Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 366: Doom Patrol #63

by  in Comic News Comment
Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 366: <i>Doom Patrol</i> #63

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. As it’s now December, I will be examining the LAST pages of random comics, so watch out for SPOILERS! Today’s page is from Doom Patrol #63, which was published by DC and is cover dated January 1993. Enjoy!

I know that Grant Morrison didn’t actually write the words on the final page of Doom Patrol #63, as he’s quoting Morrissey, but they’re just so perfect a way to end this series (and yes, it did actually end with this issue, as we shall never speak of what came after). Crazy Jane has been electro-shocked into normalcy, but she can’t take it, and as she contemplates suicide, Cliff Steele shows up with Danny the World to take her away. The penultimate page is the one that always gets me, when Cliff shows up and tells her he promised to get her and that she should come in out of the rain (which echoes what he said to her the first time they met) and Marcia, her doctor, looks at the coin from another world that Kay Challis pressed into her hand, but this page gets me, too. Danny the World tells Jane it’s good to see her, and the two lovers stand at the beginning of a new adventure. “There must be” a better world for people like Kay, who don’t fit into ours. Richard Case nails this page, too, as Jane looks bedraggled and beaten down by the world, and Danny and Cliff offer her a new and funky place for her. Cliff, the powerful robot, holds her hand delicately as they stand among the celebrants. In Panel 3, Case does a wonderful job showing the dank life from which she’s escaped, a world where doctors try to rearrange her brain so that she can survive in the drudgery of it all. Daniel Vozzo colors this entire issue superbly, and this page shows that well – the pink smoke curling across Panel 1, along with the balloons, promises a brighter world for Jane, and Vozzo contrasts this with Jane’s dirty brown coat. In Panel 3, Vozzo turns Case’s rainy scene into a sludge of brown and gray and black, showing the blandness of what Jane left behind. “They still haven’t found the body,” indeed.

I don’t have much more to say about this page. It’s a beautiful and perfect way to end a marvelous run, and 20 years later, it’s one of the reasons why I will read pretty much everything the God of All Comics publishes (even if I don’t always love it). This run on Doom Patrol is just that good.

For the last time, I link to the archives in case you’ve missed any of these posts. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this past year. I know several people still hate the name of the column, but that’s just the way it is! I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten better at writing about art by doing this, and I hope that helps me in other writing about comics, and I hope everyone learned a little about how creators create comics – I know I have. I may do another year of daily posts at some point, but it won’t be in 2013 – it’s really hard to keep up! So, again, thanks for reading!