Fresh off once again showing that he is the greatest X-Man of all, the
man lumpy pickle-looking alien called Doop shocked everyone by spontaneously learning English and proposing to Kitty Pryde last time ’round… Will she accept? Your Major Spoilers review of All-New Doop #2 awaits!
Previously in All-New Doop: Originally appearing as part of the corporate-sponsored X-Statix team some years ago, Doop quickly made his mark as the most fascinating and enigmatic of mutants. The sole survivor of his doomed team, he eventually joined the X-Men proper, floating about Utopia and the Jean Grey Institute doing his own thing. Last time around, we found out Doop’s most amazing power: The ability to travel through the “marginalia” of the universe, moving from point to point disregarding time, space and dimension, and witnessed his Zelig-like ability to keep the X-Men on track. In so doing, Doop has fallen deeply in love with “Professor” Kitty Pryde, who tried to let him off easy by pointing out that they don’t even speak the same language. Turning his brain inside-out, Doop fixed that problem, learning the lingo and declaring that he and Kitty could now live happily ever after!
WILL SHE LET HIM DOWN EASY?
Let this be a lesson to all Spoilerites: No matter how abhorrent your unwanted suitor may be, honesty is the best policy, and will keep a floating pickle from offering you a ring made of meat to cement your love. Kitty tries to explain herself, and only digs a deeper hole by telling Doop that she “could NEVER marry him”, which causes the marginal X-Men to burrow back through the top layers of their fiction into his world beyond the scenes. Kitty quickly follows him, using her own powers to pass through reality (somehow), ending up in The Margins with him. Doop seizes his opportunity, explaining to her that they’re beyond time, in the spaces between moments, and takes her on a (not-entirely consensual) whirlwind tour of his world. Doop is really charming and bizarre throughout the sequence, taking his would-be paramour to his favorite restaurants, dancing, a movie (sort of) and even a carnival, all the while trying to ply her with sheer charisma. He’s not just trying to get her to be into him (though that’s clearly part of the play), but to reconsider her decision to send young Cyclops and Jean Grey back into the past, a story told during the ‘Battle Of The Atom’ super-time-travel-schmageggi-crossover not so long ago. Doop doesn’t exactly play fair, showing her scenes to shake her confidence, and using his “love stare”, which may or may not have hypnotic components, on the lovely Ms. Pryde.
BEHIND THE SCENES OF LAST YEAR’S CROSSOVER
While part of me applauds the way this story is structured, there’s another piece that thinks it feels already dated, with the BotA done and over with, and the young X-Men clearly NOT sent back, the question of whether or not Doop can convince her seems like a moot point. But, there’s a charm to Milligan’s scripting in this issue, that is amplified by the bizarre landscapes of Marginalia provided by LaFuente. When Doop discovers the mole in the X-Men’s midst, the subtle shifts of the art shoulder as much of the work as the dialogue, and proving that the future X-Men aren’t what they seem to be. Of course, X-Men readers already know that part of the program, but it’s the journey, not the destination that counts. LaFuente’s art is well-suited to the world of a loopy potato-guy who hangs out in the backgrounds, but his human figures (especially Kitty) border somewhat on the monstrous. With a cliffhanger ending and Kitty slowly warming to Doop’s advances, the question becomes, will they go through with it? If fans of the Kitty/Colossus pairing hate her dating Iceman, I can only imagine what would happen if she seriously started taking Doop seriously as boyfriend material.
THE BOTTOM LINE: DEEPLY WEIRD, BUT ENGAGING
The idea of Doop as a character who exists in the background for a reason is a perfectly realized, perfectly MIlligan, perfectly ridiculous premise. The balance of goofy to dramatic is well-executed, and a part of me is actually rooting for the little guy (though a bigger part finds the concept of Kitty kissing Doop revolting.) In short, All-New Doop #2 is a very Doop-y experience, equal parts adorable, disgusting and thought-provoking, with art that is appropriate (if inconsistent), and earns a very irrational 3 out of 5 stars overall. The fact that Doop was instrumental in the biggest twist of the Battle Of The Atom crossover is more interesting than the love story to me, but I’m enjoying both of the intertwining stories so far…