. Leading the Badoon was a despot named Droom.

That character's name caught my attention for historical reasons.

Amazing Adventures #1 (June 1961) introduced Dr. Droom, a physician from the United States who learned magic in Tibet. The magician's amazing adventures continued each month through issue #4 (Sept. 1961), but Dr. Droom did not become part of the extended superhero universe that cemented with Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961).

That changed, in a way, with the publication of Weird Wonder Tales #19 (Dec. 1976), which reprinted that tale from Amazing Adventures #1 with minor revisions.

The original story depicted Dr. Droom as gaining a stereotypical Asian mustache and slanted eyes as a result of learning magic. The reprint, on the other hand, inked over the original artwork and gave the character a beard and consistent facial features throughout the story.

The reprint also changed the hero's surname from Droom to Druid. Revised versions of other Dr. Droom stories appeared with the renamed Dr. Druid each month through Weird Wonder Tales #22 (March 1977). That issue included an introductory paragraph that gave more cohesion to the eclectic character:

My name is Anthony Druid, and in my time I have been many things. I have the skills of a Yogi—the wisdom of a Lama—and the powers of the ancient Britons! I dwell in a dark, shadowy world—destroying evil, protecting the innocent. Danger is my task … Justice, my goal! DR. DRUID. MASTER of the UNKNOWN!

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