The Baron Re-Reads the John Arcudi/Tan Eng Huat Doom Patrol (SPOILERS)

Doom Patrol #1 (December 2001): "--Doom Patrol!"

Written by John Arcudi, art by Tan Eng Huat

As the cover says: "4/5 new! All different!" The cover picture is amusing - it's a head shot of Robotman with the other members reflected inhis face, and him thinking "We're doomed."   As I said about Alllred in the X-Statix thread, TanEng Huat's art really suits this book, and was a big draw for me.

 

The premise of this is that a fellow by the name of Thayer Jost is sponsoring a super-team.  The members include:

 

  • Fast Forward (Ted Bruder), the team leader, who can see 30 seconds into the future.
  • Freak (Ava) - a girl who can extrude tendrils from her hands.
  • Fever (Shyleen Lao) - she can raise the temperature of objects around her.
  • Kid Slick (Vic Darge) - he can eliminate friction around his body.

 

When we meet our heroes, they are in the midst of doing very badly in a rescue simulation. Jost cancels the team's debut.  Elsewhere, we see Cliff Steele working in a boiler room. Jost hears of him, and  hires him to shape up the team.  After some initial relcutance, Cliff signs up, and begins helping them train. As an additional bonus, hiring Cliif allows him to name the team - the Doom Patrol!

Overall: Another book that I picked up on a whim - I never was a big fan of any previous versions of this team.  The combination of Arcudi's writing style and Tan Eng Huat's art really drew me in, however!  Fun stuff!

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Doom Patrol #8 (July 2002): "But When I Wake..."

The real Cliff meets the Patrol for the first time, even as Jost meets the next of kin from last issue.  The creepy white guy says hello to Ava. Later, Ava tries to hang herself, and whatever it is that lives inside her freaks out.  Cliff re-unites them, but Ava refuses help. Cliff announces that he has no intention of staying with the team,  but when he sees an article in the paper, he races to the hospital, to the bedside of... Dorothy Spinner!

 

Overall:  Interesting stuff, watching Cliff dealing with a bunch of people he doesn't know who think  they know him.  I know there's a whole history behind Dorothy Spinner, but I don't recall ever reading any of the other comcis she's appeared in.

I'm sure Figs could give you chapter and verse, but Dorothy Spinner came from the Grant Morrison Doom Patrol.  She was a young girl with illusion powers that also unfortunately had simian features.  She also featured prominently when Rachal Pollak took over for Morrison.

The Baron said:


Overall:  Interesting stuff, watching Cliff dealing with a bunch of people he doesn't know who think  they know him.  I know there's a whole history behind Dorothy Spinner, but I don't recall ever reading any of the other comcis she's appeared in.

Thanks, I had a feeling it was something like that.  This is the only run of Doom Patrol that I've read alot of.

Doom Patrol #9 (August 2002): "...My Dreams Have Lied"

We start with a dream sequence in which Cliff argue with Robotman that he should be allowed to remain dead. Awake, Cliff meets Jost for the first time, and we get the reveal that the "fake" Robotman was one of Dorothy's mental constructs. Another one of same called "Darling-Come-Home"  provokes Cliff to a spate of exposition in which he remembers he and someone called Kate talking to Dorothy about meeting her real mother and thinking about whether she should leave the Patrol.  Dorothy takes this as them rejecting her and lets off a mindblast that apparently kill sKate and leave Cliff's head burieed where Ted and Company eventually found her.

 

In Subplot Land,Ted gets Ava to talk to him about the thing that lives inside her, but we are not shown what she tells him.

 

We end with Jost convincing Cliff to stick around for Dorothy's sake, and Ted offering to buy lunch for everyone.

 

Overall: An interesting issue, though much of it seems to be devoted to wrapping up storylines that I haven't read. I remember not understanding the resolution to the whole "fake Cliff" thing at the time, because I didn't know about Dorothy's ability to do mental constructs.

Doom Patrol #10 (September 2002): "Asphalt and Good Intentions"

We start with Ted receiving a cell phone from his mother, launching a running gag where she keeps calling him at inopportune moments.  Meanwhile, Jost is considering a Doom Patrol TV show, but the TV types don't want the current team.

Amazo attacks - though it doesn't look like Amazo to me - and Ted wants the team to go fight it to build up their image. On the way there, they interrupt a suicide and see the white-faced guy again. They investigate a factory, and fight some monsters, who knock them out. They awaken in what appears to be Hell, and end with Ted's cell phone ringing again, which comes across as much funnier than perhaps it sounds.

 

Overall: Another fun issue. This book manages to be entertaining despite my usual pet peeve of leaving me not knowing what is going on, perhaps because our heroes don't know what is going on, either, and react much the way I would.

 

Doom Patrol #11 (October 2002): "Private Hell"

Demons try to persuade Ted, Shyleen and Vic to kill themselves by playing on their fears and self-doubt. Cliff and Ava save them, but Ava sees a demonic presence arising out of Cliff.  As Cliff fights a demon, Ava tries to convince Ted that Cliff is behind it all.

 

In Subplot Land, Jost is brainstorming ideas for a Doom Patrol TV show.

 

We end with the white-faced guy appearing as a huge devil!

 

Overall: Wow, quite a dark issue, here. I suppose that's only to be expected from a comic largely set in Hell.  There were some funny moments, as when Vic suggests Ted call for help, and Ted asks him if he wants him the call the cops and say, "We're in Hell, could you send a car around?"

Doom Patrol #12 (November 2002): "South of Heaven"

We get the back story of the white-faced guy, he's actually a fallen angel called Raum, who drives people to suicide. His little stooge is called Semyaza.  Semyaza asks for Cliff's help in rebelling against Raum. The rest of the Patrol evades Raum, and Cliff arrives at the head of a rebel army. Once the Patrol is safe, they free the souls Raum has captured. The beaten Raum taunts Robotman, saying that Cliff is dead adn that Robotman is merely a soul-less echo.  The saga of Ted's cellphone continues, with the issue ending with a passerby finding the offendng device in a dumpster, where Ted has presumably thrown it.

 

Overal: An interesitng pay-off to this story, with its odd mixture of inspired weirdness and doemstic comedy, as well as the pathos of Cliff's situation.  Really, this is quite a well-written book.

Doom Patrol #13 (December 2002): "Do Over"

Seth Fisher is guest artist on this. (I'd forgotten that anyone but Tan Eng Huat worked on this!).  His art suits the tone of the book, so it's not too jarring of a difference.

 

Cliff talks about life with a guy he meets on a park bench. The team finds a box with a tie clip that Cliff recognizes as one that Rita gave to the Chief. Somehow, touching it sends their minds back through time into the bodies of the original Doom Patrol:

 

  • Cliff is now in his old robot body.
  • Ted's mind is now in Larry Trainor's body.
  • Vic's mind is now in Beast Boy's body.
  • Ava's mind is now in Rita Farr's body.
  • Shyleen's mind is now in the Chief's (!) body.

 

There's some amusing bits here: VIc having fun trying out Gar's powers, Ava enjoying being in a fully-human bodyt and Ted and especailly Shyleen freaking out!

 

they receive an ultimatum from the Brotherhood of Evil, and while they are working out what to do, a fake-looking giant monster attacks!

 

Overall:  Fun stuff. I've always found body-switching stores interesting, and the character's different reactions are entertaining.

DoomPatrol #14 (January 2003): ""Over......Done"

Guest artist is Seth Fisher, again.

Our heroes defeat the fake monster, which turns out to be a diversion by the Brotherhood. Ava especially enjoys fighting "like a human" and Shyleen shaves the Chief's beard off.  (Would a teenage girl know how to shave a beard off? If you've never done it, it's not as simple as picking up a razor!)  They find and beat the Brotherhood easily, and think about how to get home. Ava doesn't want to go. However, they fond the magic tie clasp and are returned to the present.  CLiff talks to the guy in the park again, who asks him to think about why he was re-born.

 

Overall: More fun stuff.  Fun the see the new Patrol fighting as the old Patrol.

As I recall, Rick Geary also filled in on art chores at some point.  It seems as if Tan Eng Huat wasn't the fastest artist.



Randy Jackson said:

As I recall, Rick Geary also filled in on art chores at some point.  It seems as if Tan Eng Huat wasn't the fastest artist.

 

 

Yep, we're still a few issues away from the Geary issue. I'd forgotten that, because Geary doesn't get credit on the cover.

Doom Patrol #15 (February 2003): "Team Dynamic"

Tan Eng Huat is back on art.

Lots of drama here: Ava still suspects Cliff. When Ted sees an ad for a Doom Patrol TV show, he flips out because it's about the old Patrol and not them, and when Cliff is unconcerned, Ted says maybe Raum was right about him not having a soul. This enrages Cliff, and he assaults Ted. Ava throws Cliff away from Ted, and threatens to kill him.  Cliff decides to leave, and go seek out his brother.  Shyleen, whose powers have been going out of control, attacks Ava.  She and Vic leave together. Ava remains with Ted, with somehow doesn't comfort him.  We end with Shyleen losing control in a cab, and setting it on fire!

 

Overall: A good issue.  It's a funny thing, I don't usually like team books where they're forever quarrelling, but this book and X-Statix manage to entertain me. Guess you just need the right kind of writing.

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