Doom Patrol, Vol. 1: Crawling from the Wreckage

By Grant Morrison

Rating: 4 stars

My roleplaying group has just started a superhero campaign and the GM handed out some graphic novels to get people in the mood. I borrowed this very odd volume. I’ve read other Grant Morrison so came to this with a degree of wariness (The Invisibles is a little too odd for my tastes) but ended up really enjoying it. The book starts with the Chief, Prof Niles Caulder, putting the Doom Patrol back together after previous events that I don’t know about. The Doom Patrol’s defining feature is that its heroes are ‘defective’ in some way. Robot Man is a human brain residing in a robot body with barely any human senses; Crazy Jane has a multiple-personality disorder, with each personality having a different superpower; Rebis was formed by joining a man, a woman and a strange spirit-thing; Dorothy is a teenager with a Neanderthal’s face and who can project her inner consciousness into the physical world. The most ‘normal’ member, Joshua, who can shoot energy beams from his arms, has no desire to be a superhero and stays back to provide medical assistance where required.

Once he pulls himself out of his depression, mostly to help Crazy Jane, Robot Man proves to have a sharp wit and cracks great one-liners (“sorry about the writing, robot fingers, you know?”), and is the de-facto leader of the Doom Patrol as they face a city that’s trying to break out of fiction into reality, with pretty damn scary Scissormen literally cutting people out of reality. And after that, they have to deal with someone with a penchant for pain who may or may not be God. “Strange” merely scrapes the surface of what this is. But not so strange (so far, at least) that I get freaked out and leave it behind (*cough*The Invisibles*cough*). I’ll certainly be asking to borrow volume 2 soon.

Book details

ISBN: 9781563890345
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 1989

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