Monday, February 21, 2011

Comic Book Review: Doom Patrol #19

Written By: Keith Giffen
Penciller: Mathew Clark & Ron Randall
Inker: Art Thibert & Sean Parsons
Colorist: Guy Major
Cover Artist: Clark & Major
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Elisabeth V. Gehrlein

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
A few years ago a Secret Six miniseries was launched that made way for the ongoing title which currently graces comic book stores with its presence.  In that mini, the Six and the Doom Patrol go at it tooth and nail with the six coming out victorious.  Now, in this second part of Suicide Roulette which began in Secret Six #30, the Doom Patrol gets a second chance at showing the Six who’s the toughest and the baddest in an all-out death match that would make MTV’s claymated celebrities quiver in fear.

Meanwhile, there’s a volcano that’s erupted and will most definitely kill all of them if they don’t quit fighting each other.

I’m not a follower of the Doom Patrol.  Not because I didn’t have an interest in it, it’s just my wallet told me not to.  But with all of the great things I’ve heard about it, I had no fear of picking up #19 as it continued the story left off in Secret Six #30.  What I did expect to happen was the ridiculous and hilarious banter between the two teams, but what I wasn’t expecting was how bland and unclimactic this issue felt to me.  Thus lies the problem with crossover storylines!  If someone isn’t reading a title, and you compel that reader to buy that title due to its connectivity with another, you risk losing that reader due to lack of investment.  I’m not invested in Doom Patrol, therefore I’m probably not going to enjoy it that much picking up at issue #19.

Keith Giffen shouldn’t be faulted however; his writing is clever and pristine, obviously showing how much time and effort he puts into this title and the characters within.  Last month Gail Simone did wonders with implementing the Doom Patrol into Secret Six #30, giving every character (from both teams) a turn in the spotlight.  Likewise, Giffen brings out the best of the Six and the Doom patrol in a barrage of heated battles that will make you chuckle with delight.  But whatever happened to Jeanette?  She seems to hide away in the corner somewhere and by the book’s end, hasn’t a clue of what’s going on.  Definitely not the Jeanette I know.  In and of itself, this issue is well written but definitely a Doom Patrol book. Giffen doesn’t stutter in this aspect in the least, which as stated above, makes it difficult for readers not familiar with the title to become invested in it.

As much as I wanted to enjoy the art, I had trouble getting into it.  My issue was how a number of characters were visually interpreted in many different ways.  Luckily each character has his or her own costume to help me tell who’s who.  But the artist toggle (you knew it was coming) really bugged me as consistency was virtually non-existent with every turn of the page.  Both artists, Randall and Thibert, are incredibly talented, but mix them together on one book and all Hell breaks loose.  Keep it simple DC…keep it simple.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
I would say for fans of Doom Patrol, this issue is or was probably GOLD for them.  Giffen writes exceptionally well, but I’m simply not a follower of the title, so it’s hard for me to get excited about it.  Doo Patrol fans, pick this issue up and enjoy it!  Non-Doom Patrollers, give it a shot if you want, but don’t expect much.

5 out of 10 Stars

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