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Doom Patrol #2 Review

And we’re back for the second installment of Doom Patrol, the flagship book of DC Comics’ new Young Animal imprint. There’s a lot going on in this issue, so before we dig into the gyro, can we take a second to appreciate Nick Derington’s striking cover to this particular comic? Seriously, cover of the week right here, just see for yourself…

Doom Patrol #2 (DC Comics)

The pilot with transparent skin on the cover would be Larry Trainor, aka the classic Doom Patrol character Negative Man. We meet him on page 1, and by panel 5, we’re reminded this is Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol, where things naturally take a turn for the weird when we see Trainor’s co-pilot is a Russian doll.

After Trainor’s introduction, Way brings us back to the characters he introduced in the series’ first issue – optimistic EMT Casey Brinke, her zany new roommate Terry None and Robotman, who finally gets it together, literally.

Casey continues to serve as our tour guide into the wild world of Young Animal, but we don’t spend nearly as much time with her as I would have liked. In my opinion, Way’s characterization of Casey was one of the highlights of Doom Patrol’s debut issue. But, that’s the price of world building, I suppose.

Of course, less focus on Casey means we get to spend more time with Robotman, who’s already turning into this series’ breakout character. He’s a rough-and-tumble hero who gets to do some major fighting, while dropping amazing lines like, “You no good–stinkin’–lousy–crumb-bums!!”

Fans of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol will be pleased to learn Way re-introduces one of the writer’s creations toward the end of this issue. I won’t spoil who he is, but if you’ve seen some of the promotional material for this series, you probably know who I’m talking about.

If this review seems to bounce around a bit, it’s because that’s kind of what Doom Patrol #2 is like. Similar to the last issue, Way is throwing out-there ideas and concepts in-between character introductions and plot advancement.

That’s by no means a bad thing, but it reveals this series will be far more satisfying when read in a trade paperback. We’re slowly building momentum (I’m looking at you, Niles Caulder scenes), but if you’re not the most patient reader, you may want to wait until the first arc is collected. Otherwise, you might have to wait awhile before you know why there was a tiny note implanted in Casey’s tooth.

At the same time, no one should be denied Derington’s incredible art on a monthly basis. I’ll admit, I wasn’t familiar with the artist’s work before Doom Patrol, but these two issues have ensured I will follow his career wherever his smooth and animated pencils go next.

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