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Doom Patrol #1

Posted: Saturday, July 3, 2004
By: Ray Tate



"Baptism of Blood"

Writers: John Byrne
Artists: John Byrne(p), Doug Hazelwood(i), Alex Bleyeart(c)
Publisher: DC

"How can you support the reboot of the Doom Patrol! Thou who art the biggest continuity aficionado in the entire comic book world! You...you...hypocrite!"

"Simple. DC lost any hope of having continuity the moment all the heroes lost their memory."

"Damn it! It's just not that simple!"

"Yes. Sadly it is. DC threw away sixty plus years of super-hero history and needlessly I may add. Kara died for no good reason."

"Who's Kara?"

"She's that hot number in Superman/Batman."

"No, no. She's that Sailor Moon chick from Krypton's sister planet on the animated Superman series. Man, I wish you'd grow up, stop reading Scooby-Doo and start reading The Ultimates."

"Rih don't ree ranything rown up rout the Rultimates. Ree-hee-hee-hee-hee!"

"Stop that!"

"Look, maybe if we keep the argument specific to the Doom Patrol."

"It won't matter."

"True or false, the Doom Patrol sacrificed their lives to save--"

"Historically false. Only Rita Farr died. Robot Man, Negative Man and even the Chief survived. Not very fair, is it? Check the fridge, boys. In terms of the reboot, it never happened."

"Ah-hah! You just like Rita Farr!"

"Yes, I like Rita Farr. Her rebirth just goes to show you that a churning, roiling sea of chaos will sometimes eject justice and order onto the shores. Incidentally, Byrne's Rita Farr is just sparkly in terms of personality. She decks bad guys with gusto and a song in her heart that's vividly portrayed by the smile on her face."

"How can Rita Farr exist and not affect Beast Boy?"

"Oh, sure. Beast Boy should be affected if and only if any Doom Patrol or Teen Titan continuity existed after the Crisis, but neither does."

"Le what!"

"Listen, the revenge for the Doom Patrol dovetails from a point where Changeling was healed by the Purple Ray."

"So?"

"How can he get access to the Purple Ray when a) Paradise Island was unknown to the world and b)Wonder Woman didn't exist and c) Wonder Girl wasn't part of the Amazons."

"What!"

"I'm getting a headache."

"No, he's right. I think. Wonder Girl came before Wonder Woman."

"Her new origin was that she was rescued by a fireman not Wonder Woman. She didn't exist. None of those Titan issues exist. I'd bring up Dark Angel and Hippolyta, but that gives me a headache."

"But the Doom Patrol existed after the Crisis!"

"All of the Doom Patrol's adventures are pre-Crisis and therefore according to the laws of higgledy and piggledy fair game. Even the new Doom Patrol. They teamed up with Kara. So how can any of their adventures count?"

"They do count. That Doom Patrol gained new members that teamed up with Superman, the post-Crisis version."

"That Superman also teamed up with Katar and Shayera Hol."

"Oh, crap!"

"I'm getting a headache. What about Grant Morrison whom you consider god?"

"Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol resurrected Larry and the Chief, but they all went to Vertigo. That's a one way ticket."

"No, it's not. The Doom Patrol came back in a new series after Morrison, and Robot Man was in that series! Hah!"

"That was the golden age Robot Man."

"Le What!"

"Yeah, just like DC wants you to believe that every adventure purportedly starring or co-starring Katar and Shayera Hol were really partaken by the golden age Carter and Shiera Hall. It's called the Hawkman Precedent."

"No, wait! I've got it! I've got it! The Doom Patrol were in Justice League Year One!"

"Not any more. This version of Doom Patrol retcons Year One."

"No! You can't do that!"

"Waid's Birthright retcons Byrne's Man of Steel. It's only fair."

"This isn't about what's fair!"

"Actually it is. Geoff Johns was probably itching to add to the Doom Patrol continuity headache in Teen Titans, but Byrne's series puts a thankful stop to cosmos only knows what. Besides, it's better than practically anything that allegedly is part of a non-existent continuity."

"Le what!"

"Okay. Easy first. The art."

"Sucks man. All the babes look too real. None of them look like Britaney Spears, and their knockers aren't big enough."

"Plus, they're wearing clothes. What's up with that? That Rita Farr chick she should be in something skintight and not a lot of it. Think about it. A giant sized camel-toe. Giant-sized nipples. These chicks are wearing pants, what's up with that!"

"Plus, nobody's having any funky anal sex! Man, where's the maturity factor!"

"Yeah, I could give this to my kid sister to read. Comic books aren't supposed to be for kids!"

"Plus, why aren't the women crippled and stupid!"

"Yeah, this Rita Farr chick is as smart if not smarter than Cliff and Larry. What's up with that!"

"Then things happen in the book. There's like no--like--what's the word I'm looking for?"

"Padding?"

"Shut up, Scooby. Decompression. It's like that Hulk/Thing thing in Marvel Previews. That looks so cool. It takes like five or six panels for Bruce Banner to sip coffee. See, that's comic book art."

"Doom Patrol is all action, action, action. Who wants that!"

"Super-hero prostitutes. That's what the Doom Patrol should be about. They're like the Doom Patrol, because their lives are like doomed because they're prostitutes, and that's all they'll ever be, and even though they've got super-powers they're hooked on super-sex so they've got to still be the Doom Patrol."

"Yeah!"

"I worry about you lot."

"You know what's really goofy about he art? The characters all look the same. Rita Farr looks like Rita Farr in every panel. What the hell man? You never heard of variation? Now, that Turner, he varies the faces of the characters per panel, per cover. That's just so awesome."

"What's up with the anatomy too? I mean even on the guys, it's all like muscle tone and everything is like connected like a real person. The way they move is like a real person. Take Robot Man. He's supposed to be a Robot, but he looks like a gold-plated muscle dude when he throws that guy, and geez, that should take up nine panels, Byrne does it in four!"

"Dude, and the expressions on their faces. It's like they're really acting. They should just be sort of subtle. Like they're not feeling anything. Almost like they're all robots. Even Cliff Steel looks like he's expressing some feeling. That's just wrong."

"Anything else?"

"Yeah, the Justice League! What the hell are they about?"

"Um--Justice."

"Dude, super-heroes are supposed to be metaphors for fascism."

"Batman's not remotely psychotic in this. There's even the suggestion that he might consider Faith and J'onn his--oh, god, I can't say it--"

"His friends?"

"Gah!"

"Batman doesn't have any friends. He's the meanest dude there is. He's nuts too."

"A tortured loner."

"Who let's see in the forties gained a young partner named Robin."

"Dude, Dark Knight Returns changed all that. Batman was this tortured loner who was a bad mother."

"Actually, he thoroughly enjoyed himself and teamed up with a young partner named Robin."

"I'll check on that. You have got to be wrong, and 'sides Byrne's got Batman being like a detective or something. When was Batman ever a detective, and the way he just lets J'onn scan his mind. No way!"

"Batman doesn't trust anybody. Scooby, they said that in the cartoon. You watch that stupid cartoon I'll bet."

"Actually, Superman says it, and he meant it in jest."

"Yeah, and what's up with Faith? It's like she actually does something that I don't know makes her stronger. I mean Faith was canon fodder."

"Yup. I admit. That was surprising to see. Byrne shows Faith, a character for whom I cared little, in action. By doing that he displays how impressive her powers are and gives her more depth through the confident way she wields that power. I was impressed."

"Okay, smart ass. Here's the biggest gripe I have with the Doom Patrol."

"I'm listening."

"The Doom Patrol ties into the JLA."

"So?"

"Well, isn't that continuity?"

"Yes. It is."



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