Doom Patrol by Gerard Way and Nick Derington is a book that never ceases to amaze me. Each issue gets weirder and weirder than the previous, and that is perfectly okay. The books really puts the weird into DC and instead of being ashamed of it, they run with it and make it the entire focus of the story. Doom Patrol #9 has a plot that leaves you satisfied but also wanting more, as well as art that matches the tone and quality of the writing in the book.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The secret of Terry None (maybe)! The return of old enemies (usually)! Casey eats S**t (again)! Strange babies (possibly)! Ungrateful cats (predictably)! Robotman punches stuff (of course)! Negative Man goes dark (potentially)! New life and anti-life (because)! All of this and none of it happens as reality begins to transform for the Doom Patrol. The stage is being set for the stage to be reset and you’re not going to want to miss the ambulance or you’ll never get to the theater on time.
What’s the story?
This issue of Doom Patrol brings in quite a few new characters — from robot mech suits guided by a pair of “shipping” fanatics to Mister Nobody and the Brotherhood of Dada to The Disappointment, a character who looks like a comic book cover which has a character removed due to potential spoilers and he’s got a “Withheld due to Copyright” notice across his body. These characters new and old give the book a refreshing look and feel that most other comics by the big two don’t often have.
When I say that Doom Patrol puts the weird in weirdo, I mean it. The book makes so little sense at some points that it feels like you’re fighting a dragon to get to your fridge when in reality you’re scaring your cat and tripping on acid. That is what Doom Patrol feels like.
Characters develop, sometimes in ways that feel natural, sometimes in ways that are completely out of left field. Casey gets her romance on in this issue, but not with her humanoid cat — she kisses her roommate as they fall through a hole in the wall of their apartment and down to the ground safely by parachute. Cliff admits his feelings for Jane while being attacked by the evil “shipper” robots and Flex… Well Flex continues to be the “Hero of the Beach.”
RetCo, a mysterious industry, sets up the future JLA/Doom Patrol event Milk Wars where they will have to deal with sanitized and normal versions of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman: Milkman Man, Wonder Wife and Father Bruce, respectively. With its mysterious and copyright withheld character The Disappointment taking stage this issue, it looks to be a great ride from here on out. The Disappointment is obviously a satirical approach to when covers remove characters from the covers in order to keep their appearances a secret and how often times they are considered a disappointment when they appear — this meta-textual joke is one of the reasons that Doom Patrol is such a weird and wonderful series to read.
And the art?
The art by Nick Derington is fantastic as always. He draws the weird and wonderful of Doom Patrol in a way that makes the world seem as vivid and surreal as the writing. Even his drawing of a comic within a comic looks great. There are plenty of visual gags within the issue such as the wall cover that points out the obvious with its “Danger: Giant Hole” sign or the cereal that is called “Shit” to make the pun that Casey is literally eating shit. Doom Patrol is a book that benefits from the amazing art that Derington adds onto the weird and wonderful story written by Gerard Way.