This issue officially reintroduces the Doom Patrol, the classic super team that was the first to be completely wiped out in the original continuity. We earlier got a glimpse of the later Doom Patrol, including Scott Fisher and Karma, who were both killed by the Crime Syndicate.
In this issue, The Chief (Niles Caulder) welcomes Element Woman, the former Justice League member to the ragtag team, which includes Negative Man (Larry Trainor), Robot Man (Cliff Steel) and Elasti-Girl (Rita Farr or Starr, depending on the panel). This actually brings Element Woman into conflict with her former teammates.
The Doom Patrolers find themselves in battling Power Ring, the latest victim of the magical artifact from Volthoom on Earth 3.
In the mean time, Lex Luthor lures Captain Cold to his side, and both will become part of the Justice League. And we discover that Luthor and Caulder have a past. (I guess mad scientists run in the same circles.)
Doug Mahnke’s art is great as usual.
The story sets the Doom Patrol characters up as somewhat sinister. There’s definitely more to this story than we’re privy to at this point.
And good girl Element Girl will be playing a larger role as we move forward, which is nice as she has been something of a breakout character over the last year or so.
And we’re not done with the Crime Syndicate yet. Superwoman’s unborn child will play a part, coming up. That’s probably not good. While Power Ring is set up as a victim, we’ll see if she can break free from her current curse or if she’s doomed like the previous owner of the device.
The League themselves play a smaller role in this issue, basically a cameo as they evacuate a building that Power Ring is destroying. It’s nice to see The Flash rescuing a pet dog and cat though, something that we rarely see in a comic. The team also finds itself facing off against Power Ring and the Doom Patrol, with Cyborg getting a peak inside of what makes the “evil Green Lantern” tick and a hint at the future.
If you expect more Justice League in your ‘Justice League,’ you might be a little disappointed with this issue. If you like seeing classic DC properties resurrected for a modern audience, then you should be quite satisfied at the “freak show” that is the Doom Patrol. And finally, if you’re a Lex Luthor fan, this should certainly satisfy.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #32
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke
Cover by Ivan Reis, Rod Reis, Joe Prado