Comic Publishers

February 10, 2010

DC Reviews: Doom Patrol #7

Doom Patrol #7

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist(s): Matthew Clark and Cliff Richards
Inker: John Livesay
Cover: Clark, Livesay, and J.D. Smith
Editor: Elisabeth V. Gerhlein

DC Comics has tried time and again to put out a decent Doom Patrol book. It is a gathering of some of the most eccentric characters, all with a vast array of mental instabilities. At the helm of this team is Dr. Niles Caulder, the man who caused the accidents creating some of the team’s members.

In the most recent incarnation of the team, only three members stand. Elasti-Woman, Robotman, and Negative Man. Dr. Caulder, a.k.a. The Chief, purposely assembled this team because each has their own set of mental issues, but they all share one common trait. Not one of these members has a real reason to live, and all consider themselves expendable. Although they continue to fight like they mean it, no one really cares whether they live or die.

Now this being said, the team is situated on Oolong Island. The Doom Patrol serve in the interests of Caulder, aiding The Chief on his insane quests and fighting off supernatural threats. This issue starts with a Mr. Jost (sponsor of a former Doom Patrol team) and a lady discussing recent attacks on civilians by mindless monsters. Right. OK now back to what is supposed to be a coherent story.

Then we jump to the security team of Oolong Island discussing what to do with The Chief and his Doom Patrol, and their occupation of the island. Clearly they aren’t happy.  The President of Oolong wants to talk to The Chief because he withheld some information on a recent attack on the island. Next we see The Chief in a hospital bed, talking to the island’s resident psychiatrist/priest about the state of Caulder’s mental stability. No outcome there.

The story slightly picks up when a team of artifact recoverers are taking items out of Dayton Manor, Doom Patrol’s former base…. OK forget it. I just want to talk about the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. What in the world was the person who created this monstrosity of a character smoking when they decided it would be a good idea to make a villain out of someone who can become plant, mineral, and dinosaur?!?! And what in the world would make Giffen use this guy here, with no apparent reason?!? I know that writers often start future stories with a little sub-story, but I mean come on, Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man?

That’s upsetting. It really is.

The unfortunate part about all of this is that I, like many others, like Giffen’s work. But Doom Patrol has to be some of the sorriest stories I have read in a while. This issue was jumping all over the place trying to include different plots, but it had no flow. I felt like I was reading four different short stories, none of which I cared about.  Giffen tries to include these little “diary” entries by different characters you see in the story. I still can’t figure out which character is writing which entry, and half of them I can barely read because they have so much garble.

The art has also hit a low point in this book. I have actually enjoyed the art up until this issue. The only character that the artists put effort into drawing was… The Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. I’m embarrassed to be even saying this guy’s name. He was the only character drawn with any detail. All of the other characters from Joe-blow civilians to The Chief looked like they were missing a couple lines.

Now that I got the negativity out of the way, I feel a bit better.  Something I do like about this book is that even though I’m not crazy about the art, they do manage to capture the emotion of the characters in their body language. You don’t always see this being done well in comics, but here it was pretty good. I was also really into the premise of the story when I read Doom Patrol #1, although I think a few more members added to the roster are needed. After this issue though, I doubt I will be reading this book much longer.

Rating: 1.5/5

Mike Parente



  1. Billy

    I like bad reviews. Lets people know not to buy it. Nice work Mike!

  2. Ya it pains me to do it, but I had to. I have a rule that after 5 issues if I have no interest, I won’t suggest a book.

  3. thats usually my cut off as well

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