Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Doom Patrol #6 Review and **SPOILERS**



Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing

Writer: Gerard Way 
Penciller & Cover: Nick Derington 
Inker: Tom Fowler 
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain 
Letterer: Todd Klein 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: April 26, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

I wish I could say that my enthusiasm for this issue wasn’t tempered by its lateness, and the knowledge that we won’t see another from this series until July (written and drawn by the Allreds!), but I can’t. I do love this comic, but I think I would have been much more satisfied to read it all at once. Oh well, what’s done is done I suppose, and I’m certainly still interested to know what happens between the Doom Patrol and the Spectra and DannyLand and everything else! So let’s check out the back of the ambulance once again in my review of Doom Patrol #6!

Explain It!

Now that the meat producing part of past Danny has gone haywire, it’s time for the Doom Patrol to split in future Danny, which is really present Danny from our perspective. Everyone buckles in and Casey puts on her crazy-looking costume, and they bust right out of the Spectra’s space station, and I didn’t even realize that’s where they were; I thought they were in the parking garage of Casey and Sam’s hospital. Danny is soaring free, leaving a rainbow trail in its wake, when Fake Casey rolls up in Fake Danny and gives Real Danny a side swipe. As they both rocket to the Earth, the Spectra’s space station blows up and Fake Casey burns up on entry into the atmosphere, while Real Casey Brinke goes unconscious.
She awakes in New Mexico, just as the rest of the crew pulls themselves out of Danny’s ambulance bay and pushes Danny back onto his wheels. They’re right outside of Janestown, Church of the Multiform, which Cliff recognizes right away as the locale of his BFF, Crazy Jane. He wrenches open the gate and enters the compound to find Jane wearing a red and white track suit, levitating before a room of sixty-three adherents, also wearing red and white track suits, waiting for their absolution by a pre-planned Gene Bomb detonation that will…do something cool, I expect. I really liked this callback to 1987’s Invasion! event, and never linked the Dominators’ Gene Bomb with Crazy Jane developing her multiple personality powers. Indeed, I’m not sure that it was even expressly stated, but it’s a fairly elegant way to combine Paul Kupperberg’s run on the series with Grant Morrison’s, which is cool because they are of the same volume. Cliff argues with Jane for a minute, then Larry uses his fingers to mentally link them together, which is something he can do I suppose. While Jane’s cult members try to stop the Doom Patrol in the waking world, Cliff finds himself in Crazy Jane’s Underground, the subway system that houses and connects her many disparate personalities. Jane pulls Cliff aboard a car and explains that her whole self has been usurped by a new dominant personality: Dr. Harrison, who manifested from seeing a God killed and being exposed to its blood. I’m not sure when that happened, maybe because of Red Jack the butterfly collector, during the Morrison run?
In the waking world, Sam tells Ricardo and Flex Mentallo to stop that Gene Bomb, so they take off towards it in an affable Danny the Ambulance. Back in the Underground, Crazy Jane tells Cliff that Dr. Harrison is only posing as Jane, and she’s discovered a way to “cure” Jane, by offloading her other personalities onto other people during the explosion of a Gene Bomb. Somehow, Jane’s suppressed personalities worked together to change the Gene Bomb to a Kill the Dominant Personality in a Person With Multiple Personality Disorder Bomb, and is strangely enthusiastic about therapy for some reason, so there’s one thing to do: stop that Gene Bomb from not being detonated! Unfortunately, Danny’s flown up to greet the bomb and Flex Mentallo’s jumped onto it to…affect it somehow, I guess. As Dr. Harrison finds Cliff and Jane and rips their subway car in two, they snap back to the real world. Cliff hurriedly tells Larry to get that Gene Bomb back on course, so his negative self Keeg takes off and does that pretty handily. This tears Dr. Harrison from Jane, leaving only Crazy Jane’s normally bonkers self to handle the body. The Doom Patrol is all assembled now, and nothing will ever be bizarre for them again! Until July.
Like the last one, this issue seemed in a hurry to conclude. We’ve been teased with Crazy Jane’s cult in previous issues, but the extent of the details all happened in this issue, which seemed awfully fast to me. I mean, I could imagine a story line where one or more of them joined the cult, then learned about the secret personality behind the evil plot…Sam’s ex-wife was part of the cult, which clearly could have been more of a thing, but really was more of a “how ‘bout that?” kind of moment. Even the Spectra being eliminated happened pretty conveniently, I thought there would have been a little more to unpack there. Wasn’t there a whole other alien race mixed up in this business in the first issue? I can’t put my finger on it, something unusual happened to this story mid-stream, and these last two issues have suffered for it. It was still a fun issue, and Nick Derington’s artwork and plotting is fantastic. But I really wish I’d read this in a  trade collection, in hindsight.

Bits and Pieces:

There's some cool concepts, and the return of a fan-favorite character, but it all happens so quickly that I found it a bit unsettling. I think the overall story of this first arc has been good fun, but the last two issues have seemed a little over packed when taken individually. I know, I'm usually the guy saying stories are too decompressed in comics these days, but I guess with the Doom Patrol I want to luxuriate in the weirdness a little longer.

7.8/10
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2 comments:

  1. Hey Reggie, Great Review as always! As a new reader to the Doom Patrol, I had missed a lot of these refs to past events and characters. I just assume it's some weird aside or something. That being said, I look forward to rereading this thing as a trade

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