Doom Patrol #19 Review

Reviewer: John Babos
Story Title: Unwilling Spirits
Written by: John Arcudi
Penciled by: Tan Eng Huat
Inked by: Tan Eng Huat
Colored by: Dave McCaig
Lettered by: Bob Lappan
Editor: Andy Helfer
Publisher: DC Comics

Issue 19 continues the Nao Yut / Tycho saga from issue 5. After defeat at the hands of the New Doom Patrol and the New New Doom Patrol (that’s not a typo) way back when, the creature Nao Yut is resurrected by blind sorcerer Tycho Bray, who in turn is rewarded for his sorcery and all around good toadying with the gift of sight.

John Arcudi writes another clever tale that has villain Nao Yut continuing his quest to find mortal hosts for the “Seven Spirits”. Although the Nao Yut saga may be a difficult read if you’ve never read Doom Patrol, the sub plots are very funny. Beast boy shilling purple jam as a green giraffe wearing a sombrero had me in stitches. Really clever and witty stuff. The story ends with readers questioning what Nao Yut will do next and whether Robotman has a soul. A really great read.

Wow. Tang Eng Huat continues to deliver. His art is just amazing. I hope DC has big plans for this kid after Doom Patrol wraps at issue 22. I found it quite interesting to see how artist Tang Eng Huat has matured over his Doom Patrol run. He was always good, but he has gotten better with each issue. Comparing how his style has evolved from issue 5 was really fascinating.

Issue 19 isn’t a great jump-on point, but its a great story leading to the series finale in issue 22. It rewards the book’s sophisticated fan following and exemplifies why this book is so good, and surprisingly why it doesn’t sell well outside its niche market. It’s sophisticated stuff. No real pandering here my friends. It’s fun and entertaining, but to “get it” you have read it at least twice to capture all of John Arcudi’s creative goodness. Hey, seeing Tang Eng Huat more than once is a real blessing.

I’m sad to see Doom Patrol go. I’ll have to savor the series’ last few issues.