DOOM PATROL #11 by Gerard Way, Nick Derington, Tamra Bonvillain, Tom Fowler, and Todd Klein
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
DOOM PATROL #11 keeps up the hype in a storyline abundant with twists and turns. The art is also incredible all-around, from pencils to letters. The plot surprises, but the prose soars, with phenomenal commentary on the human condition.
92 %
Excellent and Weird

It feels like years have passed in-between DOOM PATROL #10 and DOOM PATROL #11. Perhaps that’s because it’s been three months and we had an entire event in the meantime. Yet no matter how long we wait for these issues, they always deliver.

This is the kind of book that needs to marinate sometimes, and that’s just fine. So let’s dissect this latest installment, spoilers and all!

DOOM PATROL #11 Keeps it Weird

This issue begins with a tale of art and entertainment. It starts with a single ball. When that gets boring, they introduce a new one. Then another, and another, until we have juggling. This process eventually leads to television. It’s a tale not just of creation, but also of mankind’s insatiable appetite for innovation and stimulation. Make of that what you will.

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Then we rejoin the Doom Patrol as they quite literally pick up the pieces after a fight with Retconn. Jane verbally attacks the Disappointment, who retaliates by sending her to her “quiet place” within her own mind. Cliff gets pissed, as you do when your kind-of-girlfriend just drops to the floor in front of you.

The Disappointment then starts monologuing about his backstory. He once was a superhero named Haxxalon, created in conjunction with a toy company and an entertainment organization who had both a need to use odd green lightbulbs and create comic book crossover events (this is the kind of self-deprecating humor that writer Gerard Way is absolutely excellent at). Unfortunately, the lightbulbs caused “cosmic visions” and several kids suffered greatly. Every trace of Haxxalon was destroyed due to the legal battle, hence the character’s image always being “withheld due to copyright.”

DOOM PATROL #11
DOOM PATROL #11 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

After this traumatic event, the Disappointment found Retconn, which was run by the “God of Superheroes.” The Disappointment defeated him by finding his weakness, appropriately, in a comic book.

Just Fan Fiction?

This sends Cliff into an absolute spiral as he explores the notion that he’s a product of “fan fiction.” Charles from Retconn explains that he was probably created by a bunch of teenagers. The company took their creation and put it in a shard that was fed to a lamb, which ended up in the gyro we first met Cliff in (was that retconned, or was this always Way’s intention? Either way, it’s a pretty awesome twist).

Then Larry asks the real question — what’s the actual point of Retconn? The Disappointment explains that they create entertainment for the Eonymous, television-addicted gods who will destroy the universe unless distracted.

DOOM PATROL #11
DOOM PATROL #11 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

This doesn’t please Casey at all, who says that their lives aren’t just entertainment. The Disappointment makes a remark about how Casey slept with her cat, Lotion. Casey comes back with a phenomenal commentary on consent that makes me want to hug Way: “He’s a Man-Cat with his own free will — and I can get down with whoever wants to get down.”

Disappointment then gets super emo about how none of them exist or matter. So he’s going to live his life and marry Rita Farr (or a version of her) and then cut the broadcast. To prevent the world from ending, Charles asks Nobody to take over entertaining the gods. His daughter Terry isn’t interested, but Nobody forces her to acquiesce. That’s bound to cause problems in the future.

When a firing squad interrupts the wedding, Disappointment takes aim at Rita. However, because she’s Elasti-Girl, the bullet bounces back at him. While everyone is unconscious, Charles escorts Rita away, leaving the rest of the Doom Patrol behind.

A Warning

Meanwhile, Jane encounters several versions of herself. They tell her, “It’s okay to be us. It’s okay to be you. It’s okay to feel bad about the past… but it’s okay to stop feeling like you deserve it.” She wakes up with the confidence to heal Disappointment’s heart, which makes him Haxxalon again. When he finally passes, the Eonymous clap. Then Nobody and the tap-dancing Terry take over the broadcast.

DOOM PATROL #11
DOOM PATROL #11 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

DOOM PATROL #11 ends with Lucius, Sam, and Val returning from the Demonscape, where their journey hasn’t yet ended. They take a break to help the Doom Patrol break out of Retconn. Lucius tells them that though the battle is temporarily over, they’re going to be facing a lot down the line. In order to do it, and to find Casey and Terry’s child, they need to follow the Retconn people to their hyper-reality. He says they’ll be back when “the seven suns gleam proudly on Uum’Lah.” I have no idea what it means, but finding out should be fun.

The Doom Patrol then returns to Dannyland, where Lotion is enjoying the bumblebee ride. Casey is back in the drivers’ seat, with Fugg riding shotgun, and heading towards a new adventure.

Just Mind-Blowing

This series is just too good. It really has no right to be this fantastic. Way’s plotlines make delightful twists and turns whenever necessary, but he always stays true to these characters. They feel incredibly real — like I’m reading a book about my friends. His prose is also always poetic and poignant.

The art begs discussion as well. The Tom Fowler variant cover is simply to die for. His inks are always a great element of the series, but this work on DOOM PATROL #11 is worth celebrating. His collaboration with penciler Nick Derington is on point, as always, and it creates compelling visuals.

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Derington also, unsurprisingly, kills it with character design and execution of emotion. His style is effortless and an absolute joy to look at.

Colorist Tamra Bonvillain proves once again that she’s an explosive force in comics. The difference in the palette of Retconn vs. that of Dannyland is stark, to say the least, and to marvelous effect.

The entire art team has delivered another masterpiece, from the pencils to Todd Klein’s letters. That combined with Way’s expert writing makes DOOM PATROL #11 worth the wait. It’s another great installment of a fantastic series that’ll make you laugh, cry, and have an existential crisis.

One Comment

  1. […] because it has been! The “Milk Wars” crossover event ended in February, and DOOM PATROL #11 hit stores back in April of this year. Since then, we’ve seen every other book in the […]

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