"The Man Who Lived a Lifetime"
Writer/Artist: John Byrne, Doug Hazelwood(i), Alex Bleyaert(c)
"Where's the Ka-Boom! There should be an earth shattering Ka-Boom!"--Marvin Martian
Lacking a satisfying superheroic conclusion or real meaning, Doom Patrol comes up short this week.
Byrne picks up where the story left off from last issue. Rita admitted that she fell in love with Cliff Steele. This issue opens with them walking arm in arm on the promenade. This is a nice scene, and Byrne's ability to bring expression to his characters has never failed. Rita looks happier than she has ever looked, and in the case of Doom Patrol, readers have many reference points with which to compare.
The quiet scene leads to an exploration of Doom Patrol celebrity, and this is also kind of nice given that pretty much nobody's happy to see super-heroes in Dan DiDio's DC Universe, loosely speaking. Come to think of it. It's nice that one of those blue Cylons from Infinite Countdown to the Craptastic does not appear and does not even get name checked. In fact Rita and Cliff look so carefree that it's almost as if their world hasn't been attacked by Cylons. Almost as if Doom Patrol took place in a continuity separate from DiDio World. Interesting.
Meanwhile, Mi-Sun alias Nudge discovers some intriguing secrets involving her teammates, and Larry gains some science fiction bandages for his condition. Byrne was one of those old school comic book writers who actually bothered to make it seem like an explanation made sense, and the Chief's short science lesson works well enough for me.
The real hassle in this issue comes from a Carl Lykos alias Sauron clone who instead of turning into a pterodactyl as a threat kind of peters out at the end. This attempt at I don't know what makes the issue of Doom Patrol easily the worst of the bunch. That said, we kick up the grade a notch because Byrne draws in detail, proportionately, within scale and without stop to make Doom Patrol still a visual delight.
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