Comics / Spotlight

A Retrospective On Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol


By Alexander Jones
Nov 28, 2012 - 2:21

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The Doom Patrol are an unsettling group of people. For a few years writers ignored this fact and then a writer named Grant Morrison came along and brought the creepiness back. The series opens with the main characters literally crawling from the wreckage which is what the first storyline is called.
In Crawling From The Wreckage The Doom Patrol are in shambles. The team has just combusted and left few members alive. Cliff is having a psychological breakdown about losing his humanity through turning into a machine. Cliff is sentenced into an insane asylum where he meets a paranoid bipolar woman named Crazy Jane. Grant Morrison makes the choice of focusing on these two characters and their relationship throughout his issues. This first story arc is gripping for the characterization but does not truly live up to the full potential of the other issues. The Scissor-men is the first group of insane characters that writer Grant Morrison decides to throw at the reader. The Scissor-men raise the stakes of the story itself by erasing the characters out of existence. It’s up to our ragtag band of heroes losing sanity so to save the world. The main known as the Tempest now serves as the teams doctor, Dorothy Spinner is the everyday average girl with an ape face. The Chief is still around and plays an interesting role in the issues to come. The last character of the essential new Doom Patrol is a transformation of Larry Trainor the man wrapped in bandages who is now known as Rebis. Rebis is now non-gender specific and transcends both ideas of the male and female.

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The second of Grant Morrison’s stories in Doom Patrol is where the Doom Patrol begins to take flight as a deep interesting comic book full of nuances. Red Jack initially claims himself to be god himself but the main heroes of The Doom Patrol consisting of Rebis, Cliff, and Crazy Jane discover that he is not. The man known as Red Jack is none other than Jack The Ripper. This storyline showed me what this comic book run was truly going to be. Morrison’s Doom Patrol is an ultra complex balancing act of welcoming the surreal but balancing all the characters.

Morrison introduces many different wonders throughout the series like a secret within the pentagon and a brotherhood of DaDa but Morrison never forgets the characters within the book. He also has many nice moments with the extended cast few. The mysteries in Morrison’s Doom Patrol always linger and the things that haunt Dorothy Spinner’s dreams are hauntingly real. Characters like Flex Mentallo are also introduced in his run and the characters are given a new wealth of stories to unravel. These stories are incredibly inspired and shouldn’t be overlooked by any comic book fan. Throughout them all lies a sense of this Morrison heart but never becomes overbearing with the ideas of it all. In addition the story has a weight to it within the current DC comics universe because you get a foundation of important characters like The Metal Men or Flex Mentallo.

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Grant Morrison is an incredibly prolific writer that is a foundation to the modern comic book. His career is one that should be celebrated along with the comic book itself for growing up. Keeping all of this in mind and thinking back to the crazy effervescent mind of Morrison this series is still one to be celebrated for never losing sight of it’s own heart. The core of the book is trapped within the romance of someone who is completely insane and person who has lost his humanity. This simple yet elegant idea is one that can carry any story.


Last Updated: May 15, 2017 - 12:03

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