Friday, October 28, 2016
Perfect timing for Halloween: a Creature Features-style opening, that also name-checks classic DC horror title the Unexpected, from 2011's Doom Patrol #16, "Gazing into the Abyss" Written by Brian Keene and Keith Giffen, pencils by Giffen, inks by Al Milgrom.
After the opening, Larry asks Rita a relatively straight-forward question: are you the fifty-foot woman on TV destroying Delta City? No? OK, thanks, bye. Upon following up, there is a fifty-foot woman, in Delta City, eating people; and she does look like Rita! A creepy, dreadlocked cannibal version, but still. As the two Elasti-Women throw down, Larry runs into a Nazi version of himself, while Cliff notices an old friend: Ted Bruder, the Negative Man of the previous incarnation of the team. (Actually, looking it up, it was the version prior to that even; the 2001 "4/5 New! All Different!" John Arcudi/Tan Eng Huat era.)
A broken, disheveled Ted explains, that while his powers used to let him see the future, now he was seeing alternate futures and pasts. While he sees a lot of Elseworlds stuff, he also sees future versions of the Doom Patrol, monstrous, evil ones. What he thinks the team will become, given time; but worse, they keep coming back with him. After Rita has to punch down an anti-meat Cliff, the team takes Ted in, somewhat forcibly, and takes him back to Oolong Island, where he's put into an induced coma and stored away in a basement. Coming after a battle with the Chief (who had gone insane after giving himself Kryptonian powers, or he may have always been a megalomaniacal dick) Cliff worries he's acting just like him, and can't even cry for Ted, or any of them.
Even with the jokes, Ambush Bug, and fairly bright Giffen art; a dark issue. Possibly because guest-writer Brian Keene is an award-winning horror writer! Not familiar with his work yet, but I'll keep an eye out now. Also, if you're not up on DC Comics cities, Delta City was a go-to for Keith Giffen, since both the Heckler and Vext were set there. Hopefully, neither one was eaten by the cannibal Rita...