Things are about to get… weird. Your Major Spoilers review of Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1 from DC Comics awaits!
UNSTOPPABLE DOOM PATROL #1
Writer: Dennis Culver
Artist: Chris Burnham
Colorist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Pat Brousseau
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 28, 2023
Previously in The Unstoppable Doom Patrol: After the events of Lazarus Planet, more people than ever have active metagenes! Most of these new metahumans have become misfits, shunned and imprisoned by a fearful society. They are hidden away in the dark, lost to a system that only sees them as weapons or guinea pigs-ticking time bombs that can only be defused by the Unstoppable Doom Patrol! Robotman, Elasti-Woman, and Negative Man are joined by their brand-new teammates Beast Girl and Degenerate, and led by Crazy Jane’s mysterious new alter, the Chief, on a mission of saving the world by saving the monsters!
A NEW STATUS QUO
In Switzerland, Monsieur Mallah and The Brain are in the midst of battle, preparing for a final assault on an unknown compound. As they fight their way in, the focus switches to Gotham City, where The Doom Patrol arrives in search of a new metahuman that Mento has identified with his powers. With their new Chief (one of Jane’s alters) running the show, the team finds that there’s more going on than just one super… There’s an ARMY of them! What’s worse, a company called Metagenetix is offering cash to new metagene bearers in return for experimenting on them. With the rise in metagene cases after Lazarus Planet, there are a lot more takers, including a very mean-spirited, very angry man who calls himself The Degenerate. While the team tries to deal with him, with Batman trying to claim jurisdiction, and with the machinations of Peacemaker, The Brain finds himself face-to-face with wicked General Immortus, who has a surprise for him.
A terrible surprise…
A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP
In the post-Flashpoint era, it’s gotten harder and harder to relaunch any title without it resembling something already being published. This take on The Doom Patrol, seeking out and rescuing people transformed by their metagene, will be compared to the days when the X-Men fought for all the weird mutants in the shadows. It’s a fair comparison, but Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1 feels like something new nonetheless. The use of Jane’s alter-ego powers to give us a new Chief is an ingenious way to bridge multiple previous incarnations, and Robotman’s use of psychology (and a little help from new member Beast Girl’s psionic powers) rather than launching into battle is nicely handled as well. The real star of this number one, though, is Burnham’s art. Gotham City feels like Gotham City, and Batman looks traditionally cool, while the Doom Patrollers look weird and less old-school heroic. Even Elasti-Woman feels more like the “freak hero” of old than a traditional superhero, and it gives the events of the story a little extra edge.
BOTTOM LINE: YOU’LL WANT TO GIVE IT A CHANCE
The events of Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1 make for a good first issue, explaining the changes in the DCU by showing us what’s happening, putting all the team members in new roles, and using the parallels to Marvel’s mutant heroes that have always been part of the team’s history to great effect, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. There are overtones that remind me of The Terrifics in this issue, and I hope that Unstoppable Doom Patrol can fill a similar spot in the greater DC Universe.
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UNSTOPPABLE DOOM PATROL #1
There are overtones here that echo the plight of Marvel's mutants, but some new angles on Jane, Cliff, and Larry, with new members and well-crafted art sets it apart.