Back in 1992, Shelfbound was a four-page fanzine typed up, stapled, and distributed by hand each week to tens of comic book fans on Saturday afternoons. Smitty and Dixon–back then signing as N.W. Smith and HmD–were already hard at work bringing you witty, cogent dissections of new releases and old favorites. To celebrate the upcoming finale of Grant Morrison week, Smitty has reached into the archives to bring you one of the very first Habit Forming reviews! Read on!
Review: Doom Force #1
Written by Grant Morrison
Illustrated by various
Review by N.W. Smith
The end of this comic urges you, the reader, to let DC know if you want to see more adventures of Doom Force. I know I do, and you should too. Or maybe you just don”t like things that are AWESOME.
First off, a little background, since you may not know what makes this book great. Recently a bunch of hot artists left Marvel Comics to form their own company, Image Comics, so they could draw and write the stories THEY wanted to without interference, or should I say CENSORSHIP, from the big corporation. Now Image has all the great art with cool, realistic super-heroes that don”t arrest villains. They just kill them, which totally makes more sense. Now Marvel is all nervous that they”re going to go out of business, and DC is in even worse shape because they didn”t even have hot artists to begin with! But DC thinks they know what to do–”Oh we”ll just copy Image Comics!” You have been FOUND OUT, DC, but I have to admit, if this is your new direction, it can only do you good.
Usually Grant Morrison writes this totally weird and incomprehensible comic called “Doom Patrol.” I read an issue once and couldn”t make any sense of it. A lot of people think their being smart and it just ends up being boring, you know? Well DC must have told him you have to write more like Image, because “Doom Force” #1 is a lot more like an Image Comic. There are heroes that argue like real people and take on villains more proactively. Plus it”s way edgier than any DC comic I”ve read. Check out the main villainess” awesome costumes:
You couldn”t get away with extreme stuff like that at DC–which must stand for DIRECT CENSORSHIP–until Image paved the way. And notice how everyone”s drawing like Rob Liefield, whose probably one of the most popular artists to start Image (and whose “Youngblood” series launched the whole company?) They know what fans really want to see; too bad it took them ten different artists (I counted!) to match the success and talent of Rob Liefield. Still, they manage to pull off some really sweet visuals, like this opening group shot:
Look at how ANGRY and FAST everybody is; this is really a team going out for some ACTION! Plus you can tell how popular this stuff is because there”s already a price tag on the art, in case you want to buy it. Too bad I can”t afford it, I would totally hang that over my bed! That would be so bad-ass!
On the script side, Grant Morrison shows that he can do an action comic and still put in a ton of research. Check out the detail in the very first panel of the comic; it really shows how precise he can be in describing where things happen:
Plus, there”s all this cool stuff about the villains” plot that shows that Morrison has read a lot and is incorporating new ideas into his work that make a lot of sense:
If this was “Doom Patrol” I bet similar things would happen, but then there”d be some stupid poem about the Earth and the villains would be defeated by the hero”s love of the planet or some idiot crap like that. In this comic, Shasta, who has seemed pretty useless, transforms into an actual mountain to stop the movement of the ogranic city, and actually DIES stopping it. It”s really sad and realistic, showing the danger these people face every day, but also funny because even after he dies the rest of the team makes phpaide.com fun of him because he was so useless! What could have been a sappy moment was made awesome because people didn”t suddenly start liking him just because he died. That”s the kind of realistic darkness that”s missing in the comics of Marvel and DC these days … or was, until this comic came along.
Morrison does a couple of dumb things, though. The Scratch is clearly a Wolverine rip-off:
See how the mask is the same and he has the same kind of claws? Morrison even steals the “best there is at what he does” catchphrase. Sorry, man, but you”ve totally been CALLED OUT on that one. Still, that”s an awesome drawing of The Scratch running into action. They should have put the price on that one!
The other thing is that one of the heroes who causes bad luck is called The Crying Boy, and he gets upset when he causes bad luck to the bad guys! The bad guys! Crying over causing bad luck to bad guys is so not heroic in any way, Mr. Morrison. Hopefully Crying BOY will GROW UP a little and use his bad luck powers more effectively in upcoming issues.
That is, if there ARE upcoming issues, and that”s up to you and me true believer! While it isn”t the best start, “Doom Force” totally has the potential to make DC more like Image Comics, and while they”ll always be a lesser copycat, I think we can all agree that two companies who push the envelope and present more mature superhero comics are better than one! Then Marvel will half to follow suit! But I can”t imagine why this comic would be successful when it has lines like “Come on, fellas! What are ya waitin” for? Christmas? Well here”s somethin” Santa forgot to bring!” THRRRUTCH! Check out this awesome panel and tell me you don”t want to see more:
You heard it here first, DC! Morrison should dump “Doom Patrol” and just do “Doom Force” all the time. I”m sure the rest of comics fans agrees with me. What makes superheroes more mature? Boring poetry full of symbols and meaning, or lots of guns and swearing and death? Now you know where I stand. Make mine Doom Force!!!