Friday, July 14, 2017

Booknote: Doom Patrol, Volume 1

Gerard Way,, Doom Patrol, Volume 1: Brick by Brick. Burbank, CA: DC Comics, 2017.  ISBN: 9781401269791.

Genre: graphic novels and comics
Subgenre: superheroes, surrealism
Format: e-book galley
Source: NetGalley

This pretty much falls under "what the heck did I just read?" While I am not an obsessive geek about Doom Patrol, I am familiar with the concept enough to appreciate it. This volume was pretty much a mess in terms of plot and story. Also, from what I have gathered from other reviewers, you probably will not appreciate it much unless you are seriously hardcore about these characters, and it likely helps if you are also a fan of the previous run by Grant Morrison. I have observed fans of the Morrison run either like this one (because it reminds them of that) or hate it (because it is nothing like that). I have not read the Morrison work, so I come to the comic mainly as a new reader, and I can tell you that based on this I would not pick up the next part of the series.

Let me give a bit of the book's description as reference:

"Flex Mentallo, Robotman, Rebis, Crazy Jane, and more are back to twist minds and take control. This new take on a classic embraces and reimagines the Morrison run's signature surrealism and irreverence. Incorporating bold, experimental art and a brash tone to match a new generation of readers, Gerard Way's DOOM PATROL establishes radical new beginnings, breaks new ground, and honors the warped team dynamic of the world's strangest heroes"

The above sounds a lot better than what you actually get. The premise is that of heroes in our world who for whatever reason have forgotten they are heroes and have powers. They need to be reminded fast since there is a new threat. Our protagonist, Casey Brinke, is a young female EMT ambulance driver, but it turns out she is more than that, and so is her ambulance which is actually a vehicle as well as the embodiment of a higher being. It goes downhill from there as you struggle to figure out what  is going on. You don't really get the hang of it until about the third issue (this volume collects the first six issues of this run, so that means you have to read at least halfway into the series to get your bearings).

So, are there any redeeming qualities? To a small extent, some elements of the story are reminiscent of the film They Live (yes, the Roddy Piper film) of a secret alien world just under ours. The other redeeming element is the art. If you like surreal and "trippy" art, this may be a volume for you. But it  is not really a volume to read for the story, which is basically a convoluted mess I would not recommend to anyone. Only readers I see picking this up are hard fans, and I get the impression even some of those will pass.

This  is a title I  would not order for my library, and  I do not recommend it to other libraries. If a patron asks for it, get it via Interlibrary Loan for them. This is just not worth purchasing for a collection.

1 out of 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2017 Reading Challenges:

No comments: