May 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: Unstoppable Doom Patrol #4 (July, 2023)

The Doom Patrol gets therapy.

Wait, I just noticed the cover of the issue says this is #4 of 7.  Was that always there?  I never noticed that before one way or the other.  Well, this is the fourth issue.  What’s the big story here?

Therapy?

Issue:  Unstoppable Doom Patrol #4, July 2023

Writer:  Dennis Culver

Artist:  Darko Lafuente

The Plot:  The team members sit down for therapy sessions.

Commentary:  I seem to recall this really good issue of X-Factor where Doc Samson had a session with each member of the team to find out what was bothering them.  This was an issue written by Peter David and drawn by future Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada, and it got into the different members of the team pretty well, with Quicksilver’s giving a good explanation for why he’s so cranky (everyone else moves at a snail’s pace from his perspective), Polaris’s body image issues (the one thing I didn’t like was she adopted a new, uglier, costume that showed off more skin), and even finally revealed how exactly Strong Guy’s powers work and why he’s actually in constant physical pain, something he never really told the others but only hinted at before.

Anyway, this issue is more or less the same.  The Doom Patrol has an in-house therapist, a metahuman woman that actually is a merger of multiple other beings, but call her “Jerry.”  Anyway, she interviews in succession each member of the team.  Except for Crazy Jane, but there’s hints there’s a good reason for that.

You know, I haven’t read that X-Factor issue in a long time, but this issue didn’t feel quite as good.  It does seem to affirm that all the other previous Doom Patrol runs are still canon, including the especially bizarre Vertigo runs.  But I don’t think there was anything particularly earthshattering in terms of reveals for Cliff, Larry, or Rita.  Of the two new members, I think I finally learned something about Beast Girl and where she came from, and that worked out well for me.  It’s not a bad issue, but given this is #4 of 7, why include it at all?  I suppose it does a decent job of setting up the status quo for the team in a fast and easy way compared to doing an in-depth look with each member of the team or just ignoring that and doing whatever.  But I might have liked this better if the story wasn’t going to be over in three more issues, and I still am not sure what’s going on with what’s left of the Brotherhood of Evil.

Oh well.

Grade:  B-