Monday, February 04, 2008

Doom Patrol

I just realized that I have yet to write a post about a Grant Morrison book (52 doesn't really count since he was just one of four writers). Fortunately Vertigo has just released the final collection of his revamp of the Doom Patrol. Granted it's not exactly his best book, but how can you not love something that features a sentient transvestite street (the hardware stores have lace curtains) as one of the main characters.

Morrison is a truly unique writer, with a talent for coming up with so many brilliant ideas that he can afford to throw most of them away in his books. There are seriously pages from some of his comics that could form the basis for another writer's novel. The downside of this brilliance is that he can occasionally get a bit carried away by his imagination. And the Doom Patrol can definitely fall into that category.

The Doom Patrol was originally conceived of as a team of misfit characters. When Morrison took over the book he decided to accentuate the oddness of the concept and gave the team a mandate to investigate strange occurrences. This led to stories featuring such things as the Brotherhood of Dada, Crazy Jane the heroine with 64 personalities, and in this collection the Candlemaker, the embodiment of mankind's fear of the bomb. Unsurprisingly these sorts of stories can be a bit inconsistent to say the least, but the good more than makes up for the bad. And even at the times when the story fails, at least it never lacks for ambition.

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