Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #2 review

Last issue Cliff Steele’s car went off a cliff and this time, to the surprise of precisely no one, he’s back in a robot form, courtesy of Keeg, the negative being who shares Larry Trainor’s body. It’s a little basic, but has potential.

The sleeping Larry pops some strange critters.

Everyone chases them around Dannyland.

And a planetary divorce is averted when Crazy Jane organises a cosmic encounter group and Lotion the cat gives out cuddles.

You know, I try to approach reviewing from the position that nobody sets out to make a bad comic, it’s more a matter of a title being not to my personal taste. So let’s call Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #2 a comic that is massively not to my personal taste. As with last issue, things just happen with no line of causality – Keeg can whip up a robot body, Negative Man can give birth to orbs with legs, planets wear suits. It’s all super-whimsical and doesn’t appeal to me.

I realise that some people love big diagrams of settings, so no doubt the Dannyland spread will have its fans – likely the Dungeons and Dragons players who enjoyed #12 with its Daemonscape story – but I just could not be bothered to read it. I tried, really, I did. And as its significance in the issue begins and ends with those two pages, I doubt I missed out.

What follows is equally perplexing, but not in a way I enjoy, like this week’s House of X, which builds on comic history – more in a random manner… Casey is bathing in blood, Larry’s dreams tether him to a dog and so on. It’s as if writers Gerard Way and Jeremy Lambert decided their audience would be smoking rolled-up copies of Grant Morrison’s version so would he satisfied simply by the very sight of human figures with silly heads. And perhaps some are.

Maybe there’s a big picture that I’m failing to see, but I can’t imagine hanging around long enough to find out more. I’m a big fan of the Doom Patrol but I’m sick of moaning about this version, I should leave this run to its fans rather than be a wet blogging blanket.

There are certainly a few engaging images courtesy of artist James Harvey, who draws, colours and – unfortunately – letters. The old-fashioned Robotman body is great, it reminds me of long-gone British comics character Klanky. Lotion the cat in his undies is striking in a creepy way. And the final page surprise is eye-catching.

But images aren’t enough, I need a story that seems to be going somewhere, rather than everywhere. And characters who aren’t just there visually, but there in the sense of having some point – Rita and Flex may as well have stayed at home. If you’re a fan of this version of the Doom Patrol. I’d love you to share your enthusiasm because I just don’t get it.

4 thoughts on “Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #2 review

  1. I’m with you. *Love* the Doom Patrol!
    Don’t love this.
    But my favourite versions of the team are the original run and Giffen’s version (and now the TV version), with my least favourite runs being Kupperberg’s and then Pollack’s.
    Morrison’s take on the team, while often being overly weird for my tastes, at least had the deeply satisfying friendship of Cliff and Jane that grounded those stories. I’m not sure that I’m seeing those kind of character moments in this run of stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We definitely need some depth to the relationships. Way has certainly been on the book long enough now to make the Doom Patrol feel coherent but everyone feels like a hanger on.

      I’m looking forward to hearing Paul and Mike’s take on tonight’s Waiting For Doom podcast.

      Like

  2. Whew. I never read Doom Patrol before, but had heard of it, and it sounded exotic in a good way, so I put this on my pull list just to try something different.

    Issue #1 was ok, and then this issue started reasonably enough. The Joker/Harley rubber toys in the bath were cute. But the splash page of Larry and Negative Man with the montage of scenes started to lose me – are those scenes references to anything from the prior run? Or are they just random illustrations of life from “living so many lifetimes in my dreams”?

    I guess at this point maybe the book is just supposed to elicit a “Whoa, dude, I’m so high” kind of reaction. For an audience that appreciates it. Maybe the demo that enjoys Rick & Morty. (Though that TV series has more to say and is more character-driven than this. I can’t speak for the comic, though.)

    Then I hit the 2-page map of Dannyland and felt like I’d slammed into a wall, put the book down to contemplate how I really wanted to spend the rest of my life. That’s why my comments here are so late.

    Eventually I mustered up the energy to give it a second try, and found some of the locales to be moderately amusing. There was some social commentary, but there wasn’t enough to reward the effort.And it was just too much work to try to correlate all the descriptions with the map, hunting around for the lettered locations. I never did find the Parking Lot of Infinite Emptiness (P).

    The double-splash page cosmic orgy did feature some interesting planetary sensuality – “My surface in your gravity” and similar stuff. Hey, if planet-beings can nearly get divorced, they can have make-up sex too, though I’m not sure if it’s just Lotion (I think that’s the name of the cat) snuggling with the two from family court in a montage, in which case it’s a mere threesome, or if amorous neighboring planets have also joined the party.

    Well, it was an interesting experiment, but I’m not going to stick with this book.

    T.N.

    Like

  3. Thanks TN, it’s always interesting to hear how someone new to a series finds it. It’s a shame this isn’t engage you more but as you can tell from the review, it wasn’t much more fun for me… heck, you managed to get through Dannyland, that took gumption!

    So far as I can recall the montage scene simply shows moments from random lives Larry is experiencing while asleep, it doesn’t really make sense in terms of previous Negative Man appearances; it’s just another new, random wrinkle.

    If you have the DC App – wish I did – I hope you try some old Doom Patrol – pretty much every run has its moments. My favourites are the original Drake/Premiani stuff and the Giffen/Clark run, but it’s almost all worth a look.

    Liked by 1 person

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