Gerard Way and the Allreds join forces in Doom Patrol 7, and this proves a much better fit than when the Chief returns to lead his former comrades into battle.
The adventure itself is absolutely hilarious, a pure delight that feels pulled right from a 1960s issue of the classic team. And yet, despite the goofy laughs, this issue leaves one with a deep sadness.
The Chief is as manipulative and untrustworthy as he ought to be, but I wound up feeling very sorry for him. His desperation permeates the tale, and his efforts to make the Doom Patrol look and act like they used to just highlights his sorry state.
It’s not the only thing in this issue that tugs at the heart strings. A “welcome home” party proves anything but joyful, and the subplot of a missing cat looks to have no sort of happy ending.
But back to the fun stuff, the art is so perfect on this story. Allred has been having a lot of fun in the DC Universe recently, and there is more subtlety to his work on this story than is apparent on a first reading. The complete collection of Mento helmets was an interesting choice for the background of one scene, making me wonder what is being set up with those.
There are a few other set ups going on as well. That sure seems like Rita Farr applying lipstick, and we even get a brief glimpse of Robotman in his 70s body, as if this were a different person than the Cliff Steele in the rest of the story.
So many revivals of Doom Patrol have been well intentioned, but heavily flawed, attempts. Somehow, Gerard Way makes writing this book look easy as $#!+.