Sunday, February 17, 2019

Doom Patrol #10 (1988) Review

"The Soul of the Machine"

Writer: Paul Kupperberg
Artists: Erik Larsen, Gary Martin, Tom Ziuko
Cover Price: $1.00
Release Date: June 30, 1988

Review by Joey Casco of

In honor of the Doom Patrol television show premiering on the DC Universe streaming service a few days ago (and oh man it was AWESOME), today I'm reviewing a two-part crossover from 1988 between Doom Patrol (#10) and Superman (#20). Why did I choose this crossover? Because I still have the issues from when I was eight years old.

I'm not all that familiar with these members of the Doom Patrol because all I've read is Volume 1 of Grant Morrison's run (which was really crazy and fun) and the recent Young Animal run (I really loved Volume 1 and thought Volume 2 suuuuuucked).

Cliff Steele (AKA Robotman) just got new parts after experiencing two glitches with his old parts during combat, and we start with him getting them moving in the training room with Joshua Clay (Tempest) and Valentina Vostok (Negative Woman) watching.

He then breaks whatever training equipment he was using, Joshua tells him that Arani (AKA Celcius) won't be so pleased with expensive equipment being broken, and Valentina lets him know that his new parts are working great! Cliff doesn't seem to trust them and is worried that the glitches will return, while Valerie reaffirms that they've done everything they can do by replacing the trouble spots.

Cliff says that the parts came from his ranch in California (I have no idea why), and then we're taken to that ranch where the ranch foreman Benjy gets a surprise guest looking for those parts.

Benjy is a little snitch because he lets Metallo know that Cliff Steele of the Doom Patrol has them in Kansas city. Metallo drops him and walks off. "This complicates matters. I did not foresee a trip to Kansas City!"

Meanwhile, in Kansas City the people and the media aren't taking too kindly to the Doom Patrol.

While there's protests outside of the Doom Patrol headquarters, Cliff and Joshua are inside watching. "This is ridiculous, Cliff. What did we do to these people to deserve this kind of abuse?" Cliff says people just get bent out of shape over anything (ain't that the truth) and that he's got bigger things to worry about. Larry Trainor (AKA Negative Man) is missing and Cliff's ranch foreman was just assaulted!

Arani shows up and says these protests are the product of the Doom Patrol getting away from the reason why they exist and letting themselves be side-tracked by unimportant matters. Cliff starts arguing with her and Joshua walks away.

Then we cut to Belle Reve where Larry Trainor, who is in a wheelchair for some reason, is taking a tour. He's up to something fishy and is there to Reactron.

Back to the Doom Patrol headquarters. Scott Fischer, Rhea Jones (AKA Lodestone), and Wayne Hawkins (AKA Karma) are training whie Joshua and .Valentina suck each other's faces. Because they were distracted and not monitoring the training equipment, Karma almost gets impaled by some machine with spikes closing in on him, but Lodestone comes in and saves him. More expensive equipment has been broken for Arani to be upset about.

With the training equipment broken, Cliff is fighting the newbies for their training instead. Suddenly he can't control his robot body and starts punching a hole in the wall, and the other Doom Patrol members come running... or, er, flying.

While they try to stop Cliff, he keeps knocking down walls until they're outside... and greeted by Metallo. He's come for Cliff's parts, and he's brought machines he made from the remainder of Cliff's spare parts from his ranch.

There's a three page battle that leads out into the protests, and then we finally see Superman. He's visiting Lana in Smallville and hear's about the news of what's happening in Kansas City from the car radio.

But when he arrives...

Bits and Pieces

I'm giving it a 6 and that's all Metallo, because he's awesome and by far the best part of this issue. Other than that it's just kinda meh. I mean, it's not bad but not a captivating read. And we don't even find out what these "Bin Number 19" parts are, how Cliff got them, and why Metallo needs them. Also, the art isn't really consistent. It changes from cartoony to classic late 80's style often, and even on the same page.

I admit that maybe I'd like this issue more if I had any investment in these characters, but there's only a few that I know and care about that are in this issue. And Superman doesn't show up until the end. It's the equivalent of reading an X-Men comic from an era you're not familiar with, with a team featuring mostly characters you don't know, and things that have been happening in that continuity that you have no idea about.


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