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The Doom Patrol Review


Justice League Europe was the first of several spin-offs from the popular Justice League America/International title that was revived by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis with great results. JLE was never quite as good as JLA, even with Bart Sears' very Michael Golden-esque art, but it did get dibs on quite a few rather good story arcs, particularly the first appearance of the Extremists.

Justice League Europe #32Justice League Europe #32

"The Center Cannot Hold (Breakdowns Part 8)"
Script by Keith Giffen and Gerard Jones
Art by Darrick Robertson and John Beatty
Cover by Darrick Robertson and John Beatty

SYNOPSIS: After the core of both Justice League America and Justice League Europe met at the original cavern headquarters of the Justice League of America, Blue Beetle and the Elongated Man decided to investigate the caves they were now billeted in, with The Flash being sent on later to find them. The three men happened upon the corridor leading to the part of the headquarters currently occupied by the Doom Patrol, and decided to check out that team as well.

Unbeknownst to our heroes, a strange gas was escaping into the corridor that began to alter their perceptions. The corridor they were in then transformed itself into an op-art landscape and they were met by the head of the Welcoming Bureau, a small man with a chest of drawers for a head. Things kept getting progressively stranger until they were told they had to crawl through the nostril of the One True Nose. This ticked The Flash off, and the Elongated Man noticed that when he waved his arms around quickly, things around seemed to change. The Flash then spun at super-speed, dispersing the gas and everything disappeared to reveal the corridor they had been in. Blue Beetle opened the door at the end, which revealed the Chief, who told them angrily to get out of there and slammed the door shut in their faces. The three decided to let the Martian Manhunter take things from there, and returned the their part of the headquarters.

COMMENTS: This was one of the rare instances that the Doom Patrol that Grant Morrison wrote interacted with the regular DC Universe outside of the team's own comic. The whole story read a lot like a filler issue in the big "Breakdowns" crossover, and I thought the effects of the gas were a fairly lame attempt to explain the weirdness of the world that the Doom Patrol seemed to inhabit (at least the more pronounced strangeness in the Morrison and Pollack stories). I just don't think one was needed. I've always figured that the JLA, JSA, Titans, etc. all handled the problems you'd find mentioned in the New York Times, while the Doom Patrol handled all the stuff you'd find out about in Weekly World News.

All images and logos ©2003 DC Comics. All text and html ©2003 Richard Meyer
DISCLAIMER: The Doom Patrol and all other characters and comic books mentioned in this site are the property of DC Comics, Inc. They are used here without permission. This page is created with the utmost respect for the characters and their creators, for the purpose of entertaining comic book fans and drawing more attention to these singular works.