Unstoppable Doom Patrol #2 review

Two things I love in comic books are Day in the Life issues and the Traitor Within the Legion trope. And with Unstoppable Doom Patrol #2 writer Dennis Culver and artist Chris Burnham give us a terrific twofer.

The Day in the Life aspect sees us introduced to DP base The Shelter as new character Beast Girl gives the even newer Worm the grand tour. They met on the team’s latest mission to rescue people with runaway metagenes from those who would exploit them.

As it turns out, Worm, the boy with the living boa, isn’t as innocent as he seems.

Said therapy session was taken by the Patrol’s new in-house counsellor.

Worm has two choices – play his assigned role as mole, or come clean with the team.

All credit to Culver for not dragging things out to Judas Contract proportions – we see Worm’s decision in this very issue. Which isn’t to say Culver couldn’t keep things interesting, but it’s a refreshing change to have an embedded spy speedily decide their own fate.

This issue, drawn with real heart by Burnham, is happily heavy on the subplots, with Robotman visiting a former team member and trying to contact another; the (old) Chief Vs the (new) Chief; a tanked-up Doom Patrol associate; and the debut of Doom Patrol Dark, as they’re not officially called.

There’s also a page set far from The Shelter, setting up a future storyline. The Brotherhood of Evil, seen re-forming – never reforming – last issue, don’t appear this time, but they’ll be back soon, I’m sure.

Also, Negative Man Larry has a delightful pup. Doom Paw-trol, anyone?

Culver’s script jogs along merrily, but there’s a real sense of threat in some scenes, while Burnham’s art, beautifully coloured by Brian Reber, finds a nice balance between whimsy and unsettling. On the latter front, wait until you see Dr Syncho’s game face… just how powerful is a person linked to five Messrs Mxyzptlks?

The only thing I don’t like is an X-books style infographic page, giving us story detail that could be more engagingly transmitted via words and pictures; it does speak to character but it’s dull on the eyes.

There are two cutaways in this issue, one showing the layout of the new HQ, the other revealing the little human stories within… my favourite of the second variety lays open the strength of the relationship between Elast-Woman Rita and team physical therapist Flex Mentallo.

It’s great work from Burnham, with Flex Mentallo’s charmingly goofy grin reminiscent of a character from a Fifties Mad! Magazine. Reber’s thoughtful colours add to the mood of the story and Pat Brosseau’s excellent lettering is another win for the book. The phrase ‘dunno know’ appears but I can’t say if that’s an error on the part of Culver, Brosseau and editor Ben Abernathy or a character quirk; I can’t forgive Dr Psyncho’s ‘real truth’ so easily, though. Tut.

The cover is just lovely, showing the team members’ reactions to their newest super-refugee, whose metahuman trick is reminiscent of Marvel’s nausea-inducing Maggott. I do like a great swathe of pink.

I love this new series and am delighted that the six announced issues have been supplemented by a seventh starring Dr Psyncho. And that’s the truth, real and otherwise.

10 thoughts on “Unstoppable Doom Patrol #2 review

  1. I think the infographic page is an intentional reference to the last couple years of X-Men books. I think even the formatting and look is the same! And considering the historic connections between the two teams in the pub history, I honestly like it. At least a bit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I gave it two issues but this was it for me. I can get books with artists I dislike but the story has to be a draw or the characters. The ones I have always liked are bit players and the one still major has a new permanent personality I dislike. The focus is too scattered to call the writing good either. And they killed a kid. Killing a kid is almost always the kiss of death for me (if he wasn’t a kid, the art made him look that way so it’s the same thing) and a cast member throwing the kid far away so his death wouldn’t inconvenience them made it worse.

    Oh and I have loathed Peacemaker since the move from Charlton to DC made him cartoonishly evil.

    I hope you continue to like this series but like any Green Arrow reviews, I won’t be reading them even. I am that done with Doom Patrol Version 812. I’ll check back in a couple of years for the next one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dunno that the Jane Chief will be a perma-look for her, it’s already being challenged by regular Jane.

      I took it that Worm has to be over 18 or whatever the age is in the US when people can enter the adult penal system. But if looking like a kid is bad enough, I got nuttin’!

      See you in the next series!


  3. My only quibble with this issue is that it was light on actual Doom Patrol characters. These new kids are fun and all… but I wanna see Cliff, Rita, Larry, Jane and the Chief. We’ve only got six issues with this book so to devote a whole issue to a side character and the mysterious organization behind the scenes feels… I dunno? Misguided? That choice would be totally fine for an ongoing, but when page space is limited, I really wanna see the core group.
    But as I said, a minor quibble. This may totally pay off in the issues to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have seven issues! An extra one has been added, I think to help Chris Burnham with his schedule. It’ll feature Dr Syncho’s sessions with the team members, hopefully our faves. Holy Doc Samson!


      1. Well that’s encouraging news. It’s not often that a mini gets an extra issue tacked on, even if it does help the artist remain on schedule. Fingers crossed that leads to more adventures of the team.

        Liked by 1 person

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