Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Doom Patrol #9 Review and **SPOILERS**

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De Nada

Writer: Gerard Way 
Penciller & Cover: Nick Derington 
Inker: Tom Fowler 
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain 
Letterer: Todd Klein 
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: November 22, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

Four weeks ago, during our review of Mother Panic #12 on the Weird Science DC Comics Dot Com Podcast, Chris and I made it seem like we might not see Young Animal books again, or at least the schedule was completely up in the air. With Bug! The Adventures of Forager #5 coming out last week, Doom Patrol #9 out this week, and some real preview pages from forthcoming issues from February’s “Milk Wars” crossover event, I’m happy to say that I must eat humble pie! While I chew on that, check out my review of Doom Patrol #9, right here!


Explain It!

Being that one of Doom Patrol’s most persistent themes over several volumes has been alienation, it stands to reason that facing off with robots that require emotional cheerleading would be a great battle. So it is that Cliff is bested by the pink and blue SAYILOVU robots, and after the blast confesses to Crazy Jane that he loves her. She somehow gets the notion that succumbing to the emotional requests of these robots gives them power, so she responds to Cliff that she hates his guts, while Keeg and Flex Mentallo take one of the mechs apart pretty handily. It’s then we learn these robots are being piloted by people…or humanoids, at least, and the one in the blue mech is distraught that their partner has issued from their vessel, covered in a green. The one in the blue machine steps out and cradles the injured fellow, and seems to say that their name is Nolan and the other being has expired: “UARGON. UARFREE.” Larry places a steadying hand on Nolan’s shoulder and says it will be okay, then both beings turn into protoplasm and melt into a steaming heap of paste.
Anyhoo, let’s check in on the Reynolds family—you remember them, and you should since we have had regular updates every issue. There’s Sam, one time EMT partner with Casey Brinke before they both got laid off, Valerie, who was just freed from a doomsday cult being run by a wayward personality within Crazy Jane’s brain, and their son, Lucius, a precocious kid with a penchant for heavy metal and worshipping the devil. In fact, there he is now, playing a record backwards and attempting to summon all manner of eviltude and monsterosity, to no avail. So he gives that novelty record that came in the mail last issue, “The Magical World of Magic,” a reverse-spin on the ol’ turntable, and that whisks him to placeless place inhabited by none other than Mr. Nobody, one-time leader of the Brotherhood of Dada! But he’s got a new gang now.
It’s the Brotherhood of Nada, and he offers Lucius a visit, The characters in the Brotherhood are absolutely terrific, so much so that I’m not going to reveal them to you here in order to get you to read this issue, but I can say that Lucius becomes the Great Ludini, the Teenage Nothing! He looks like a classic magician in top hat and tails, and fits in well with the rest of this mismatched crew. Meanwhile in actual Doom Patrol activity, Casey tells Terry None that she’s moving into Dannyland, then (after eating a dose of $#!+) jumps Terry’s bones and falls out of her second-floor apartment…hole to the ground, their falls broken by a conveniently-appearing parachute. And something about a negative space Thor that looks to marry a comic book? This book is really strange, but it’s also a lot of fun.
The second most disappointing thing about this book is how deeply it’s dipped into the Grant Morrison well fairly early in the run. It’s clear that this series pays the most homage to that time on the title, but I’d hoped this volume of Doom Patrol would establish something more unique before retreading an existing storyline. The first most disappointing thing about this book is the sporadic and continually-delayed shipping, it kills its momentum and severely dampens my enthusiasm for each issue. And I remain enthusiastic, which shows how much more I could be enjoying it. I am a major fan of this art team and I love the feel of this world they create, but I would have to tell anyone interested in the series to wait for the trade. Unless you collect singles, in which case you can gather them into a neat pile until this series’ inevitable cancellation. Then read ‘em in a batch!

Bits and Pieces:

A familiar villain's appearance is cool, but a bit unearned before a series has even gone into double digits. How each character recursively fits into this story is always fascinating, and artistically this title extremely strong. But the constant delays make it difficult to sustain enthusiasm for the book over an extended period.

7.5/10
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