"Hearts & Minds"
Writer/Artist: John Byrne, Doug Hazelwood(i), Alex Bleyaert(c)
For a good while "Heats & Minds" seems like typical John Byrne. Written and visually composed with an exemplary commitment to dialogue, plot and art, Doom Patrol is for a long time same old, same old. That alone would merit four bullets.
Byrne delves into the "origin" of Nudge, and he resolves last issue's problems pertaining to Metamorpho, but none of these elements make Doom Patrol truly outstanding. Certainly at this point, Doom Patrol's quality mocks what fetid offal Geoff Johns and Greg Rucka wrought in Wonder Woman, but that's like saying grapes are tastier than rabbit dung.
What makes this issue of Doom Patrol superior to previous issues is the inclusion of exuberant zaniness. Byrne brings to these pages the wonderful lunacy of a screwball who decides the best course of action is to transplant a human brain into that of a simian. This, my friends, is the kind of absurdity that comic books were made to depict.
Told with conviction and without the slightest hint of embarrassment, the whole episode leaves you grinning from ear to ear. Grade A nutcase Rhonda Lorre believes her actions to be perfectly rational. If she were to look at her reflection--such a perfect illustration by Byrne of sheer madness--she would be struck by her serene face.
While DC's "finest"--ch'yeah right--collude to shoot Blue Beetle dead in the head, Byrne gives comic book readers the gift of depraved goofiness in an utterly mad villain. So pass me the neck-juice, Tom Servo, I'll have another.
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