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Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Brick by Brick

Gerald Way
In Print
DC Comics (2017)

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This entry created 30 May 2023. Last revised on 30 May 2023.

155 hits since 30 May 2023
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
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Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Brick by Brick

174 pages. Color graphic novel. Author's Backward. Character profiles. Gallery of variant art.

The original Doom Patrol comic ran from 1964 to 1968, written by Arnold Drake. I was a huge fan. In fact, though I didn't realize it at the time, all of my favorite comics were written by Arnold Drake.

Historically, Doom Patrol was DC Comics' answer to the newer-style comics coming from Marvel, featuring superheroes that were imperfect but funny as hell – Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, led by wheelchair-bound Niles Caulder (AKA The Chief).

This graphic novel is a compilation of the first six issues of what I believe to be the sixth reboot of the franchise in comic form. The author intends it as more of an experience than a story, as he throws lots of characters and subplots at the reader. There's a large cast of characters, including Danny the Street, Flex Mentallo, Casey Brinke, Crazy Jane… and Robotman and Negative Man. (The Chief is separate from the main plot, and is a megalomaniac superscientist; Elasti-Girl is not present.)

Note that this reboot is not the same as the Doom Patrol cable series; many characters overlap, but the story is different. The cable series has an LGBTQ element missing from the graphic novel.

I thought that the presentation was choppy, and I had to force myself to read through this one. As a fan of the original comic, I wanted to see more about the original characters, rather than the Casey Brinke/Danny the Street subplot. The Negative Man subplot would have been more interesting if the reader had any idea why the dual-being was disintegrated in the first place.

Can you wargame it? Some of the fights against the robot-like Vectra could be turned into game scenarios.

The series continues with Doom Patrol, Vol. 2: Nada.

Recommended only for hard-core Doom Patrol fans who must read everything.