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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Doom Patrol #5 Review

*No Spoilers*

It's been a wild ride so far in Gerard Way, Nick Derington and Tamra Bonvillain's Doom Patrol, and this is the issue where the team finally come together (kind of)...

Torminax and The Vectra are torturing and destroying Danny, and using him to produce meat. Now that his comicbook-creation-made-flesh Casey Brinke has got her head around the revelations of who she truly is, she and Danny are out to assemble the Doom Patrol and stop the bad guys, via Casey's ability to drive Danny (now an ambulance) through time!

If all of that sounds 'WTF' to you, you're probably new to the world of my greatest influence, the Grant Morrison-written era of the Doom Patrol, now retooled under DC's Young Animal imprint. For those who read Morrison's era, Doom Patrol #5 has several familiar gems, as robot-with-a-human-brain Cliff Steele and former fighter pilot-housing-radioactive-negative-energy-spirit Larry Trainor make their proper comeback this issue and are reunited with sentient former-transvestite-street-now-ambulance, Danny.

There's joy for long-term fans in the lines spouted by no-nonsense, sweary Cliff (as well as the flamboyant words of Danny) as he and Larry go full force against The Vectra, Casey's Dad Torminax and an evil version of Casey - Cliff and Larry aided by associates including their sometime team-mate, Flex Mentallo, 'Man of Muscle Mystery' - and Danny dispatches Casey through time to prevent things from ever getting to the state they're currently in - 'Dannyland' all but destroyed.

Pros and cons of the issue: the art's great and things are firing on all cylinders with the heroes' characters. The villains aren't as out-there as they could be and the time travel element is impossible to follow; Casey: "But Past-Me is sitting in a prison right now. If she dies, I'll cease to exist, and everyone in Dannyland we're here to rescue won't make it." Danny: "Don't worry about that. Just head into Past-Danny..." But it's all weird fun, there are also some nice interludes featuring feline DP-member-to-be Lotion (the team don't fully assemble this issue) and the team's former leader Niles Caulder, and the ending throws us a curveball tying back into the first issue that promises to take the weird up another notch.

Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol was my favorite comicbook of its time, and Gerard Way's Doom Patrol is my favorite comicbook out now. You can check out a 4-Page Preview of Doom Patrol #5 here!

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