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The “pretty” side of that face is no prize either – Doom Patrol #118

June 10, 2010

Look!  It’s the Metal M-, no wait the Freedom Fi-, no wait, it’s the Doom Patrol.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  The Doom Patrol.

All these B-list DC superhero teams bleed together for me.  I’m not trying to disparage them.  I’m just saying…

“Videx — Monarch of Light,” written by Arnold Drake with art from Bruno Premiani, opens with the Doom Patrol training in their rumpus room or whatever.  They keep floundering over the random stuff of Chief’s paramour, Madame Rouge, and this provides the impetus for Robotman to kvetch and use the word “dame” a lot.  Meanwhile, their archnemisis, the Brain, wants his old pawn, Madame Rouge, back, and threatens all kinds of bad stuff if they refuse to hand her over.

The action starts when a power outage knocks out the electricity in the Doom Patrol HQ and in the city at large.  Beast Boy investigates and finds a gentleman named Videx, who has invisible skin (yuck) and has caused the disruption.  Videx apparently has powers over light and photons.  Beast is beat up and slinks back home.

It has to be sort of embarassing to get whooped by light.  I mean, really.  Next up — feathers.  Or lint.

Soon the lights are back on for no apparent reason and the Patrol is left wondering when the next shoe will fall.

The next day Chief pieces together who the villain is — an old colleague of his — and the Doom Patrol sets out to take him down.  They get the same treatment that Beast Boy did and Negative Man gets a hole blown in him for his efforts.  Once they slink back to the HQ to regroup, Chief remembers his Anti-Invisibiliy Gun.  Convenient.  The gun does the trick.  Videx is reduced to his normal human self, N-Man recovers, and Chief prevents Madame Rouge from leaving (she knows that she’s coming between Chief and the Patrol and endangering them in the process).

I was surprised how little the cover had to do with the story inside — the relationship between Chief and Madame Rouge is very much relegated to the background, and there’s certainly no mind-control as it would seem to imply.  Perhaps the editors were a little squeamish about putting a skinless man (Videx) on the cover.  I don’t know.

I’m not sure of my feelings on this ish.  It wasn’t terrible, but it certainly didn’t blow me away.  I guess the worst that can be said of it is that it’s run-of-the-mill Silver Age DC fare, with all the silly dialogue and characterizations that that categorization implies.  I don’t think I’ll ever become a rabid Doom Patrol fan, but I won’t turn my nose up at them in the future.  I very often like the interactions that team books offer, so there will always be that working in their favor.

That’s all wishy-washy, I know, but it’s as definite as I can get with this one.

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