Sunday, July 3, 2011

Doom Patrol #1 (October, 2009)

Deborah "Dusty" Marlow: Special Services Detachment for the Doom Patrol. She flew the helicopter to the tropical island of Buena Suerte, and kept an eye on it after landing. This involved tazing a bro from the island's disabled security detail.

Grunt: Four armed ape. Started acting up when the Patrol found the "maternity ward from hell." It's handler protested when Cliff failed to acknowledge it by name. Larry pointed out, "Grunt's not a name. It's an involuntary expulsion of air."

Dr. Amanda Becket: Very cute scientist rocking the glasses. Didn't care that Niles Caulder disapproved of her experiments. Stripped nude in front of the team while explaining the hypocrisy of a freakish Doom Patrol being sent to stop her from making monsters. Shed her skin to become an insectoid creature dubbed "Botfly." Not so cute anymore.

Mi-Sun Kwon: Capable of psychically manipulating a being as willful as Superman. Controlled the ape Grunt. First member to be attacked by the swarm of Parasite-derivative creatures incubated by Botfly. The rest of the team were assaulted in short order. Botfly saw this as an opportunity, since she had yet to "impregnate an enhanced host."

Larry Trainor: Former pilot, now disfigured and capable of projecting an energy wraith from his body for a limited period of time. Fell unconscious while the Negative Man wrecked Botfly's laboratory. Rita tossed Botfly herself like a rag doll. Trainor's body was carried to safety by Robotman as the team headed for their chopper.

Nudge: Reduced to equal parts fine red mist and vaguely identifiable meat product by a spray of heavy enemy gunfire from attacking helicopters. Grunt, untethered, was last seen carrying these remains off into the jungle. The rest of the team filed into Dusty's chopper, until Negative Man destroyed two of the aggressors.

Rita Farr: Used her size-altering powers as Elasti-Girl to grow large enough to swat the last chopper between her fists. Larry wondered aloud, "Um... remind me again, exactly why does she need us around?" The team returned to their base on Oolong Island.

Father Rocky Davis: Former member of the Challengers of the Unknown turned priest and typically unwanted councilor for the Doom Patrol. Asked how old Nudge was. She was declared legal and "old enough to know better" by Cliff, which Rocky found cold. Larry teased Rocky by confessing his lust for Dr. Becket, "Right up until she peeled her skin off. Standards, Father, you gotta have standards. I'm thinking skin is a big part of that.

Niles Caulder: "The Chief." Wheelchair-bound amoral leader of the team. Observed in Rita bouts of deep depression related to vanity and self-loathing, as well as a streak of maternalism. Felt Larry was useful as a thrill-seeker with no conception of his own mortality. Believed Cliff to be a posturing alpha male concealing his loss of self, melancholia, and emotional disassociation.

Cliff Steele: Human brain in routinely demolished robot bodies. Robotman was the least receptive to Rocky's help, explaining that he was in the Doom Patrol because "'Challengers of the Unknown' was already taken," and "Never hurts to set a goal." As for Nudge, "Dead as dog meat." The Patrol members were largely beyond concern for themselves or others, and Caulder wouldn't have it any other way.

Karen Beecher: The former Teen Titan "Bumblebee" was trapped at eight inches and living in a doll house in Rita's room. Was kind of put out about having to beat a large flying cockroach to death with her kitchen chair. Was surprised that Rita's primary emotional response to Nudge's death was jealousy.

Finally, the Vulcan Collider in Germany had accidentally opened up a singularity event: a stable black hole that didn't just destroy the Earth instantly for some reason. "It... it wants to negotiate terms."

"We Who Are About To Die..." was by Keith Giffen, Matthew Clark and Livesay. The characters were as overly acerbic and undifferentiated as one would expect from a Giffen script, but it was still multiple times better than anything Byrne did in the previous series. Clark's art was very appealing, but I'd be really surprised if Giffen didn't provide uncredited breakdowns.

Brave New World


Luke said...

Now this is the Doom Patrol I cared about! This book was a joy while it lasted.

Diabolu Frank said...

I'll be covering the first trade's worth of the series every Sunday. I liked elements of this taste, and may progress in the future.