Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Unstoppable Doom Patrol #3 Review


Written by: Dennis Culver
Art by: Chris Burnham
Colors by: Brian Reber
Letters by: Pat Brosseau
Cover art by: Chris Burnham, Brian Reber
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: May 23, 2023

Unstoppable Doom Patrol #3 finds Robotman and Negative Man transporting a new recruit who merged with a Starro spore back to base. Unfortunately, two Green Lanterns have orders to capture Starro spores on sight.
Is It Good? 

Now, I am concerned. The Doom Patrol trades in weird, offbeat characters embroiled in weird, offbeat stories. Offbeat is on-brand for the Doom Patrol, so a little creative weirdness is expected. However, offbeat is no substitute for giving a mini-series a plot and direction. Unstoppable Doom Patrol #3 marks the halfway point of this limited run, and I still have no idea where this story is going or what it's about.

When last we left the Doom Patrol, readers got a grand tour of headquarters and the Doom Patrol's eclectic cast of main and supporting characters. If you're new to the Doom Patrol, issue #2 was extremely informative. If you're not new to Doom Patrol, there wasn't much for you in issue #2, and the plot (if there is one) didn't progress at all.

Now, we catch up with Robotman and Negative Man as they escort a new recruit, calling himself StarBro, back to headquarters. The Starro Spore attached itself to a human with a latent metagene that allowed the two to bond without taking over the human's mind. Unfortunately for the Doom Patrol escorts, Guy Gardner and Kyle Raynor are tasked with arresting the Sarro-infected whether the Doom Patrol likes it or not.

On the positive side, you get some trademark Doom Patrol snarky humor as the Robotman and Negative Man bicker over StarBro's chosen code name, and the cat-mouse games between Green Lanterns and the Doom Patrol evading capture are mildly amusing.

On the not-so-positive side, continuity errors abound. This Doom Patrol series is supposed to take place inside the main DC continuity, but nothing about the Green Lanterns works with what's happening with Green Lanterns in other titles. Earth is supposed to be a "galactic disaster area" off limits to all Lanterns. The Guardians of OA are no more, sorta (it's complicated). Why are Guy and Kyle on Earth playing cleanup when the Galactic Federation (or whatever it calls itself these days) has them reassigned to other sectors? Oy!

Second, Chris Burnham's art works in issues #1 and #2, but here, his depictions of Kyle and Guy, especially in the closeups, are oddly offputting. Weird art works for weird characters, but weird art doesn't work for average humans in closeups. You'll never look at Guy's teeth the same way.

Last and most important, where's the plot? Issue #1 picked up new recruits. Issue #2 was an HQ tour. Issue #3 picks up another recruit. Is there a point? Does Culver have a story to tell? Where is this mini-series going? Oy!

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Unstoppable Doom Patrol #3 has interesting, amusing moments and interesting, amusing action, but it falls short in the one area where it matters most - there is no plot. Chris Burnham's character art hits an unpleasant limitation in this issue, and the mini-series doesn't appear to have a point or direction. Quirky is good, but quirky isn't enough.


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