Wednesday Comments – Mourning the Loss of R.E.B.E.L.S., Doom Patrol, Streets of Gotham, The Spirit and Doc Savage

I’m kind of bummed out. It seems like every week DC announced that it’s cancelling yet another title that I’m enjoying. And that’s really getting me down. I figured I’d spend this column sharing what I’ll miss most about those books.

Doom Patrol – I can’t say exactly why I picked this book up originally. For me Keith Giffen’s writing can be sometimey. For every 5YG Legion, there’s a Suicide Squad. But I figured that since it was probably going to pick up on some of the threads of 52 I’d give it a chance.

And I’m not going to lie; it took me a minute to really get the rhythm of the book. It was densely written and really dropped the reader off in the middle of things. But it was a rewarding read. Unlike most books in the DCU, Doom Patrol felt really unique. Oolong Island feels like a very distinct place, almost Opal-esque.

I enjoyed the interplay between the team and their back-stories. I really liked the revelations with The Chief. I appreciated the inclusion of previous incarnations of the Doom Patrol and various forgotten aspects of the DCU. I’m going to miss what this book offered up on a monthly basis.

R.E.B.E.L.S. – This one really hurt. I’ve been a Vril Dox fan for quite some time. I remember his bowl-cut days in L.E.G.I.O.N. ’89. He was one of the highlights of the Omega Men mini from a few years back. So when I heard that R.E.B.E.L.S. was relaunching, I got excited.

And the book didn’t disappoint. The opening arc of how the team got back together. I loved how Starro the Conqueror was revamped and expanded upon. I even liked the nods to LSH lore with the supporting members of the team.

I think the book did lose it’s way when it tried to incorporate the fallout from the Rann/Thanagar War and the inclusion of the GLC felt very ham-fisted. I also wish the announced crossover with the JLA had happened. Still, I am going to miss the one space opera book that wasn’t focused on a Green Lantern.

Streets of Gotham – Of all of the peripheral Bat-books, this one was probably my favorite. The tapestry that Paul Dini was weaving was masterful. I really liked how Batman and Robin were almost guest-stars in this title. And Dustin Nguyen art was equally pleasing.

I am glad that Dini’s getting the chance to wrap up his amazing arc with Hush, where he’s transformed the one note villain to a fully realized rogue. If there’s any silver lining it’s that we’re getting some degree of closure.

Doc Savage & The Spirit – I was really enjoyed the whole First Wave line, so the fact that it’s cancellation was announced before the final issue of the inaugural mini hit the stands was really depressing.

I enjoyed the two books for two different reasons. Doc Savage had a bumpy start, but settled into a nice groove once Ivan Brandon, Brian Azzarello and Nic Klein took over the creative reins. And The Spirit was a nice noir title with splashy visuals.

Of course I also enjoyed their late lamented co-features. The Spirit: Black & White was one of my favorite of all the co-features and Justice Inc was about as hardboiled as you can get in a DC title. Given that the books got axed before they’d even shipped a year, it’s really hard to say that they were given a proper chance.

So while I may be saving about $15 a month with these books getting cancelled, the monthly enjoyment that I’ll be missing out on is immeasurable. And while these books are getting canned, something tells me that Jonah Hex is nowhere near the danger zone.

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