Gerard Way and the Doom Patrol return, with Jeremy Lambert assisting on the writing, and art by James Harvey. It’s a kind of a weird story. Well, I guess that goes without saying, considering that this is the Doom Patrol. But it’s odd in other ways as well.
To a degree, this reads like a normal first issue, as most of the tale is devoted to re-introducing the members of the team. Original members Cliff Steele, Negative Man, Elasti-Woman are part of the line-up, as well as Crazy Jane, Danny the Street (now Danny the Ambulance) and Flex Mentallo from the Grant Morrison run, and Way’s own creations, Casey Brinke, the Man-Cat Lotion, and Lucius Reynolds.
On the other hand, this also reads as a continuation of the previous series, with numerous allusions and references to earlier events in Way’s tales. So I’m not sure how easy this would be to jump right into. It’s probably best for those who were reading the previous run of Doom Patrol.
And for people who know only the wonderful recent tv series, this is a wildly different team than the one shown there. But that can't be helped. The tv show is riffing off of older tales.
Most of the team wind up in an adventure that introduces them to Corban, the Orb of God. It’s bizarre and fun, providing the weirdness factor that defines the Doom Patrol.
But Cliff Steele, Robotman, is given a completely separate plot thread, one in which he is allowed to meet his long-dead parents. It’s a much heavier storyline than the rest of the book, and the art for it is literally darker, and far more realistic.
That works really well, and helps make the vibrant cartooniness of the main storyline more effective, every time the issue cuts from one to the other.
I can’t say this is my favourite issue of the run. It jarred a bit too much between re-introductions and continuations. But I highly admired Gerard Way’s work in his earlier run on Doom Patrol, so I have little doubt that, by the next issue, all will be flowing perfectly.
There is no question that Way really understands what the Doom Patrol is about. And James Harvey seems to be a perfect visual accompaniest.