Thursday, May 5, 2011

Doom Patrol 22 - Final Issue

This week saw the end of Keith Giffen's run on Doom Patrol. While the series had its flaws, it was one of the few comics I still bothered to pick up regularly. Since the 1960s, there have been something like seven or eight writers doing his or her version of the Doom Patrol every few years. My favorite run on the series (and, in fact, one of my favorite comic series of all time) was the Grant Morrison version in the early nineties.

I've noticed that the best versions of this team are those that present them as heroes who wish they were dead. Maybe not every minute of every day, but there is a death-wish undercurrent even in the kid-friendly 1960s versions of these characters. These were people whose powers separated them from the rest of the world, left them unable to maintain secret identities (much less normal jobs). They were people with nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. In the best versions (Arnold Drake's, Grant Morrison's and Keith Giffen's), the Doom Patrol comes off more like a support group than a crime-fighting team.

Of course, given the nearly fifty years of history enjoyed by these characters, it's certain that a new book will be launched in a few years. Until then, there's always the back issue bins. Farewell to a fine book done by a fine writer.

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