Review – Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Dennis Culver
Artist: Chris Burnham
Colorist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Release Date: 28th March 2023

Unashamedly tying into Jeremy Carver Productions’ Primetime Emmy Award-nominated television series, as well as Dennis Culver’s desire to make Doom Patrol “its own pillar in the DC Universe”, this opening instalment to a six-issue limited series must have successfully landed with its readers, regardless of whether they were already familiar with Arnold Drake and Bob Haney’s Silver Age creation. True, the brazenly bizarre super-team’s roster is somewhat different from that which made its first appearance way back within the pages of “My Greatest Adventure” in June 1963. But part of this enchanting publication’s success lies in its intriguing introduction to new members such as Beast Girl, Crazy Jane’s incarnation of the Chief, and Subject 99.

Furthermore, the sheer pace achieved with Culver’s story is absolutely top-notch, with the inevitably grumpy Robotman driving his comrades-in-arms straight into the action via a poorly-parked bus. This rather tongue-in-cheek attempt to enter Gotham City keeping “a low profile” immediately establishes a genuinely palpable sense of apprehension with the storytelling and, coupled with the gun-totting insanity on show with Monsieur Mallah and the Brain battling decaying cadavers on Monc Blanc in Switzerland, sets the rest of the narrative up for a series of shocking surprises.

One such revelation undoubtedly arrives in the guise of the Caped Crusaders, who swoop down from the skyline to add even more mayhem to Metagen Incorporated’s messed up machinations. Doubtless some bibliophiles won’t be too startled to see Batman and Robin make an appearance in a tale set within the confines of their celebrated conurbation. However, their presence comes unfashionably late considering the wanton devastation already caused by a writhing mass of squishy, pink-hued insectoids, and at a time when the Doom Patrol are actually handling things pretty well considering that their new Chief originally underestimated the size of the threat they faced; “I don’t care who you are. This is my city. He’ll be taken care of. Arkham Tower is preparing a special holding cell until –”

Definitely demonstrating that this is exactly the “type of comic I love drawing” is Chris Burnham, whose artwork, competently coloured by Brian Reber, are unconditionally crammed full of dynamic action and wanton mass-destruction. Of particular note is the Connecticut-born artist’s ability to pencil the Dark Knight and Kay Challis with all the barely repressed frostiness that might be expected from two protagonists fighting alongside one another against numerous foes. Yet coming at the problem of tackling a super-powerful, meta-human threat from polar opposite positions.


The writer of this piece was: Simon Moore
Simon Tweets from @Blaxkleric ‏
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

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