Calafiore’s style seems tailored to this title, as Simone revels in the seedier side of comics with a chuckle and wink. The characters in this book are a magnificent selection of whackjobs that includes Bane, who gets some charming moments (including making someone’s face look like “Belgian waffle”) and King Shark, who thrives as drawn by Calafiore. Shark, after nabbing one of Elasti-Woman’s legs to save as a snack for later (yes, you read that right) reads a prepared statement to the gathered Doom Patrol, that is among the funniest declarations of war I have ever seen. From there, he gets even more entertaining, as does the rest of this issue, which is saying quite a bit considering I had actually laughed out loud a couple times to this point.
The battle that results from the declaration of war is humorous and amusing, with the Doom Patrol (complete with Ambush Bug) trying to hold their own against the Secret Six as face-offs range from absurd to ridiculous, as can only truly happen in comics. The matchups, dialog, and scenarios all show just how much fun Simone is having with this series, and Calafiore rises up to embrace the odd with Simone in some kind of a weird group hug.
As fun as Simone’s “Secret Six” is, her “Doom Patrol matches it note for note. As I turned the page and found the entire DP waiting to be introduced to the reader, Cliff Steele – “Robotman” to you non-DP-savvy types – seizes upon the same note and lets loose with an, “Aw, jeez, did you have t’bring everybody?” completely in character and right alongside the Cliff that Keith Giffen has been writing in the “Doom Patrol” book for almost two years now. The combined cast of the two books borders on a dozen characters, but Simone gives each of them a moment or two all their own.
This issue brings back the 100 after a fashion, this time out running under the acronym of C.R.U.S.H. (Companions Recently United to Spread Hate) and setting the Secret Six on their task of overpowering Oolong Island, hence the confrontation.
This comic is so incredibly wrong that it hits on all the right levels. It’s not mindless entertainment, but it is entertaining, largely for all the wrong reasons, as black humor always is. Only here can you get a range of dialog from “Donkey rides! Heee-haaw! Heee-haaaw!” to “We’re putting the fun back in world domination,” alongside characters being eaten by man-fish, legs being chomped off, and skin mags being used as bait to apprehend escaped lab experiments.
I closed this book and muttered to myself, “Gawd, this is so ^@#%ing amusing.” I’m hoping both titles persevere long enough to make this a perversely annual event. Truly, it’s an event worth its cover price for the humor, absurdity, and entertainment alone. The fact that the characters are so impossibly flawed as to be relatable is just an added bonus. Now over to Giffen for his share of this story in the second part of two over in “Doom Patrol.” Following that, I’ll be right back here for more shamefully entertaining excellence.