UNSTOPPABLE DOOM PATROL #1/ Script by DENNIS CULVER / Art by CHRIS BURNHAM/ Colors by BRIAN REBER/ Letters by PAT BROSSEAU/ Published by DC COMICS
It is a cruel irony that DC Comics finally gets a new Doom Patrol series out just in time for the critically acclaimed steaming series to be cancelled. It’s doubly cruel because Unstoppable Doom Patrol deserves to have a bigger audience than I fear it’s likely to attract, even as one of the first new releases to come out of the Dawn of DC. Still, the Doom Patrol comics are generally just like the team – born to lose yet somehow successful in spite of the odds against them.
This first issue introduces the team, but the personalities are closer to their classic interpretations than their television counterparts. The key points of interest for fans of the earlier Doom Patrol series and the show is that the team is now led by a mysterious woman called The Chief and includes a cat-like, pink-furred member called Beast Girl, in addition to Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Woman. The action of the issue finds them in Gotham City, exploring a lab that was doing bad things to metahumans and trying to deal with the consequences before Batman shows up.
The script by Dennis Culver does a fantastic job of establishing the characters for the benefit of newcomers. There’s not a lot of deep characterization or angst, however, and Beast Girl is quickly established as an engaging point-of-view character. The big takeaway is that the Doom Patrol continue to be the superhero team that is tolerated, at best, for their ability to take on the problems nobody else can (or will) deal with. The B-plot also reintroduces the classic Doom Patrol villains General Immortus, The Brain and Monsieur Mallah, suggesting a new version of the Brotherhood of Evil is about to rise as well.
The artwork by Chris Burnham is a solid fit for Culver’s script. Burnham’s style is reminiscent of Darick Robertson, with a gritty sense of detail, deep inks and some great facial expressions throughout. This is well-backed by the colors of Brian Reber and the skillful lettering of Pat Brosseau. The final effect is suitably unique and memorable.
If you haven’t had the good fortune to encounter the Doom Patrol before, Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1 is a great place to start. If you’re a fan of the show curious about the comics, you’ll find enough that is familiar to feel at home. And if you just like plain goofy but comics, why, you’ll love this too!