Secret Six #30
Cross overs between two ongoing titles are tricky things, characters and plot threads that have been going, now you have to take into consideration another writer’s characteriztion and plot threads! Now these things happen often in certain title families (the Bat/Super/Spider books, etc) but sometimes they happen between two books that aren’t obvious pairings (I recall a Starman/Shazam cross over that seemed odd, but mostly for art reasons, not story reasons) These issues are ever harder with team books. When they are done wrong it can be a hot mess, but when it’s done right, it can serve to introduce each book’s readers to another fantastic book they should be reading. So far, this story between the Six and the Doom Patrol is the latter.
One thing always make or breaks these crossovers is giving a plausible reason to draw both teams together. Luckily, since the Six are a team of mercenaries that is pretty easy, the Six are hired to go to Oolong Island and crack skulls, and the Doom Patrol happen to be based there. But before we get there, Gail continues developing the oddly entertaining character stories , including Bane’s 1st date (with a stripper) and introducing a new villain ( Eric, a Gen-Y slacker, inheriting a fortune, and taking on the M.O. of his recently deceased supervillain grandfather) trying to start a new “Rat Pack” of crime with his nerdy friends, suits, ties, broads, and ring-a-ding-rayguns. His grandfather was a founder a of “The 100”, self professed gods of crime, and now Eric wants to bring it all back. What better place to set up shop than Oolong?
Major props to Gail Simone, if there is one team that must a writing challenge to take on, it’s the Doom Patrol. I am never clear on this team’s place in the DCU. But luckily Gail pretty much brings these characters into her story, giving you the info you need to know, and you don’t need to be too familiar with there 50 odd year history to know or care who these characters are. (There have been several recent reboots of the Doom Patrol recently, one of which, by John Byrne in JLA which basically restarted the team with it’s classic line up, but made them new arrivals, and then there was the brand new team alongside Cliff Steele and of course there was the title’s classic Morrison Vertigo run. It does seem that this current team is a return of the originals, but acknowledging all it’s history.) I will admit, I am not currently reading the DP book, but I certainly recognized all the characters (when did Ambush Bug join the Doom Patrol?) Jim Calafiore’s artwork is splashy without being stylized to the point of caricature. Though I do wonder why he likes to draw people squinting. His stripper versions of super hero costumes do point out how much some of those costumes already look like stripper outfits (Huntress I am looking at you.)
I am looking forward to and can only imagine where Keith Giffen will be taking this story in Doom Patrol #19 later this month.
– Grade A
Also on the top of the Stack this week…
FREEDOM FIGHTERS #6
a $2.99 comic
This has been a fascinating book. These Freedom Fighters are not your grandfather’s World War II/Earth-X heroes. This is a team of “American” super-heroes, answering to the Government. Uncle Sam is down, and with the country in it’s current state, it may take some time to come back. The rest of the team is fractured, both physically and spiritually. But it’s still a dangerous world, and Ms. America will do what she has to protect America and it’s citizens.
Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Pier Gallo
The Boy of Steel’s new book continues, and the future seems to be coming back to haunt him, as a 23rd century boy has come back from to learn how to be hero his world needs. But who knows what it is his world needs? Who is the Prime? And why does Conner let Krypto wear a cape around the house?
Also in the pull this week
Brightest Day #19
JSA All-Stars #15
Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1
Time Masters:Vanishing Point #6(Finally!)