The Doom Patrol cautiously allow The Chief Niles Caulder to be their leader again on a trial run. Everyone thinks it’s a terrible idea, is it? Yes.
Writer: Gerard Way
Artist: Michael Allred
Colourist: Laura Allred
Boy this was a joy to read. I’m not sure if this is for everyone but it was definitely for me. The title says it all.
This issue channels into the original Doom Patrol series and it’s as weird as physically possible. The story sees Caulder take the team into the ‘Scantoverse’ to fight Dan Scram and his Gravity Pirates. I could end the review there but I’ll go on. What’s the Scantoverse I hear you ask? Well Scants are the creatures that exist in another dimension and plant bad ideas in your head. Obviously.
This very minimal plot summary sums up less than 10% of the actual issue. I won’t ‘spoil’ anymore. The series has been fairly abstract so far but this issue takes the Doom Patrol goofiness and hits the road at 120mph. it’s best to just let it happen. Rather than fixate on what’s actually happening on each page, just accept and read on. I find it makes these kinds of stories much more entertaining.
Niles Caulder narrates most of the issue and gives it a very Silver Age feel. It’s refreshing to have a comic that actually takes some time to read as well. I’d say Caulder’s narration is very important to the story as without it you would have absolutely no idea what’s happening.
It’s hard not to compare the issue (and series) to Morrison’s run but it has to be said that this is a very Morrisonian story. The one-shot feel to it also suggests to me that Way is strongly inspired by Morrison, which is hardly surprising given their friendship.
Michael Allred gets on the art duties this issue and it seems almost obvious but this is a series made for Allred. The cartoonish absurdity goes with his simple style. The simplicity of Allred’s style is definitely tested here with a multitude of obscure images to depict.
This is a fantastic issue in my opinion, but I understand it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
Recommendation: Pick up the issue – if – you’re not afraid of an absurd story.