Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #3 – Gerard Way, Jeremy Lambert, Steve Orlando, Writers; Evan “Doc” Shaner, Artist; Tamra Bonvillain, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Doom Patrol has always been an experimental title, but it’s never gone quite as far down the rabbit hole as Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #3, which has a guest co-writer in Steve Orlando and a guest artist in Doc Shaner.
Is this a creative team upheaval due to schedule issues or a planned story development? No way of knowing, but this issue doesn’t let you have the time to think about it, since it decides to flash-forward past about ten years of stories and “reprint” a comic from close to the title’s 200th issue. Make no sense? That’s the point! When we pick up, Robotman is a private eye, Rita Farr has given up her human form and is going around as some sort of hammerhead shark alien thing, Casey Brinke and Crazy Jane have morphed into a single being named “Jasey”, and several team members are missing or dead. Why? Something called “Planet Cliff”, where Robotman evolved into a universal threat. I’m as lost as you are.
Things pick up in the second half, when the team goes on the trail of the Negative Man and takes the fight to the Syndicate’s headquarters. There they find a trapped Beast Boy stuck as a chimpanzee, and their old member Mento, who has gone half insane.
Oddly, the narrative of this issue is one of the clearest – if you just accept that you’ve missed about 180 issues. The issue ends with a weird time travel segment that seems to tie it in with the present day and indicate that this won’t be a one-off, but the main appeal here is the brilliant Doc Shaner art. The man does sci-fi comics like no one else and his art is a crisp, clean contrast to the style we often see in comics.
I don’t know how much this strange flash-forward will play into the main narrative, but the ending introduces an interesting new player and promises to shake up the second half of this series.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.