Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Doom Patrol #8 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Real Life, Real Estate

Writer: Gerard Way 
Penciller & Cover: Nick Derington 
Inker: Tom Fowler 
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain 
Letterer: Todd Klein 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: September 6, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Hey, I didn’t know if it was going to happen, but it’s here: a new Doom Patrol issue, almost a month after the last one drawn by the Allred’s. Missed it by a week. You know what? We’ll give it to you, Doom Patrol. You’ve kept what’s close enough to a monthly schedule, and if I have to wait a mere five weeks for the next issue, I won’t complain, either. Unless this issue sucks. You can find out by reading my review of Doom Patrol #8, right now!


Explain It!

I am, by nature, a slob. But before I go away anywhere for a few days or more, I always clean the house. Empty all the garbage, bleach the bathroom, wash and store all the dishes. The reason I do this is, though I am okay with living in squalor, I don’t want to come back from vacation to a hoarder’s mess. This might be a good practice in serial fiction, as well—and comic books, in specific: before handing off your series a fill-in issue or issues, tie up as many loose ends as possible so you don’t return to chaos in progress. And that’s kind of what’s happened with this issue of Doom Patrol. It was only one issue, at the end of July, that had art by the Allreds and was sort of an homage to classic Doom Patrol character designs and tropes. But it has been four months since we were last steeped in the ongoing sagas of Casey Brinke and cohorts. So what we get here is a lot of housekeeping.
The big surprise, which is spoiled on both the regular and variant covers, is that Casey meets her now humanoid cat, Lotion. And fucks him. Or at least sleeps in the same bed with him. Long ago, that would have been comic book shorthand for sex, but I don’t want to make any assumptions. Regardless, Casey’s got the hots for her cat. And why shouldn’t she? He’s an aloof, punky, lithe type of disaffected dude that is probably soft as a bunny and loves tummy rubs. The other new information we get is about Sam dealing with his estranged wife and Satan-worshipping son. I like this sequence of events, even though it makes my heart hurt a little. But, quite frankly—it seems very human, and normal against the scale of the other goings-on in this comic book. 
Aside from this, we find that the Negative Entity, Keeg, can communicate with others and perform activities outside of Larry’s body, which I suppose will be useful to know, and works by way of exposition to explain the current situation with Danny the Ambulance. Terry None also returns to her shared apartment with Casey to spoon-feed her $#!+, a new food additive that I’m sure makes people grow six heads or something. For the most part, this issue reinforces the story we had been following, now many months ago. Nick Derington’s art is still absolutely terrific, and there are lots of nice moments for Doom Patrol fans to enjoy. But it’s still a placeholder for actual story, so I can’t give it my full support. Nor will I move off of my contention that this series is likely better read collected in trades.


Bits and Pieces:

This issue picks up from the storylines left in issue #6, back in May. As a result, there's a lot of exposition to remind the reader of all the goings-on. There's some implied interspecies sex, and a new status for the Negative Entity, but it feels a little like we're in the tutorial stage of this Doom Patrol: The Second Arc video game. I hope the first level proper is coming next issue.

7/10
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