Can Doom Patrol Get Even Wackier Than Volume 1? Yes. The Answer is Yes.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume of Doom Patrol and didn't think that the title could get stranger. Boy, was I wrong in the best of ways. This volume is dense. Not quite in a Chris Claremont kind of way, but does have many moments where it gets Claremonty thick, and I say that as a compliment.
Doom Patrol challenges the reader to slow down and really take in everything that is going on. The quantity of dialogue that Gerard writes, coupled with the absolutely phenomenal art teams of the Allreds, Derington/Bonvillain, and Dan McDaid forces you to chew on every little bit of the page. Personally, I love when a team can have this effect on me. Otherwise, it's all too easy to speed read through a single issue or trade.
I'm fascinated with Todd Klein's approach to lettering in this volume. I noticed that he likes to take word balloons to the edge of panel and erase the lines of both the border and word balloon where they would collide. I wonder what informs his decision to do so and if this is a style he follows in other titles. Derington and Bonvillain are such a good match. I have been growing as a fan of Derington's work for quite some time. There is a balance to his art: creating simplicity while also adding in extra line work so that neither characters or backgrounds become overrun with busy-ness. Bonvillan's colors do a magic job in creating the wacky sense of whimsy to expect out of a Doom Patrol book. The biggest surprise to me was the last issue in the trade, a side story that might normally be tacked on in backups at the end of the single issues. The Reynolds family tale told in a complete fantasy realm was a delight. Up until this point, I really didn't care about the sub storyline with the Reynolds family. You know that the story is going to go somewhere, that it has a payoff of some sort, but I was just not expecting what was delivered. I am more excited to read what happens to the Reynolds and how that intersects with the Doom Patrol, than just the Doom Patrol by itself.
By the end of this volume, I was left with a yearning for a Gerard Way-written trilogy of Doom Patrol books. I don't want to choose between the teams of the Allreds, Derington/Bonvillian, and McDaid. The flavors of each team work so well with the same writer. That is a rare sight to behold in comics and we simply need more of all of them on these books.
Doom Patrol, Volume 2
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