By DoomDoomDoom 15 Comments
Cliff Steele was risk taker who was eager to face any challenge that presented itself. After climbing Mt. Everest one day Cliff says to himself "I should try my hand at NASCAR". Which is obviously the next logical step after climbing Mt. Everest. Cut to Cliff racing around a track at 140mph. He is having the time of his life until a villainous oil slick jumps out in front of his car sending it crashing. No radioactive spider or gamma radiation here, just your regular old oil slick. The crash utterly destroys Cliff Steele's body but amazingly his brain is recovered unscathed and placed in a robot body. After a while Cliff Steele "crawling from the wreckage" of his once dare devilish lifestyle emerges on the superhero scene calling himself Robotman.
Now my question, is Robotman still Cliff Steele after the accident? This is a common theme in many of the issues of Doom Patrol, the superhero team which Robotman leads. This question is reminiscent of Theseus' Paradoxor as most people know it "the problem of my great grandfather's axe". Imagine your great grand father had this axe that was passed down through the generations. Your grandfather wears out the blade and has to replace it and your father breaks the handle which he replaces. When they give you the axe for your 18th birthday is it even still your great grandfathers axe? Most people will agree no, but find it hard to pinpoint exactly when it stopped being your great grandfathers axe. If you go with the first repair you could just as easily take it further up the line until you get to the first nick in the blade. Maybe I'm getting off-topic.
So is Cliff Steele still Cliff Steele, and if not at what point did he stop being himself?