Friday, April 8, 2011

Doom Patrol #21 review

And then there was one.

One issue of Doom Patrol to go, that is. In what has turned out to be one of my favourite comic runs ever (alongside Morrison's X-Men, Preacher, Sandman, Y:The Last Man), I can't help but feel a bit deflated reading this issue, knowing that it's nearly the end. I love the spotlight issues, and the first two were definitely five-star issues, in my opinion.

This issue didn't feel quite as encompassing as Larry's, or as defining as Rita's spotlight. But it did give a sense of sympathy for Cliff, and demonstrated his sense of belonging. Each main era of the Doom Patrol is once again outlined, thanks to the stylish pencils of Matthew Clark (and Ron Randall), and Giffen adds touches to Cliff's origin that show us what *really* happened behind the scenes. 

Cliff's visits to Super-Hip over the years also provide a broader scope to Cliff's life. He clearly was out there, tormenting over whether 'one more run' with the Doom Patrol would be worth it. And it's great to see that, in the absence of Larry and Rita, he had someone he could trust. The antithesis of that, is represented by General Immortus' current involvement. Clearly, he is not to be trusted, but it's hard to argue with an ancient guy who is willing to help out, if only to serve his admitted needs. 

I know I'll be re-reading this issue many times, as with all of the spotlights, in particular. I can only hope that the final issue will deliver a satisfying ending to a wonderful comic series.



  1. Can you elaborate more on what happened? Spoilers?

  2. Damn... typed a whole post and it vanished when I hit post comment. Sigh.

    I liked this issue. I'd put it next to some of the better issues of this run, like the Aristocrats story. I enjoyed this issue much more than the Rebis ... er, Larry spotlight issue, as it just doesn't feel right to have someone else besides Cliff tell the history of the DP. He's the heart and soul of the DP, afterall. That previous spotlight issue just felt too distorted to me, like I wasn't sure if Larry or the Neg Being was "getting it right." Some of that story just felt so fabricated, but I guess the mention this issue of Larry's refusal to join up with the DP during the Jost era is making that backstory part of the DP chronology now. Oh well.

    What really kills me about Giffen's run though is he takes these odd "nobody" secondary characters, like Super-Hip who I've never even heard of, and makes them really work. Minus the flying car thing, I could really see this weirdo being part of the DP supporting lineup along with Father Rocky, that black-hole-faced guy, Ambush Bug, and of course Jane, Danny, and Karen. He really seems to "get" writing these characters (minus Jane, imo... he just didn't do her justice), almost more than he gets writing the 3 DPers. He gets me interested in them but, as I've posted before, then seemingly abandons them along the way. I think this book would have worked better had he taken the DP and their little collection of second-string support staff, moved them off of Oolong, and set them up in a book with a purpose. Father Rocky could've served as base of operations, Ambush Bug could show up from time to time. I almost wish this issue had been #4 rather than #21...