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Review Group Week 182 - DOOM PATROL #1

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48THRiLLS
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Postby 48THRiLLS » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:27 pm

Punchy wrote:Start it now! NOW


Done.

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Postby Victorian Squid » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:52 pm

48THRiLLS wrote:Done.


I tried to start one twice, but this issue felt like I'd written it in my head before I read it. I figured when Steve was thinking about needing a scientist last ish he'd run into Dr. Erskine post-haste.

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Postby Starlord » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:48 pm

Doom Patrol #1

I want to like this, but it just didn't happen. I like many of the past incarnations of Doom Patrol (minus Grant's that is) and I'm a big fan of Keith Giffen from JLI all the way up to Hero Squared.

The problem I had with this is that there was nothing here to grab on to. Nothing that made me want to come back for more. It all seemed kind of bland, dialogue and story both. I understand that Mr. Giffen probably doesn't like the idea of being considered the BWAHAHAHA Guy for his whole life, but he should have taken a look at what he did in the backup feature with the Metal Men and used it as his guide.

Metal Men was fun, each character was well defined, and it left me wanting more. Perhaps he needs to reverse the order on this book, because I'm thinking he "gets" the Metal's and seems a bit unsteady on his feet when it comes to Niles and the team.

It was nice to see Bumblebee again, however, and the art was solid. Bottom line for me, Metal Men excellent, Doom Patrol is a major MEH.

Story: 4
[b]Art: 7.50
My Score: 5.25
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Max Blyss wrote:Months and months and months and the whole thing is still just an intersection at Dipshit Lane & Chip on my Shoulder Ave.

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Postby guitarsmashley » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:23 am

still stabbing my cock. Maybe I'll read this crap tomorrow.
doombug wrote:You really are the george carlin of the outhouse. that's fucking hilarious.


doombug wrote:and yeah, Yoni called it. :drunk



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Postby Starlord » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:31 am

guitarsmashley wrote:still stabbing my cock. Maybe I'll read this crap tomorrow.


read it for the Metal Men, at least. That is a fun read.

and if you have any boo boos I'd be happy to kiss them and make it better. :wink:
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Max Blyss wrote:Months and months and months and the whole thing is still just an intersection at Dipshit Lane & Chip on my Shoulder Ave.

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Postby MrBlack » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:21 am

Doom Patrol #1

While I certainly realize that this was a "set-up" issue, I was disappointed that more did not happen in the first issue of Doom Patrol. We get an attack on an installation on Oolong Island, the purpose of which is left unknown to the reader, and a member of the team that nobody but John Byrne cares about dies. A bit a psychoanalysis of the team, all of whom are tightly wound up in emotional cocoons, and a bit of time with the Chief. All of this sounds like a good story, but it just falls flat. Rita and Larry come off as completely disconnected, and while Cliff comes off as a bit more heroic than his teammates, he does not get enough page time to connect with the reader.

If anything, the moments with the Chief are the most interesting part of the issue. From the outset, he re-establishes himself as an uncaring leader who only seeks to use the team to further his own ends. While this was certainly a great concept during the Morrison-era book, the reveal there came at the end of his run. Having the Chief begin as an unapologetic manipulator just may not be viable in the long run. The high point of the issue is the ending, where we get a sneak peak at the team's next mission: a sentient black hole that wants to negotiate terms with the planet Earth. That may actually be enough to get me to pick up the next issue.

On the upside, the Metal Men backup was excellent. The Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire team is in fine form, and they manage to introduce all of the characters, give them distinct personalities, and tell a nice little story all in a few panels. Giffen always works better when he's teamed with a co-writer, and it shows between the main feature and the backup.

Artwise, Matthew Clark puts in a decent job on art in the main feature. Some of his panels are excellent, although others suffer for lack of detail (how many arms is Nudge supposed to have anyway?). He does faces very well, and his overall style reminds me a little of Phil Jimenez, but messier. Not bad at all, but not outstanding. The Metal Men backup is another story, and Maguire knocks it out of the park. Great action panels, expressive faces, and pitch perfect comedy.

This is a tough call for me. The main story was lacking in a lot of ways, and while it shows some promise it may not be enough to get me to buy issue two. On the other hand, the backup was fantastic. I may stick around for one more issue to see if the story picks up, and I would encourage Doom Patrol fans to do the same. If you're a big JLI fan, it's definitely a must buy for the backup alone.

For my overall score, I will give the main story more weight over the backup.

Story: 6 (DP=5; MM=9)
Art: 6 (DP =5; MM=9)
Overall: 6

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Postby MrBlack » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:26 am

Punchy wrote:For
Fuck's
Sake

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I had to respond to this, even if it's a few pages old.

"If Tina doesn't respond to the Doc's flaming prehensile penis, she's dead!"

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Postby Victorian Squid » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:39 am

MrBlack wrote:I had to respond to this, even if it's a few pages old.

"If Tina doesn't respond to the Doc's flaming prehensile penis, she's dead!"


Hope Magnus remembers the 20 weight lube.

You get your mouse book yet?

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Postby MrBlack » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:22 am

House of J wrote:Hope Magnus remembers the 20 weight lube.

You get your mouse book yet?

Not yet. I'll see if it shows up on Monday.

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Postby Victorian Squid » Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:13 pm

MrBlack wrote:Not yet. I'll see if it shows up on Monday.


I'll take a look and see where it's at. The USPS has announced officially the closing and slow down of many branches, as well as an intent to manually check 1 in 5 Media Mail packages as well. I'm a little worried about them losing/damaging/delaying my book shipments.

Unofficially, they have a lot of unmotivated or completely laid off employees, which isn't good either.

EDIT: For fuck's sake, it took them 3 days to get the package as far as Cincinnati (about an hour drive). Look's like it's in Maryland right now, probably be a day or two at least.

The death of the USPS will be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as they raise rates and kill service.

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Postby Punchy » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:29 pm

Doom Patrol #1 - 'We Who Are About To Die' and 'Metal Men: A Day In The Life' - Giffen, Clark, Livesay, DeMatteis, Maguire and Major

Story - DC Comics in the Silver Age was a strange place, Batman travelled through time and wore Pink, Superman was a dick to everyone, and Gorillas were everywhere. But probably the strangest 2 properties DC published at the time were the Doom Patrol and the Metal Men, I've posted some covers and other images in the thread, and they're mad, bloody mad, in the best possible way. But since then DC has kind of held back on the Madness, Batman never wears pink anymore and Superman is deadly serious, and some of the kookier concepts (koncepts?) in DC's stable haven't really fit into the new tone of the DCU, Grant Morrison succeeded in his Vertigo Doom Patrol book by going even crazier, but any other attempts to fit these 2 ideas within the current Rapetastic DCU haven't really worked. So it's up to Keith Giffen to attempt to re-ignite both teams, and on the whole, he succeeds. Moreso with the comedy take on the Metal Men (thanks to a reteaming of his JLI compadres JM DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire), but both strips hold a lot of promise for me.

The Doom Patrol story is mainly set-up really, Giffen dispenses with some of John Byrne's stupid ideas, we are introduced to our main characters, to their new Base of Operations, and a new threat is introduced, it's all fairly standard stuff, but there's enough of a Doom Patrol twist to make this stand out from every other team book out there. There's a dark humour here, a cynical edge, and while it's not the same off the wall madness Arnold Drake would deal with, it's interesting. Giffen's humour shines through, he's dissing Nudge and Grunt even before he kills them, and each character has a dark edge, and a flippantness about the nature of heroism. Too often in DC books, heroes are too happy, and too well-adjusted, everyone is buddy buddy and cries at eachothers funerals, not so the Doom Patrol, they know the score, and it's quite refreshing. Giffen uses an interesting device to introduce us to our 'heroes', by having Rocky Davis (from the Challengers of the Unknown, another Silver Age square peg that's never quite fitted into the modern DC's round hole), who is now a Priest and superhero counsellor interview each Patrol-member. I found it interesting how confrontational each team-member was, this is not what I expect from a DC team book! I'm not familiar with past DP incarnations so I don't know how accurate the characterisation was, but it was good enough for me. I should also say how much I love the idea of the team operating out of Oolong Island, this Island of mad scientists was one of my favourite concepts to come out of 52, and I'm glad someone is playing with it, and hopefully the array of crazy super-science based on the Island will provide plenty off crazy threats for the Doom Patrol to deal with.

Giffen also plays with some other storytelling devices, using epistolary pieces like emails and computer reports to fill in details, and while this isn't totally successful (often it was quite difficult to read), it was interesting, particular in regards to the character of The Chief, where you learn exactly how disdainful he is of his team, and what aspects he's going to exploit in them.

It's not perfect by any means, and while it does have a different edge than much of DC's output, it is perhaps not different enough, the older stories were truly insane, and this is merely surly. But this is only the first step, we are not really used to seeing these characters in a modern milieu, and from the look of the last page, where a scientist who resembles Dan DiDio tells The Chief about a sentient black hole who wishes to negotiate terms... things might be reaching an appropriate level of mad. I'm not sure I'd recommend this whole-heartedly just yet, but if you're a fan of off-beat heroics like Agents Of Atlas, you could do worse than check it out. This could be a slow-burner. Giffen has cleared the decks, now let's watch him build.

The Metal Men back-up story was a different kettle of fish altogether, no set-up here, we're straight into the action. I'm a huge fan of the team of Giffen. DeMatteis and Maguire, I read their Justice League run in reprints when I was young, I loved their Formerly Known As... stories, and even their take on The Defenders for Marvel, and this is them on classic form, there's no real plot to speak of, the Metal Men fight a giant Wooden God Idol, but there is plenty of fun to be had. It's only 10 pages, but already all the characters are established as well as several running jokes, such as the team not acknowledging Copper, or Gold being egotistical, or Platinum's love of Doc Magnus. It's just fun, the Metal Men are a great idea, perfect for the Bwa-Ha-Ha trio, I can't wait to see what madness comes up in the future. Even if the Doom Patrol story wasn't quite perfect, this makes up for it, just brilliant.

Art - I've been a fan of Matt Clark ever since his work on Adventures Of Superman with Greg Rucka, prior to Infinite Crisis (that was a damn good run), but he's never really found a project that suited him, or one he's been on for long enough to make his own. I think this might be it. He does great work here, his work on ordinary people is great, and he can draw the weirder stuff like the 4-armed Gorilla, or Robotman, or the woman transforming into a monster well, a good fit for 'The World's Strangest Superheroes', perhaps the best thing was how expressive he made Negative Man, even through the bandages.

Kevin Maguire is the master, there's not much else to say, perfectly suited for comedy. Compliments should also go to Guy Major's colouring, and how it reflected the different materials of each of the Metal Men.

Best Line - From the Metal Men story, 'One Man's delusion - Is another man's destiny!' That just struck me as hilarious. Gold is awesome.

8/10 The score is increased by how awesome the Metal Men story was, on it's own, Doom Patrol would have gotten a 6, maybe 7, but the whole package here is just great, and I see the kernels of something great in Giffen's story.
Last edited by Punchy on Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby guitarsmashley » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:45 pm

by sheer length of punchy's review makes me want to read this book less and less.
doombug wrote:You really are the george carlin of the outhouse. that's fucking hilarious.


doombug wrote:and yeah, Yoni called it. :drunk



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Postby Punchy » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:44 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:by sheer length of punchy's review makes me want to read this book less and less.


I write that much for every book!

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Postby Old Man » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:15 pm

House of J wrote:I'll take a look and see where it's at. The USPS has announced officially the closing and slow down of many branches, as well as an intent to manually check 1 in 5 Media Mail packages as well. I'm a little worried about them losing/damaging/delaying my book shipments.

Unofficially, they have a lot of unmotivated or completely laid off employees, which isn't good either.

EDIT: For fuck's sake, it took them 3 days to get the package as far as Cincinnati (about an hour drive). Look's like it's in Maryland right now, probably be a day or two at least.


Well, if you are using Media Mail, it's not going First Class. They wait until they have a full bin before they ship them out, and with it being summer and vacation time, the volume of mail is down, and so is the number of workers working each day. The Postal Service used to replace people on vacation, but they probably aren't doing that now.

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Postby Old Man » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:19 pm

Thanks for that fine review, Punchy.

I liked Doom Patrol well enough to keep reading it for a while, and the Mental Men (!) backup adds to the value.

I'm not going to review every week, so unofficially, I grade it a 7.

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