Monday, January 4, 2010

Negative Monday 25

Happy New Year! I trust everyone made it through safe and (mostly) sound.

Just a quick reminder to fill this spot for this week. No better way to start the first new comic day of the New Year than with an issue of Doom Patrol, right?

Here's the pencils for the cover, the solicited cover, and a little something extra.

Written by Keith Giffen; co-feature written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis; Art by Matthew Clark; co-feature Art by Kevin Maguire; Cover by Matthew Clark

This month, we spotlight Negative Man, who's going to knit the history of The Doom Patrol into one cohesive whole. Cohesive to him, anyway.

Plus, The Metal Men find another gag that those three old geezers doing the feature can run into the ground.

DC Universe | 40pg. | Color | $3.99 US

Happy Negative Monday y'all!


  1. Thanks Dan!
    Happy New Year to you and al others reading this.

  2. I'm REALLY curious to read this issue! Since apparently Keith is finally giving us the history/timeline of how all these Doom Patrol versions work together!


    I gotta say, I wasn't too impressed with this issue. And neither was my best friend, another huge Doom Patrol fan. I was just really hoping for some detailed explanations for the DP's (at this point) totally messed up continuity/history, but all we sorta got was a crazy Negative Man and histories shoved where they didn't necessarily fit.

    I can deal with the clones thing, which to my knowledge is something Keith has come up with. Ok, fine. But what about the John Byrne run, and how it suppposedly erased all the continuity that came before it (thereby reintroducing the characters as brand new, and not "back from the dead".) How in the world did the chief EVER get from a headless guy that went to Heaven tied to some chicks body; back to his wheelchair phase. Was this just that whole Superboy punch thing DC enjoys using now, and that's the answer. And so far as I can tell he's just sorta ignored the whole Geoff Johns reboot, Mento running the group, etc.

    Also, I can't figure out if he wasn't really allowed to get into details about the Grant Morrison run (as many of these characters used to be off limits by Grant), or just hated those issues. He ran through those parts really quick; sorta blowing off both Rebis (and the fact that he was an alien), Danny the Street, etc. as just craziness. I don't know, it all just seemed a little to slap together, without a lot of explanation. BUT then perhaps it was even too much for Keith to really figure out. Maybe we need a Doom Patrol Rebirth mini? LOL

    My friend said to me the only saving grace he could see was Keith seemed to be writing Negative Man/Larry as having completely lost his mind, and maybe that's his plan. Have the fans on forums, etc. explain what they did like about this updated "history" and what they didn't like, then he can just come back with a "Well, Negative Man is crazy, so some of what he said wasn't even true!" or something like that.

    Eh, not sure. I LOVE the Doom Patrol, but I'm just really having a hard time getting into this run. Just my two cents worth.

    OH, but one positive. I also have to say, I haven't been a huge fan of Matthew's work on the book so far (sorry!), but he really shined this issue! I loved his different versions of each team.

  4. I'm a longtime DP fan too. And I'm sooo glad someone else posted that they are also feeling really lukewarm about the new run and especially this long-awaited "origin" issue. DP is my favorite team ever. But this new run... I just feel like I'm still waiting for it to get good. I thought this issue was gonna be the one that finally did that - but I was a bit put off by the changes Giffen has made.

    I didn't like the "Larry is a kinda-clone" thing, especially since didn't Kupperberg establish that Larry survived the 1960s "death" of the DP? The clone thing for Rita, ok, I can deal with the Chief "regrowing" her and her muddled "did she or didn't she die?" past and her unstable personality (maybe a side effect of being a clone?) gives her an updated edge. But is everyone in the book a clone? Is Cliff's brain a clone too now, I can't remember...?

    At first I liked the way the story was being told from the neg being's point of view, like when he(it?) said he became a hot chick when he was inhabiting Valentina Vostok's body. Neat.

    But then... that whole bit with Larry in the Morrison patrol with the bandana around his leg - why is that being shoehorned in? Up until Byrne's reboot all of the other eras worked together and didn't have a whole lot of continuity problems. You could probably sit and read from the original 1960s series through to the end of the Arcudi run and not have a lot of headscratching at this team's continuity. I thought Geoff Johns had explained away why no one in the DCU remembered the pre-Byrne DP, and even the Superboy Punch thing transitioned the DP back to a version closer to where the team *might* have been if Byrne had brought them back without radically discarding the past. I looked at what Johns did as one of those Star Trek glitch kind of things that allowed the DP characters to have a fresh start but still retain all of the past backstory. Like a Tasha Yar moment. Mooshing together the reboot and all of the previous stories. It worked well enough and gave the team enough of a clean slate to pickup and go forward.

  5. (Sorry, more...)

    Now Giffen seems to be screwing with the backstory again. I don't know if we're supposed to believe that the neg being's story is the "real" history or a "crazy" history. It's annoying.

    I don't get how he puts this "punk rock" Larry on the Morrison team and then makes Rebis a blip. What? Why not have the neg-being talk about his experience as Rebis, why he fused Larry and Eleanor Poole, etc.? Obviously Larry is Larry again, thanks to the Superboy Punch, so no need to explain how Rebis went back to having one gender. Besides, the original Rebis died after laying an egg on the moon. So is *that* Rebis still out there on Danny the Street/World? If he's going to bring back Crazy Jane and Danny the Street, why rewrite the Morrison stuff? Esp. since that was arguably one of the more remembered periods of the DP? I almost felt like Giffen was either disgusted by a hermaphrodite or he didn't bother rereading the Morrison stories. Rebis was a badass, not a blip. Ok, it's 20 years later, I guess Giffen can do what he wants. I just didn't like it.

    And why even have Cliff meetup with *another* kinda-clone Larry as an off-scene event during the Arcudi run? What? That never happened.

    I thought this issue could have been so much better. I understand the DP's got a weird backstory and Giffen probably wants to gloss over it to let new DP readers keep up, but if he's going to do an origin issue just put all the weird backstory out there in this single issue, address it, and then move on with new stories. This barely worked. I feel like the continuity junk is more confusing now than it was before.

    Agree that this issue finally won me over to Matthew Clark's artwork. I think he's really channeling Richard Case, which at first annoyed me but I'm now really starting to enjoy (being such a fan of Case's DP work).

  6. Has anyone else noted that Amazon is already listing a trade for the series to date? Called "We Who Are About To Die", it runs 144pp, maybe ships June 8th and supposedly includes the Metal Men back-ups and features the DP fighting... G'Nort? I'm guessing that's a deliberate goof to see what other online dealers are cribbing Amazon's copy without attribution, but does anyone know if Johns put a few pages of a DP cameo into a Green Lantern title in the last few years, something that could be yanked out of context and put here?

  7. ...(Also, for the curious, they're anticipating the release of "Showcase Presents..." Vol. 2 on August 10th.)

  8. PB, I haven't seen the Amazon listings yet. Seems to me one of the solicits for this series mentioned someone not being as annoying as G'Nort.

    Johns snuck in a Larry Trainor reference during the "Secret Origin" issues in GL, but no cameo as far as I know.

    As for this issue, I thought Giffen did a decent job trying to thread it all together while giving himself plenty of wiggle room. I know most of us would love to see continuity as a jigsaw puzzle (albeit a linear one) and see how the pieces all fit together. Giffen has the perogative to pick and choose at this point, and this issue shows that he is going to do just that.

    The Rebis wave-off bugged me a bit, but I'm holding onto that as something to come. A bit of foreshadowing between this issue and the Blackest Night tie-ins.

    The highlight for me, in this issue, was the mastery of Matthew Clark's art. He goes from paying homage to Premiani to perfectly replicating Byrne's take on Robotman.

    I'll join the crowd here saying this series hasn't really caught fire yet. I'm not sure it will in the sense that Green Lantern or the Avengers have to DC and Marvel respectively, but I don't know that a title like Doom Patrol ever truly will set the world ablaze.

    That said, it does seem as though we're still in the exposition phase for this title. Six months does seem like a risky proposition to set a title up. Hopefully pace will pick up soon.

  9. I gave it 4 stars over at CBR.


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