View Full Version : Complete Pencils to Doom Patrol #2 and DCP: Hawkman
08-02-2004, 01:08 PM
The complete pencils to Doom Patrol #2 and DC Comics Presents: Hawkman are now up in the John Byrne gallery:
For those who haven't read Doom Patrol #2 yet, see how much of the story you can make out through the art alone.
08-02-2004, 01:24 PM
I dislike the whole idea of the 'New Doom Patrol'. This is one of my biggest gripes about DC. The fact that they're willy nilly about Continuity. With the retcon of saying that none of the original Doom Patrol stories ever happened, they've caused a major error in canon. Since the Titans just rebooted recently, and Doom Patrol was still a part of Garfield "Beast Boy" Logan's canon past. And now they have to retcon his past again, to get rid of the oversight. :p
MTFBWY and HH!!
Jar Jar Binks
08-02-2004, 06:53 PM
But much of those Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans stories are out of continuity already, because they were published prior to the Crisis. For example, Wonder-Girl's origin had to be retconned with the reboot of Wonder Woman.
08-02-2004, 07:45 PM
I'm with Jar Jar on this. John Byrne, who apparently used up all of his original ideas during his heydey of the 1980s (that JLA he did with Claremont was a snoozer)has decided to completely ignore any Doom Patrol continuity since the 1960s, or even more specifically anything post crisis. He's essentially say that none of that happened. This is the first and only time the Doom Patrol ever appeared in the DCU. How did he get that privelege?
As one who feels that Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol was one of the highlights of a life reading comics, I'm even more insulted by what is also sure to be a very dull and unstrange future for the sstrangest superheroes in the DCU.
I hope the book gets cancelled.
08-02-2004, 10:12 PM
To be fair, it was DC's suggestion that Byrne reboot the Doom Patrol. That approach was taken to try to interest readers who are new to the characters, and may not find the four or so decades of extremely convoluted backstory very appealling
08-03-2004, 12:12 PM
Although I was the one person in the world who enjoyed Byrne's take on Spider-Man's origin a few years ago from Marvel (among other things, he reduced all the lab explosions that seemed to happen in the Lee/Ditko days to one or two), I have to say he used up a lot of his great ideas years ago.
Remember NeXt Men? God, that was awful!
Pretty pictures, though. I'm not about to diss the guy as an artist.
08-03-2004, 04:53 PM
This new Doom Patrol is a waste of paper in my opinion. I liked the previous incarnation and felt it was cancelled prematurely. In the past year DC has put out some very good stuff, and some very poor stuff (Superman: Birthright anyone?).
08-03-2004, 06:59 PM
That's a perfectly valid opinion - but I must ask: have you read Doom Patrol #1 and #2 yet? Their debut in JLA was but a cameo; the "Tenth Circle" was largely a Justice League story.
08-04-2004, 01:19 AM
Part of the appeal of the Doom Patrol is the weird adventure, and dull vampires as they tangled with in the JLA story are not it.
I have no problem with rebooting teams, but to erase everything is a bit extreme, when there is no company wide start over happening. He could have made up some new characters to throw in with Cliff (better ones than the last incarnation of DP had) which is something that Byrne should have been able to do. Rita is dead. The Chief was a bodiless head in a cooler last I saw, and Larry was fused with Eleanor Poole and the negative energy spirit in one hermaphrodite being which left the earth.
When he jumpstarted the Fantastic Four he didn't put them back in college without powers, then send them up into space. Though he is the man who took the "super" out of Superman by emasculating all of the powers he had that made him the hero the other heroes were in awe of. So, imo, he's made some big mistakes when asked to revitalize a book before this.
08-04-2004, 08:04 AM
I don't want to seem snippy, I mean this only in the most humorous way: Byrne never inherited a dead Invisible Girl, a Mr. Fantastic as a decapitated head or Superman fused with Lois Lane as a space-faring hermaphrodite !
08-04-2004, 08:26 PM
Yes, and what's your point?
08-04-2004, 10:04 PM
If Byrne or any other creator had inherited the Fantastic Four or Superman in such a state, and their goal was to bring in as many new readers as possible then they would have to find some way to go back to the source material.
08-05-2004, 05:14 PM
I disagree. The key here is new readers. Presumedly they wouldn't have any preconceptions of what to expect with the book. If he's such a talented writer (as he once was) he could work with the material and move forward, or start fresh, but without ignoring established continuity (which is important to both DC and Marvel comics). Introduce new characters into the Fantastic Four. It's been done before. She-Hulk was once a member, as were others. Judd Winick did not insist on filling the ranks of The Outsiders with the original members, and I think that book has quite a bit of quality to it. John Byrne should be able to make up new characters that are interesting to place around Cliff Steele without resorting to "none of the other stuff ever happened because I, John Byrne, have spoken."
The problem with his Superman is that he essentially stripped back his powers so much that he's not so Super. Martian Manhunter, Captain Marvel, and even Power Girl are probably equal with him in terms of powers. Maybe even Wonder Woman. So why do all the other superheroes gaze upon him in awe and automatically defer to him? He's hardly nigh omnipotent as a o anymore. I doubt it's simply because of his boy scout outlook on everything. If that were the case then Captain Marvel is even more of a boy scout than Superman.
Byrne has done some great work in the past (mainly his run on Fantastic Four and the Avengers titles) and a lot of stuff that was so-so to really weak. He's also a very capable artist even though he can only draw four character types, which is one reason his Generations series were so hard to follow--everytone looked alike. You couldn't tell one character from another. Jumping around by a decade between stories didn't help.
Maybe he should just retire. I've seen his house. He does not need to keep working.
08-05-2004, 06:55 PM
The approach of keeping all previous continuity has been tried in John Arcudi's recent Doom Patrol run (which I enjoyed from the beginning up until its cancellation) but unfortunately no one wanted to buy it. The last issue sold only 8000 copies. Also keep in mind that it was DC who suggested the reboot, not Byrne.
Regarding his facial drawings, by his own admission his style is naturally "cartoony". While his faces may seem less "realistic", they are more expressive, more communicative of emotions and body language.
08-06-2004, 12:10 AM
It's not so much that his faces are cartoony, they all look the same. If I pulled panels of all of Marvel's blonde haired male superheroes in civilain clothes, and asked you to tell the difference between say Captain America, The Human Torch, and Ant Man, you wouldn't be able to. They look exactly the same. His Nick Fury is the same as his Reed Richards only with beard stubble and an eye patch. The same goes for all his women. The Wasp, She-Hulk, Lois Lane and Sue Richards could all be the same woman with a different haircut (She-Hulk being green). The only way you can tell his Bruce Wayne from his Clark Kent is that Clark Kent wears glasses.
This isn't due to a particular choice to draw "cartoony" vs "realistic." It's an inability to render characters with distinguishing facial characteristics. As for the cartoonish qualities, I'd say Byrne's art style is actually more at the realistic end of the spectrum, not Brian Bolland realistic, but realistic nonetheless. He certainly pays attention to the details in his hardware, architecture and perspective. Why he couldn't take the time to learn to draw more than four different facial types is beyond me.
08-06-2004, 08:26 AM
I respectfully disagree. I personally just don't find it true that Byrne uses "only four different facial types." When I look at his online gallery, all characters' faces are immediate recognizable, distinguishable:
08-06-2004, 03:36 PM
I, for one, like that John Byrne has a distinctive style. I can recognize his art, and the fact that his facial features are very similar (I can't say they're "the same" though) makes it his trademark. He has a simple but well-drawn style, and always has. I think he can stand the test of time (unlike someone like a Steve Ditko, who by the early '90s seemed out of it).
Continuity in comics isn't as important since many of the characters were intro'd from the '30s to the '60s, so you'd have to make adjustments. Changing things up every two years is foolish, but major ones once a decade or so is smart; keeps things fresh.
08-06-2004, 10:48 PM
Just looking at Doom Patrol #1. Both Nudge and Rita look the same. I also like Byrne's style, and find some appeal to his flat-faced characters. When I think of Reed Richards it's the John Byrne version, followed by Walt Simonson, then Jack Kirby. Having said that I do think that all of his characters are mild variations on a very small template of choices.
As far as continuity goes, my feeling is that if a writer comes in with a really good story that violates continuity, then to hell with continuity. The story should run. But DC went out of their way to clean up their messy continuity problems by having "The Crisis on Infinite Earths." The problem though, was that they didn't start everything at ground zero. Some titles did, others didn't. We got Batman Year one, which was a flashback story, which did not establish how long Bataman had been around, or which other characters he'd already encountered by "modern time." Wonder Woman started over from scratch. So did the Flash, with Wally West, but it kept all of its past history intact. Green Lantern did not start over as far as I remember. The problem with starting Doom Patrol over as if they never existed, is that then what happened to all those other stories, especially where they interacted with other DC characters, are those now alternate earth stories, which Crisis was created to erase?
The real problem though is the Byrne's Doom Patrol isn't any good. Not only was it simply boring and populated by a bunch of indistinct and unengaging characters, but it was a very unclear story for a first issue. The first issue which was meant to make it easy for new readers was anything but. None of the characters were explained, nor was their relationships. Nothing. If you hadn't read the JLA story that lead up to it, you'd be even more lost. It was also told in a non-linear fashion, and was clearly the middle of some ongoing story involving the JLA. If I, as a fan of the old Doom Patrol, picked this up, seeing it was issue #1, I'd be lost. Who are those characters on the first 3 pages? If this was the beginning of the Doom Patrol's career, then why does Cliff Steele have a past relationship with Megalith (I recognize that somehow Megalith had to end up in Caulder's prison), or mention his prototype body. Is this supposed to be a reference to the classic Robotman look? If so, it shouldn't be here. That Robotman never existed if this comic is starting at the beginning.
Setting up lots of backstory for a team that is supposed to be making their first appearance in an established Universe can end up contradicting the whole point at starting over. If you want to give them a complicated back story; they already have one. I though cleaning the slate was the whole point of starting over from scratch. Byrne picking and choosing established DP backstory is cheating, it's like eating his cake and having it too.
For someone with such a long career in comics in particular, it's a terrible first issue of anything, especially since there's a long explanation in the back about how DP was started over in order to make it easy for first time readers to understand.
Byrne also shockingly, for a seasoned artist and storyteller, gave us a confusing layout on pages 10 and 11 (story pages, not including ads) where it's really unclear whether you should be reading the top tier all the way across both pages, or just across page 10 before moving on to the second tier. And why is Niles Caulder so huge on the bottom of page 8? He towers over the characters in the foreground, and it's not because he's elevated. His size is proportionately bigger (this is nitpicking, I admit).
I didn't expect Byrne's Doom Patrol to be great, and new it would never approach the heights of Grant Morrison's run, but I hoped it would at least compare with Byrne's own run on Fanatastic Four or The Hulk. As it stands, I wouldn't be surprised if this incarnation of The Doom Patrol is cancelled in under 12 issues. My rule is I'll give anything 3 issues, but I may not stick around that long with DP. The JLA story + issue #1 aren't doing a thing for me and it already feels like too much wasted time invested (much like what I'm doing on this thread).
08-07-2004, 01:21 AM
As it stands, I wouldn't be surprised if this incarnation of The Doom Patrol is cancelled in under 12 issues. My rule is I'll give anything 3 issues, but I may not stick around that long with DP. The JLA story + issue #1 aren't doing a thing for me and it already feels like too much wasted time invested (much like what I'm doing on this thread).Prior to publication of DP#1, DC guaranteed Byrne that the series would go on for at least twelve issues. Now that DP#1 sold a few hundred copies shy of 40,000 , DC has greenlit another ongoing series written and drawn by Byrne, to be announced soon.
Remember, the really great runs of comics usually didn't start out with fireworks. For example if the Internet existed in the 70's, fans probably would have condemned the early work of Frank Miller, Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Walter Simonson, Roger Stern. They probably would have never gotten the chance to create classics such as the "Death of Elektra", "Dark Phoenix Saga","Trial of Galactus", or "The Kid who Collects Spider-Man".
08-07-2004, 11:33 PM
I liked the early work of all those artists you mentioned, but think, for the most part, their work has been stale of late. Walt Simonson is one of my favorites and "Orion" was dull as could be. Claremont lost it long before they fired him from "The X-Men" and hasn't done anything good since. Byrne has been recycling material for a long time. I don't know what Stern's been up to. Miller, I admittedly have not been following as much as I used to. I give him credit for experimenting in a variety of story genres and art styles, but the Dark Knight sequel didn't interest me enough to read it past issue #1.
This is not to suggest that talent and youth are in any way related, just that even the giants seem to run out of steam these days. I can't really name any "new" guys who are in their league, at least when these guys were on top of their form.
I agree about how it often takes comics more than one issue to get rolling. It's the same thing with tv pilots. The creators are still finding their way, the artist might not yet be clicking with the writer yet, what have you. "Sandman" was a dud as far as I was concerned until issue #5, which is why I had a five issue trial period, which is now reduced to three issues, due to the price of comics these days. Even recent comics like "Midnight, Mass." were a bit awkward in the first issue, but soared starting with the second.
The problem though is that in this day and age of the comic book industry, your book has to be a hit coming out of the gate, which means you have to grab your readers with that first issue. Stores order three issues in advance, which means that if you're not a hit with issue #1 and #2, your comic is essentially finished because they will cut way back on orders for #4 and #5, a fate that is especially harsh in these days were stores buy to sell through since no one really buys back issues anymore.
Byrne should have had no problem writing an engrossing, riveting, and clear first issue of DP for three reasons. 1). He's written hundreds, if not thousands, of comic book stories, and knows how to tell a story well, and how to tell one that will have the reader wanting more. 2). He had the whole JLA intro. to get confortable writing and drawing the characters. 3). He's been after DC to let him take on the DP since the late 80s, so he should have a really good sense of what he wants to do with the series, and should not need the first few issues to feel his way around with the material.
I hope you don't get the sense that I approached the new DP book with any animosity towards Byrne, or desires for it to fail. I was really hoping for something good. I'm just not getting it here.
08-18-2004, 08:17 PM
Here's a five star review for Doom Patrol #2:
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