Thursday, May 10, 2012

Doom Patrol #8 (May, 2010)

Locked onto a JLA distress beacon, the Doom Patrol and their Black Lantern foes were teleported into the thick of a Blackest Night battle. Eventually, the matter was settled, and the Patrol flown back to Oolong Island. After having been cleaned up and his right arm replaced, Robotman explained it all philosophically to his friend Dusty. Cliff expressed his hard-earned comfort with being a robot, while Dusty congratulated him on how he had handled his life, plus let slip her sexual desire for Gar Logan. Larry Trainer told Cliff that he believed he was being stalked by a pelican. Cliff paused, and simply said with a gentle hand on Larry's shoulder, "Never change, man."

Rita Farr girded herself for a final confrontation with her ex-husband, Steve Dayton, who had been "skulking around" in her head as Mento. She didn't know Dayton Manor had been packed up and moved, plus an explosion alerted her that Elasti-Woman was needed elsewhere.

Father Davis couldn't get Crazy Jane released from quarantine on his own, and their friends Niles Caulder and Cliff Steele were in no position to help. Jane held out the brick in her hand to the padre. "If you build it, he will come... Danny the Brick." It used to be Danny the Street, but "Mandatory gentrification. They came, they saw, they appropriated. Gentrifiers. Pan-Dimensional Contractors.

The Meta-Movers' plane and all its contents were impounded by the Oolong guardswomen. An explosion blew out the back end of the plane, and some sort of blue cybernetic beings emerged. "We are missing a brick... Retrievable Resources Amendment 01-024-B: All raw materials are to be recycled via reconfiguration; this in order to minimize projected profit margin outlay to cover material shortages... We are short a brick." They all wore a button with an "MSE" logo.

Not only had they appropriated Danny the Street, but they served an eviction notice to all life on our plane of existence. To enforce this, they set some sort of massive cybernetic hound on the Doom Patrol. Negative Man could not affect it, and the beast ripped through Elasti-Girl's hand like flesh-toned pudding. Robotman tried to fight it off, and ended up dragged to the hospital. There the beast cornered Father Rocky, who was holding a brick that read "I have always relied on the kindness of strangers."

"Eviction Notice" was by Keith Giffen, Matthew Clark and Ron Randall, with inker John Livesay. It had the same problem as many Giffen scripts, over-complicating the plot with obtuse dialogue that alienates general audiences. Everything revolves around people with conflicting agendas arguing with one another, which is appropriate for a story that's partially about urban renewal issues like the unfairness of eminent domain. That is so much smarter and more worthwhile a discussion than most comic books offer, but it's buried under a lot of folderol, and none of it is the sort of thing to maintain a large audience. Thanks to consistent, energetic inking, you can hardly tell the two pencil artists apart, so at least the book looked like a bestseller.

Brave New World


mathematicscore said...

I loved this book, but then again I'm not the average reader. FUG THE POLICE.

Diabolu Frank said...

It definitely grew on me. Great art, and I loved the character spotlight stories.

pblfsda said...

I think you meant "eminent domain", not "imminent". But anyway...

One of the many unresolved foreshadowings that occurred during Giffen's turn in the DP seat was when he used MSE's interdepartment communications as captions in earlier issues leading up to their eventual introduction. One of them was signed "E. Garguax". I don't know what the E stands for ("Emperor"?), but Garguax was a frequently appearing villain in the 1960's who returned in the late 1980's only to apparently die at the end of "Invasion!". The MSE was presumably just a pretext to bring him back (or an heir), as he was one of the few recurring DP villains who hadn't resurfaced since "Infinite Crisis".

Any sign of him since the New52 launch?

Diabolu Frank said...


Thanks to Who's Who, I caught the Garguax reference. I haven't seen Rita or Larry yet, but I haven't been very supporting of the New 52, either...