A Tribute to the of

Welcome to the latest edition of the Silver Age Sage: #539. If you're looking for a previous interview, please scroll down to the bottom of this page to the Special Features header. There you will find a list of links to all the creators who have been interviewed in the past.

After my foray into learning about the Bottler last time, I happened to stumble across another oddball bad guy and thought, “Well, why not?” It’s kind of interesting that time has been a recurring theme in comics, whether it’s the Challengers of the Unknown living on borrowed time, Rip Hunter, Time Master moving through time in his adventures or time-based characters such as Chronos from the Atom’s rogue’s gallery or the Time Trapper who bedeviled the Legion of Super-Heroes or even the Clock King. Did you know the Doom Patrol title contained the first appearance of Dr. Tyme? Yep. Issue #92, specifically not long after they took over the former My Greatest Adventure series.

The publication date was December of 1964 with an on-sale date of October 15th of that year with Murray Boltinoff as editor, Bob Brown as cover artist and “The Sinister Secret of Dr. Tyme!” being written by Arnold Drake with Bruno Premiani interior art and Stan Starkman lettering. Let’s see what this baddie is all about.

The dramatic splash page shows a giant-sized Elasti-girl down for the count and Dr. Tyme holding Negative Man in a stasis ray while Robotman is attempting to free his teammate. Armold’s lead caption takes full advantage of the gimmick: “What is it that young men have lots of, lazy men have too much of and even rich men can’t buy? Time! Yes, if a man could control time, he would have power beyond belief! And one man did! Come with us as we uncover…the Sinister Secret of Dr. Tyme!

The emphasis on time continues on the story’s opening page with Larry Trainor, aka Negative Man, upbraiding Elasti-girl (Rita Farr) for being seven minutes late to a red alert call. The mission is to rescue an infant locked in a time-lock safe at a bank. It can be opened from the inside, but not by an infant who managed to crawl in undetected. Now that they’ve been briefed, Larry Trainor releases Negative Man from his body to enter the safe. Negative Man succeeds in finding the infant and the release switch, but suffers an electrical shock that sidelines him and if he doesn’t return to Larry’s body in 60 seconds, Trainor could die.

With desperate times calling for desperate measures, Elasti-girl grows to her battle size and rips the safe from its mount, allowing both the reuniting of Negative Man and Trainor and the release of the baby. As the duo departs, Larry mentions he’s been kind of jealous of Rita’s interest in Mento, or Steve Dayton, who they’d first encountered last issue and is the 5th richest man in America along with being a brilliant, handsome wannabe hero with his helmet that allows him to enhance his mental energy. Rita claims she’s done with the arrogant twit and as luck would have it, Robotman or Cliff Steele, as he’s also known, is paying Mr. Dayton a visit.

Cliff informs Dayton that Rita has been mooning over him and that Steve WILL take her out on a date and soon. After a brief tussle, Dayton agrees, closing out Part I.

Part II opens with Dr. Tyme experimenting with his 4-X beam and being overjoyed that he can, in fact, use it to manipulate time. Later he continues his field experiments aboard a plane, managing among other things to slow time to the point he can leap from the plane undetected and unharmed with some valuable jewels from the cargo to the tune of $2 million.

When the World’s Strangest Heroes learn of the caper, they begin to speculate and try to crack the case. Niles Caulder, the Chief, goes into full pondering mode with the facts at hand when Cliff informs Rita, she has a date with Mento.

Still later, Dr. Tyme shows up at a factory and uses his ray to stop a security guard’s bullet from striking him. Soon, in an interesting coincidence, Steve Dayton and Rita Farr are leaving the theater when Dr. Tyme is causing a ruckus, having just stolen a payroll with armed police pursuing him. Steve and Rita then observe as the time ray is causing the men to move in slow motion. Dayton tries his hand at things, but is also a victim of Dr. Tyme’s manipulations. Rita uses her powers to shrink down and attach herself to Dr. Tyme’s getaway car.

Back at DP HQ, the Chief has deduced that this new villain has successfully learned to control the speed of time and that he just so happens to have a machine that can detect the unique kind of energy required.

In another breakneck change of scenery, Dr. Tyme is at Merwin’s Folly, an old castle that had been brought from Europe by an eccentric millionaire and then lost interest, leaving it vacant for the long term. A perfect place for Dr. Tyme and his many time measuring devices to hang out. Rita is observing when she accidentally activates the chime of an old clock that hadn’t been functional, alerting Tyme to her presence. The crook promptly scoops her up and entraps her in a clock that feels like Big Ben to her diminutive stature.

Later, at his insistence, Mento has joined forces with the Doom Patrol to try and rescue Rita. Soon, Robotman is piloting the jet car ginned up by the Chief and they find themselves at Merwin’s Folly when a wall of flames erupts as part of the sophisticated security system.

Robotman finds the fuel source and crimps it off, allowing he, Negative Man and Mento to storm the castle, but an eager Dr. Tyme awaits. The drawbridge collapses beneath them and the moat is filled with huge spikes, ending Part II on a classic cliffhanger.

Part III, the Clocks of Death, shows Negative Man going into action, slicing down the massive spikes so that the trio falls unharmed into the empty moat, other than a couple of bumps and bruises. Cliff quickly uses the spikes to bend them into a ladder for their escape from the moat and soon they are inside and confronting Tyme. Mento uses his brain waves to thrust suits of armor at the fiend, but Tyme counters with his beams that slow them to a crawl. He then follows up by speeding up time on a nearby chandelier, aging it and causing it to drop toward our heroes. They manage to dodge the trap and the communication device on Cliff Steele alerts them, directly from the Chief, that Negative Man is not to be dispatched against Dr. Tyme. A direct order.

Tyme has also dispatched a beam that has created a solid “time barrier” between him and his pursuers while Rita has successfully removed the pendulum from her clock prison and then uses it to break the glass dome holding her prisoner.

Dr. Tyme soon enters, intending to spirit Elasti-girl away, but is surprised by the now towering heroine scooping him up into her grip.

Outside, our heroes are climbing up to the second floor on the outside of the castle and throw a gas bomb inside, but when they make their entry, they find that it has knocked out Rita Farr, but Dr. Tyme has a gas filter within his clock face mask and begins to flee. Ignoring the Chief’s admonition, Negative Man is released, but Dr. Tyme now freezes him in the time manipulation beam. Mento uses his energies to paralyze Dr. Tyme and insists that he similarly use his time beam to “freeze” Larry Trainor so that the 60-second gap that could prove fatal will be overcome. Tyme agrees and then informs Mento and Robotman that they need to beat feet before his boobytrap clock bomb goes off in 15 minutes.

This poses a big problem, in the form of Rita Farr, who is still giant-sized and still unconscious. Dr. Tyme makes good his escape while the Doom Patrol tries to revive Rita. The Chief again communicates through the device on Cliff’s chest and instructs Mento to use his abilities to give Rita a command to reduce down to normal size. After a herculean effort, she does so and the DP escapes the exploding castle in the nick of…time.

Only with a Doom Patrol story will you get adventure, humor and incredibly bizarre criminals pretty much each and every issue. No wonder it was such a beloved, if something of a niche classic. 7 points on the 10-point rating scale this time around.

As long as the webmaster and I can muster it (and we have for many years now) you can continue to count on us to bring you the best and sometimes the less than best of DC’s Silver Age offerings. Just join us again in the middle of September for the latest review and don’t forget to avail yourself of the many resources here at your fingertips on the Silver Lantern.

Questions or comments? Drop a line anytime to: professor_the@hotmail.com.

Always remember…

Long live the Silver Age!

© 2000-2022 by Bryan D. Stroud

This feature was created on 05/01/00 and is maintained by

Bryan D. Stroud


Special Features

Gaspar Saladino Interview

Arnold Drake Tribute

Joe Kubert Interview

Joe Giella Interview

Carmine Infantino Interview

Sheldon Moldoff Interview

Neal Adams Interview (Pt. 1)

Neal Adams Interview (Pt. 2)

Ramona Fradon Interview

Bob Rozakis Interview

Dick Giordano Interview

Denny O'Neil Interview (Pt. 1)

Denny O'Neil Interview (Pt. 2)

Irwin Hasen Interview

Lew Sayre Schwartz Interview

Al Plastino Interview (Pt. 1)

Al Plastino Interview (Pt. 2)

Jim Mooney Interview

Russ Heath Interview (Pt. 1)

Russ Heath Interview (Pt. 2)

Frank Springer Interview (Pt. 1)

Frank Springer Interview (Pt. 2)

Jerry Robinson Interview (Pt. 1)

Jerry Robinson Interview (Pt. 2)

Jerry Robinson Interview (Pt. 3)

Joe Simon & Creig Flessel Interviews

Jim Shooter Interview (Pt. 1)

Jim Shooter Interview (Pt. 2)

Len Wein Interview #1

Len Wein Interview #2

Tony DeZuniga Interview

Jerry Grandenetti Interview

Murphy Anderson Interview

Mike Esposito Interview (Pt. 1)

Mike Esposito Interview (Pt. 2)

Stan Goldberg Interview

Marv Wolfman Interview

Bernie Wrightson Interview

Clem Robins Interview (Pt. 1)

Clem Robins Interview (Pt. 2)

Joe Rubinstein Interview (Pt. 1)

Joe Rubinstein Interview (Pt. 2)

Jack Adler Interview (Pt. 1)

Jack Adler Interview (Pt. 2)

Elliot S! Maggin Interview

Mike Grell Interview

Joe Kubert School Interviews

Anthony Tollin Interview

Sam Glanzman Interview

Ernie Chan Interview

Steve Skeates Interview (Pt. 1)

Steve Skeates Interview (Pt. 2)

Mike Friedrich Interview

Tom Orzechowski Interview (Pt. 1)

Tom Orzechowski Interview (Pt. 2)

Walt Simonson Interview

Gene Colan Interview

Gerry Conway Interview

Guy H. Lillian III Interview

Frank McLaughlin Interview

Al Milgrom Interview (Pt. 1)

Al Milgrom Interview (Pt. 2)

Irene Vartanoff Interview

Don Perlin Interview

John Workman Interview (Pt. 1)

John Workman Interview (Pt. 2)

Tom Palmer Interview

Paul Levitz Interview

Jay Scott Pike Interview

Jack C. Harris Interview (Pt. 1)

Jack C. Harris Interview (Pt. 2)

Carl Potts Interview

Larry Hama Interview

Joe Kubert School Interviews 2

Greg Theakston Interview (Pt. 1)

Greg Theakston Interview (Pt. 2)

Michael Netzer Interview (Pt. 1)

Michael Netzer Interview (Pt. 2)

Alan Kupperberg Interview

Joe D'esposito Interview

Steve Mitchell Interview (Pt. 1)

Steve Mitchell Interview (Pt. 2)

Ralph Reese Interview

Bob McLeod Interview

Bob Smith Interview

Jose Delbo Interview

Joe Staton Interview (Pt. 1)

Joe Staton Interview (Pt. 2)

Frank Thorne Interview

Bob Wiacek Interview

Nick Cardy Interview (Pt. 1)

Nick Cardy Interview (Pt. 2)

John Calnan Interview

Sy Barry Interview

Cary Bates Interview

John Severin Interview

Liz Berube Interview

Thom Zahler Interview

Paul Kirchner Interview

Sheldon Moldoff Interview #2

Mike Royer Interview (Pt. 1)

Mike Royer Interview (Pt. 2)

Joe Barney Interview (Pt. 1)

Joe Barney Interview (Pt. 2)

Ken Bald Interview

Sal Buscema Interview

Angelo Torres Interview

Alex Ross Interview

Howard Chaykin Interview

Sergio Curbelo Interview

Paul Kupperberg Interview

Vicente Alcazar Interview

Barbara Friedlander Interview (Pt. 1)

Barbara Friedlander Interview (Pt. 2)

Also check out the Sage's Nerd Team 30 contributions.

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