22 April 2008

Things You Might Enjoy, If You Enjoy This Sort Of Thing: Episode Nine

Doom Patrol Volume One: Crawling Out of the Wreckage
Grant Morrison

This is an addendum to the con edition of Four-Color World, because I picked up the first volume of Doom Patrol there. I've been looking for it for a while, but previously I've only ever managed to find volumes two through four, never one.

Doom Patrol is a comic about a group of superhumans who are not superheroes. They've got superpowers, but you can't look up to them. They're weird and fucked-up and depressed. One of them is a human brain in a robot body. One of them has sixty-four distinct personalities, each with its own superpower. They're pretty bizarre. And they fight the enemies too freaky for the normal heroes to take care of.

They got a few different comics, and the one this volume is from had been running for a while when Grant Morrison got hold of it. Before he started writing it, however, he persuaded the previous author to kill off a number of characters, so that he could build the cast himself. Crazy Jane, the one with multiple personalities, is one of his creations.

In short: this comic is intensely disturbing. The nature of reality is frequently fluid, and several of the monsters are based on things from that horrifyingly delightful children's book, Struwwelpeter. I read it in the van on the way back to Maine, and it gave me the wiggins, enough that I didn't want to let my feet hang off the seat into the place where it was dark.

At the same time, though, it was really cool. The writing was fantastic, of course, the art was fairly cool, and the creepiness added. The characters were also amazing--they were well-developed and interesting. Crazy Jane's multiple personalities added depth without being an irritating stereotype. Rebis, Negative-Man, was intensely bizarre in a way that was genuinely unnerving.

Anyway, it's really worth reading. Creepy, but cool. I'd recommend it.

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