And now, the end is … here. The Doom Patrol is cancelled again, but they’re not going down without a fight. And their foe in the story entitled ‘Doomsday (No, not him)’ is ‘pandimensional carpetbagger’ Mr Somebody, who’s taken over Oolong Island by taking over President Veronica Cale. Marshalled by the villainous General Immortus in a ‘the enemy of my enemy’ scenario, Robotman, Elasti-Woman, Negative Man and Bumblebee take back the island with the help of some friends.
One in particular … and the way Ambush Bug saves the day makes perfect sense for this character in this comic under these circumstances. So Danny the Bungalow (nee Street) doesn’t have to make like Krakoa, the Living Island, and our heroes aren’t blasted to smithereens as happened the last time their strip ended with them on a tiny island.
I’d say this is a happy ending, even with the brazen cliffhanger … who knows, loyal fans may get a Special out of it. You’d have to be a loyal fan, mind, to follow this story, with the lack of the usual introductions. Yes, the original three DP members are namechecked on the splash page, but as for Bumblebee, Crazy Jane and, particularly, Mr Somebody’s pet supervillains, you’d need to have been taking notes to know who they are. I remember Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, who’s on fine form here, and the really rather useless Porcelain Doll, but even I fall down when it comes to identifying the big insect woman who wants to mate with Larry.
Still, writer Keith Giffen is trying to give us a good final blowout and, in the main, he manages it. While the resolution is rather out of nowhere, it works given the need to truncate the storyline. And there’s a great opening involving Danny’s defences against invaders, some good work with General Immortus and a satisfying new status quo for Cale and the Patrol.
It’s a shame regular co-penciller Matthew Clark is around only for this issue’s moody cover, but partner Ron Randall gives us pleasing layouts and figurework, inked by Art Thibert, coloured by Guy Major and lettered by Pat Brosseau. The central battle with Mr Somebody’s goons is good value, with AVM Man looking particularly threatening. And I love the design for General Immortus’ submarine, a cross between the Nautilus and his favourite jacket. All the core members get a good action moment, something to remember them by until their next series in, I guess, a couple of years.
I’ll miss this comic, but Giffen, Clark, Randall and co have given us nearly two years worth of imaginative Doom Patrol goodness that will bear multiple reads. Thanks, lads.