MINOR SPOILERS BELOW.
I can’t remember the last time that a comic was this bat #$%@ crazy, yet I begged for more. Doom Patrol #5 is a great example of what happens when talented creators double down on the ridiculous, and make something cohesive and beautiful within its own crazy world. I say creators because, a lot of the time, writers get more credit than artists, and with this book, it would be a crime to not treat Gerard Way and Nick Derington as equal powerhouses. Now that may be true with most comics, as the artist deserves a ton of credit since they are doing so much of the work we see on the page, but this comic marries the art and writing better than most in the entire medium.
The way Derington draws these books amazes me even more with each issue. It isn’t simply because of his super original yet instantly recognizable style, it’s because he brings them to life with every panel. The characters in this book are so zany, and feel right in line with past Doom Patrol comics. He draws Cliff Steele punching Torminox in an iconic ode to Cap punching Hitler. It is beautiful. The entire book is filled with great moments that pop off the page and flow from panel to panel in a way not all comic books do. I am amazed that Derington finishes these issues (yes there have been some delays), but I can see why because they are packed with detail, are constantly changing locations, characters, tone, and sometimes even style. All while continuing to keep the charm that he brings to this series. Again, he is just as important as Way to this book, if not more. Tamra Bonvillain, while having one of the coolest names in comics, also colors the hell out of this comic. They bring these characters right off of the page with bright and deep tones that marry Derington’s artwork perfectly. The two work as a perfect tandem, and make each other’s work that much better.
Way nails these characters in the same way Morrison did. The tone is fun, fast, and ridiculous, and I couldn’t stop reading and flipping the page in anticipation of what would happen next, or to see if these characters that I love were okay. It takes a good writer to make me feel about characters like Robotman, The Negative Man, Casey, Ricardo, Flex, and Danny, but I do. That isn’t to say they aren’t great characters, but that I am completely buying into them as people, and that’s crazy, well because this book shouldn’t feel real. It’s nuts, but in a good way. Again, there have been some real good Doom Patrol runs, but this series so far has blown me away. I hope these two stay together on this book for a long time. There are a ton of moments that if you blink you may miss them that seem to set up things down the road. I actually went back through the issue for a second time and found things I hadn’t noticed. Whether those be details written in the background, or a moment that hints at a future cover that may or may not have to do with an awesome cat, they add to what makes this book great.
I would recommend Doom Patrol to anyone looking for something off the beaten path. Have superhero fatigue? Looking for something to make you laugh or smile? Do you want a comic that captures the heart of the wacky old comics, while bringing something new to the table? Then this book is for you. I pull Doom Patrol every month, so I put my money where my mouth is on this review. I love this weird little book, and it is just getting more fun, and wonderfully silly with each issue.
Story: Gerard Way Art: Nick Derington Color: Tamra Bonvillain
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Young Animal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review