Hey Kids! Comics!

PCA’s comic book pick of the week!

Doom Patrol #13

The Doom Patrol has possibly one of the most tedious and every changing history in the DC Universe.  They’ve been killed, brought back, dismantled, reborn and reenvisioned time and time again over the last 40+ years.  However, the one character that probably has had the most convoluted history and worst go at it has always been size shifting beauty Rita Farr, aka Elasti-Girl.  In 1968 creator Arnold Drake did the unthinkable when he killed the Doom Patrol off in the final issue of their original run.  Although super hero deaths are as common as white bread these days, in 1968 the death of The Doom Patrol was incredibly radical.  Over the decades various reincarnations of the title emerged from the ashes and one by one the members of the Doom Patrol were believably revived by various writers and brought together with new, but often uninteresting, characters.  The only member of the original team to seemingly stay dead was Elasti-Girl because, despite her powers, she was basically human.  However, in 2004 writer John Byrne, once again, attempted an incredibly ill fated revival of the Doom Patrol, but his main contribution to the confusing history was bringing back the long departed Rita Farr from the dead.  But instead of explaining how she was back, he just pretended that she was never dead in the first place.  This obviously did not please comic fans.  Two years later writer extradonaire Geoff Johns explained that the return of Rita Farr from the dead was a result of the now famous continuity changing “Superboy punch” from Infinite Crisis.  Once again fans were not satisfied.  Now, writer Keith Giffen has given us an explanation and origin for Elasti-Girl which we can accept, and both recreated the character and her origin for the first time in over forty years.

In Doom Patrol #13 we revisit the origins of Rita Farr, her origins, her death and her rebirth.  Finally a writer is able to provide an explanation for the return of Elasti-Girl beyond a continuity punch or denial.  However, is Rita Farr the same woman who died saving the fishing village of Codsville, Main, or is she something in more inhuman then her Doom Patrol team mates?  Also in this issue Rita tells her darkest secrets to Robotman and Negative Man, we explore the friendship between Rita and former Teen Titan Bumblebee, have glimpses into Rita’s relationship with Beast Boy and Rita finally deals with some unfinished business concerning her ex-husband Mento.  This issue is a must read for Elasti-Girl fans.  For the first time since 1964 Rita Farr takes the spotlight and gets the respectful resurrection that she deserves. 

The Doom Patrol’s survival has always been a result of their ability to be cult favorites amongst comic fans, but Keith Giffen’s new take on the team could be the most successful and well written since the original Arnold Drake stories from the 1960’s.  Combing humor with intelligent dialogue, Giffen’s current take on The Doom Patrol has been an ambitious challenge.  Attempting to tie together all the different eras and reincarnations of the team, which most creators that take over the book usually attempt to ignore, Giffen has been attempting to sort through and explain decades worth of contradicting material.  Although the material can often get confusing at times, for the most part Giffen has been doing an extrordinary job piecing together one of the most screwed up continuities in DC history.  However, the real strength of his book is his love for the original Doom Patrol: Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl.  His character pieces as the three heroes who both love and hate each other, confide in one another at “Larry’s Spot” has to be some of the most sensitive scenes in comics today.  The Doom Patrol always saw themselves as heroes that didn’t quite belong and, in many ways, DC Comics treated them as such.  Giffen has proven that they have nobody but each other, giving them a unique love for one another unlike that in any other team book.  Giffen refuses to forget what has come before, but he has transformed The Doom Patrol into something more accessible to readers, and that respects the entire history of the team, proving Keith Giffen to be one of the true geniuses of the comic world.

Also worth checking out this week at your local comic shop!

Tales From Wonderland: The Red Rose #1 – Elizabeth Bathory comes to Wonderland in the latest Wonderland one shot by Zenescope Comics.  However, is the blood countess any match for the sadistic caterpillar, and what strange transformation is she going to make?

The Amazing Spider-Man #639One Moment in Time continues as Marvel Comics comes to a compromise with Spidey readers.  Just how many stories between the marriage of Spider-Man and Mary Jane and the controversial One More Day are no longer in continuity?  The answer may shock you while even bigger questions are created?  One of the most important Spider-Man issues since Brand New Day began and a must read for Spider-Man fans that have followed Brand New Day, and those that got angry and left after One More Day.  If you didn’t like One More Day, trust me because you’ve been vindicated.

Brightest Day #7 – Why were the dead superheroes of the DC Universe resurrected by the White Lantern?  Finally the reasons are revealed and their individual purposes and missions are handed out by the White Lantern, setting events in motion that will have a huge effect on the DC Universe in the months to come.  Most important DC book since Blackest Night.  Even if you are not following Brightest Day you won’t want to miss this issue.

Peter Parker #5 – When the Thing unmasks a super powered homeless man leading a group of lost street people, he is shocked to see that the identity of the man is Peter Parker!  What did Peter do for $500 and how has it affected him?

The Boys #45 – Annie reveals her secrets to Hughie, and The Frenchman and the Girl go undercover at Believe to discover that the Highlander has diabolical ideas beyond those that we ever imagined.  And who is Oh Father, and how could be the most perverse member of The Boys universe yet?

Inferno #2 – Guest starring Grimm Fairy Tales Sela Mathers, Grace Dante true identity is revealed and she is sent in search of a forgotten Grimm character from the early days of the series. 

Red Robin #15 – How far will Tim Drake go to protect his secret identity from Vicki Vale?  Would you believe that he’d set himself up for assassination?  Some surprising and clever guest stars for a surprising and clever issue.

Betty #187 – Betty and Veronica go on an American Idol type reality program to prove that they are American’s BFFs.  Can they win, or will Cheryl Blossom sabotage their chances of winning the trophy and going to the next round.  First part of the four part Battle of the BFFs is a bit over the top, but has some endearing Betty and Veronica moments.

Jughead #202 –  After a heavy dose of watching film noirs, Jughead gets into the detective game as he and Dilton Doiley try to discover who stole a scientists secret contraption.  Clever Thin Man parody at the end of the issue.  First chapter in the two part Jughead: Semi-Private Eye.

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