Unstoppable Doom Patrol #3
The Green Lanterns are in hot pursuit of the World’s Strangest Superheroes! When a brand-new metahuman unwittingly becomes a galactic fugitive, Robotman and Negative Man embark on a cross-country road trip to save him! Cliff Steele may be the best driver in the DCU, but can he outrun its best GLs, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner?! Find out in the story we had to call “The Fast and the Nebulous”!
Many fans of this series may not know that the premise behind this issue is what writer Dennis Culver originally pitched to DC before this series came to fruition. The issue is one long chase, with Robotman using his skills as a former race car driver to try and evade the Green Lanterns. In tow is a metahuman who goes by Starbro, someone whose metahuman genes activated when Starro attempted to take control of him, granting him authority of the Starro face mask and giving him quasi-Starro powers. The Green Lanterns here are justifiably concerned since Starro is such a significant threat in the galaxy. This creates an interesting dynamic between the Doom Patrol and the Lanterns, where there is no right or wrong answer in handling this individual.
A theme throughout this series has been solving violent problems with less-than-violent means. There is a fair amount of action, especially with the car chase in this issue, but the resolution comes from deception rather than a knock-out. This has set apart this run from prior Doom Patrol runs, with this issue even going as far as briefly cutting away to show the rest of the team participating in a more “classic” adventure. This series is more about the morality of these individuals, and issues like this reiterate that in a wonderful way.
A pleasant aspect of Culver’s writing is how he instantly puts you into the story. The exposition is naturally built so that no real estate page needs to be wasted. In the case of Untoppable Doom Patrol #3, the issue puts you right into the action, with the need for context almost feeling non-existent since the natural dialogue speaks for itself. This also allows for natural humor and strong character moments to fill the pages, making for a delightful read. By the time the exposition rolls around, it feels deserved, as the narrative has naturally gone to that point.
The cover art from Chris Burnham and Brian Reber encapsulates the exciting, comedic, yet serious tone this series has taken thus far. The expressions from the Green Lanterns and Robotman highlight the seriousness, while Negative Man is portrayed whimsically as he casually sips his drink amongst the chaos. Reber’s colors thematically impact the situation, with the sky colored the same shade of orange that has been a part of the Doom Patrol’s new uniforms. This makes the clashing Green Lantern uniforms feel more invasive as if they are overstepping their boundaries in their pursuit. This is a masterclass in cover art design, with each element serving a greater purpose.
Reber’s colors splash from panel to panel, using vibrancy to bring everything to life. The page with Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, in particular, is so full of detail and color, as Reber uses unique colors to highlight the different aspects of the scene. This helps characters like Beast Girl stand out despite being in the foreground.
Pat Brosseau does a fantastic job with the lettering. The issue uses a lot of dialogue to hammer in its themes, but at no point does it seem overly wordy. This is mainly to the credit of Brosseau, who spreads the speech bubbles out in a way that makes the art flourish while guiding the reader naturally through the pages. The onomatopoeia is sparse here, but every time it shows up, it is done with a purpose while not hindering the art.
The art from Burnham soars in the high-concept sci-fi parts, where he draws everything from Starro taking over a planet to the rest of the team fighting Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. Doom Patrol has always been an off-the-wall conceptual series, so Burnham fits like a glove when it comes to all of the craziness. That’s not to say that the softer moments are lost, with Burnham bringing immense care to the discussions between Negative Man, Starbro, and Robotman throughout the issue. Their conversations are nuanced, fitting the more prominent theme of the narrative, but Burnham brings them to life, giving these unusual characters a unique sense of humanity.
Unstoppable Doom Patrol #3 takes all the action of a Fast and Furious movie and infuses it with this series’ charm. The themes continue to stand tall while the art team blows away every page and panel.
Unstoppable Doom Patrol #3: Step Aside Dom Toretto, Robotman is Driving
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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