Monday, January 30, 2017

Comic Book Review - Doom Patrol #4

By: Jerry Montgomery
January 29th,  2017

Doom Patrol #4
“I’m Sorry I’m Late, Brick by Brick, Pt.4

Written by: Gerard Way
Artwork by: Nick Derington

The Doom Patrol. Chances are you may not have heard of them or know who they are. Cliff Steele, aka Robotman, Niles Caulder, Negative Man, Flex Mentallo and Crazy Jane. Billed as the world’s strangest heroes, this misfit band of oddballs has been reimagined by writer Gerard Way, the creator of DC’s Dangerous Animals Imprint, a place for wild ideas and something alternative from mainstream comics. These are comics for dangerous humans. Comics to make you think. Comics to make you feel. So, if you are indeed unfamiliar with the Doom Patrol, be prepared to be introduced to them and what is, and what could be.

This new incarnation of the Doom Patrol kicks into gear with new character,  Casey Brinke, a young EMT and her partner, Sam Reynolds who, as well as pondering the possible mysteries that lie within a common Gyro, answer the call of a hit and run. There, they find themselves face to face with Cliff Steele/Robotman, seconds before he’s hit by a garbage truck. How did they get the call before the accident happen? Cliff’s parts are gathered up and taken to Casey ‘s apartment, where he is repaired by her new roommate, Terry None. The next day, Casey and her partner Sam receive an emergency call to an injured man, which turns out to be Larry Trainor, The Negative Man. In the meantime,  Robotman has his hands full with a group of gun-wielding aliens called The Vectra who are looking for Casey…and the ambulance. Lets just say there’s lots of head injuries courtesy of Cliff. Larry and Cliff are reunited after yet another call from their ambulance. Why is it transmitting its own instructions? It seems there’s more to this vehicle than meets the eye (No, it’s not a Transformer). It seems someone or something wantss to reunite The Doom Patrol.

It turns out The Vectra are in the fast food business all over the galaxy and they have discovered an unending supply of an all-new, mentally healthy meat supply for their menu. They have discovered  the existence of a sentient organic generator sprawl which they plan to torture to provide the product. What’s  the sprawl? Why, the ambulance of course…but you can call him Danny (Yes I know, its a lot to take in.). Larry is found by the Negative Spirit and whisked away to be made whole again in the Negative Space, to be witnessed by Cliff. By the end of issue 3, Casey even meets Flex Mentallo , the Man of Mystery Muscle, inside Danny, who lays it all out for her. Who she really is, what Danny really is and what she means to the regrouping of The Doom Patrol. Issue 4 details the trial of Larry Trainor in the Negative Space, Casey’s escape from the Vectra and subsequent rescue of Danny

The Verdict: The Doom Patrol is definitely a title you’ve got to read from the beginning. There’s a lot going on and to miss even one issue will have you lost on the next. Issue 4 continues this complex and highly interesting rebuilding of this superhero team that dates back to the early 1960’s. Gerard Way is spinning a great story and the artwork by Nick Derington is top notch. If you enjoy comics that are different and not part of the “mainstream” style of comics, I highly recommend this title. There’s something to say about a comic that has featured a removable gryo sticker on the cover of it’s first issue. Peel it back to see what lies beneath…there’s no turning back.

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