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On the Street Where You Live…-By Angel Hayes

Welcome back, lovely readers.

Last time we spoke there was blood everywhere and cheesecake on the corner. Now I implore you to follow me in the way-back machine from 1994 to 1990.

Follow me to meet up with our ever ostracized….Doom Patrol.

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Welcome to where all that you can think you may will into existence

Doom Patrol (v2) #35 – Down Paradise Way – 1990 – Vertigo Comics

The covers of Doom Patrol V2 comics are a singular art. If you thought my passion for holographic covers were impressive (and/or unnerving), we have only just begun.


The Carpenters know that life is just entropy. Much like the Doom Patrol.

There is nothing quite like Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol.

Much like the way breezes feel best in the spring and rain doesn’t bother you if your day has no obligations, it can only be experienced not explained.

The grotesque but colorful covers give way not to a magical land, but one of pure will. Imagination is not king here. He is God. Gruesome, uncaring, and ultimately what all beings are capable of.

Phew. Let’s take a breath.

We open on a rather plain looking lady for the cover we’ve just be traumatized by.

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She looks like LADY SCIENTIST or LADY WRITER off of the flash cards from Careers the Board Game.

She’s searching for Danny. And as luck would have it, Danny appears!

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We can all identify Paradise by hobos with booze in their hands.

What an amazing splash page.

Featuring literal subtext (a true weakness of mine) as Danny responds with, “Hello, Sara.” Amazing choice of colors by keeping mundane elements such as the concrete and brick their normal colors. It makes the surreal fantasticism pop out and right into our already charmed hearts.

I starred at this page for no less than eight minutes when I first encountered it. Drinking in the lines, the focal points, the curves of the light posts, the unexpected joy brought to life via whimsy in the bittersweet atmosphere of a back alley city street.

We continue as Sara and Danny catch up much like old friends tend to do…except with Danny, it’s way more fucking badass.

danny speaking capture

Danny is the ultimate texter.

Welcome to Danny.

A being whom I consider to be one of the most wonderful things ever willed into existence. The nostalgia of walking where you had once been. The melancholy that follows when the places your memories were made have been destroyed. All of this makes perfect sense with Danny. Much like Lovecraft’s The Street, he sees all and feels all. He experiences it with you, just like the sadness you feel for lost and forgotten places can permeate your mind.

Also, Berlin is always Divine.

We now switch from the fabulous Danny. To our homegrown outcast heroes, the Doom Patrol themselves.

They’re moving out, and like everything and anything in Doom Patrol stories Robotman, Cliff Steele, just doesn’t get it.


Kids who want two front teeth for Christmas have nothing on Cliff.

Robotman is a straight man’s straight man. So straight even his skin is steel (rimshot).

He’s our human throughout Doom Patrol even though he’s a robot….I PROMISE IT WILL ALL MAKE SENSE.

The chief (who is like professor X with no need for mental abilities because he has a gun and beard that could kill bears) decides it’s time for the Doom Patrol to swap HQs. He has important beard-related/destroying-the-world-sometimes-saving-the-world things to do, and this old warehouse isn’t cutting it.

Cliff is understandably pretty angsty and upset about his metal can body that he is continually being promised an upgrade for. Sounds like he’s stuck in the cell phone contract cycle.

The next page features Joshua Clay (Tempest) and a small extra from Planet of the Apes known as Dorothy.

We see a setup room to test her abilities ala danger room (X-Men rips off of the Doom Patrol a lot. They just decided Scott Summers was better than a robot who was a race car driver – tsk tsk.)


 Dorothy makes Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends look terrifying.

Dorothy’s special abilities allow her to take beings from her own mind and pull them into reality. She has difficultly controlling the manifestation of them. The Good, the Bad, and the 3am Acid Trip all come out.

Let us get out of this nightmare and move on to a dream.

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I told that you’d know Paradise by the booze in the hobo’s hands

This is the beauty of Danny the Street. A sanctuary for the lost, one with opinions and an understanding of the human condition. Danny swept up the downtrodden and provided them with happiness. Paradise is reached when the ones who have nothing can be happy and healthy. Danny the Street is paradise for all of those who find him.

Now that you’ve got your smiling faces on just like Doom Patrol I’m going to slap that smile off your adorable face with a shift in tone.

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Don’t we all want that button in our kitchens? Never mind – Do NOT Want.

First of all, what a shift in tone (feeling that slap?). Our surrealistic focal points and dancing hobos have no place here. Rigid lines and flat colors rule the panels here making the oppression complete. Normalcy is the only thing allowed here.

Also bonus points if you figured out that he stabs her with a stylized heretic’s fork.

This is something Doom Patrol pulls off like no other. These are the events so weird no one else wants to even look upon it.

Let us meet the benefactors of our strange events that will come to pass.


Oh, that’s where I left the surrealism…in the basement, of course.

Mr. Jones introduces us to The Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E.

Mr. Jones has already proved to be easily provoked and full of terrible. Surely, those that follow him would look like evil K-9s with elf shoes and purple trench coats.

These guys gave me many a nightmare as the series went on. They are exactly what I would destroy first should I ever will them into existence.

Let’s check in on our philanthropic outcasts, shall we?

groupsupportA alchemist’s dream, a robot, a man in a wheelchair, a split personality disorder patient, and an ape girl….Well, I tried to make a joke but this is the saddest group therapy ever.

Doom Patrol is getting out their feelings and trying to figure out where to go from here. Rebis (formerly Negative Man) is chill and Crazy Jane can’t decide what she feels in between all the turmoil inside her.

We go over the plans; Dorothy needs to pee. Moving on.

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This is what I imagine all normal suburbanite dinner parties that I don’t get invited to are like.

The Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E.’s speaking patterns are horrifying. You can hear them being telegraphed out. Horrible thoughts gargled with cruel intentions, words of hate pumped out with ease.

Not even wifey’s googly eyes can ease the terror and that is what googly eyes are for.

Something about the nonchalant mixing of the transmitted hate speech and yellow wallpaper with tulips makes the back of my spine contort. It also makes me not trust all bed and breakfasts.

Back to my family and yours, the Doom Patrol.

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These are really just here to show off Crazy Jane’s Amazing Room. Hence why they’re small.

Crazy Jane is helping Rebis indulge in vanity, and Cliff, well, he just wants something to happen.

Back to Mr. Douchebag Jones

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I can’t overstate how amazing it is that Danny the Street is a Transvestite. 

So like most things angry privileged “normal” people can’t stand, Mr. Jones aims to destroy Danny the Street.

Let’s talk about that amazing and foreboding last panel.

Not only do The Men look intimidating the color contrast of that evil laughter and the misaligned placement of it. Gives me the willies. The overbearing shadows they cast and the perspective of them looming over us is enough to make me want to close my eyes. The shadows they cast are weapons just as powerful as the dark thoughts they stir in my mind. The steam rises off of them to show they are not just weapons of hate, but purely logical machines of it.

Phew. Let’s turn on the lights.

Things cheer up over the next two pages to show Danny the Street’s Perpetual Cabaret!!!


Phantom Limb’s Uncle. Complete with Shiny Suit.

Every is well with the cabaret until someone is said to have been killed. KILLED ON DANNY THE STREET! Our only sanctuary is desecrated.



My heart breaks. 

Sara, our resident lady scientist/writer, needs to find out who shattered her world. Wandering out to protect Danny she finds what we all fear.

The niggling doubts that say we are different and our differences make us weak. That normal is the only acceptable route for existence and life.

The force of doubt and hatred that is


Doom Patrol V2 #35 - Page 23Nothing cute or witty. Just terror.

Their intimidating words, the looming figures like boogeymen who never leave our closets or our panicked late night thoughts.

We see them face to face. With all the industrial terror behind them ready to replicate.


They appear to try and destroy Danny the Street. The being of benevolence, the lonely place we stumble upon when we are trying to find ourselves, his lights always shining through our darkness.

Sara manages to warn Danny while escaping their ill-aimed shots. He must quickly try and escape; however….

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This is normal for the Doom Patrol.

Where is a street to hide?

-Angel Eena


All Men, Women, and Things Are Weapons-Punisher: War Zone #2

      Hey there everyone, and welcome back to The Unspoken Decade!  I hope you didn’t have too difficult of a time dealing with an entire week between entries here!  If you did suffer from withdrawal, though, we ain’t responsible!  If you are new to the game here, we here at The Unspoken Decade do 90’s comics like nobody else.  LITERALLY.  Literally, this is the only 90’s comics blog dedicated solely to the 90’s that I can find, so can’t nobody tell me different!

Last week, we started a sojourn into the wonderful world of Frank Castle, the Punisher, and it was so nice, I decided to do it twice!  The first issue of Punisher:  War Zone just was not enough to sate the always intense hunger for Punisher material that I carry with me every second of my life, and so I decided to go ahead and review issue #2 in full here for you and summarize the arc that ran for the first eight issues of the title in the Friday Follow-Up this week.

To put things in perspective here, Punisher was as hot as anyone in the early 90’s.  He appeared in all sorts of titles in the Marvel line, and he was especially present in any new title coming out, e.g. Darkhold, Terror Inc., Cage, and many more.  He also carried three ongoing titles (Punisher, Punisher War Journal, and Punisher:  War Zone), several mini-series, and several specials including annual summer, holiday, and back-to-school specials.  I love Punisher as much as, and probably more than Goddamn anybody else, but what the hell is Punisher doing in a special celebrating the time of year when kids return to school?  Also, summer, back-to-school, and holiday sort of follow each other.  Why was there no Punisher Easter special?  Punisher President’s Day special?  Punisher Major League Baseball Opening Day special?

What there was though, was a great cover of Punisher looking like he just invented a spin-off of another 90’s staple, Urban American Gladiators.

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(Despite that title, there is neither blood nor water on this cover.)


                Punisher has infiltrated the Carbone mob via Mickey Fondozzi, and they are sent to take out a produce importer who has been working to carve a slice into Carbone territory.  Punisher mentions that he would have never found this place as Punisher, but as Johnny Tower, he is privy to much information that would be hard to glean just as Punisher.  Punisher takes the lead on the tactics, and the results can be measured in shell casings and blood.

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(Is that Bradley Cooper from American Hustle running this crime den?)

The Punisher and his war are relentless as always, and I love how Chuck Dixon never allows the reader to forget that Punisher sees all of his enemies as the evil men who massacred his family.  Chuck Dixon never shows you how Punisher treats his friends because Frank Castle has none.

Punisher isn’t happy with just the massacre on these goons outside the Carbone family, though.  He is very aware that this hit means the Carbone family would benefit from the records of their rival’s now destroyed operation, so he destroys the bookkeeping records.  Since he hates tattling, he strikes an interesting deal with the rest of the family soldiers with him on this mission.

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(What can I say?  I find Punisher blowing people away interesting.)

Julius and Sal, the brothers who run the Carbone family, see the outcome of the operation differently.   Julius, the Don of the family, sees the operation as an unmitigated success as he ponders the classy move of sending flowers to the living family members of the folks he just had Punisher kill. His brother Sal points out that the team failed to extract the books as instructed, and he is leery of the fact they lost so many guys, (including their nephew).  Julius uses everyone’s favorite useless boss’s line, “I’m in charge”, to brush aside his concerns.  As well everyone knows, that always solves every problem.

Julius is so impressed with the Mickey/Punisher (who they believe is Johnny Tower) combo that he gives them the operation their nephew used to run.  Mickey also takes this opportunity to shut Castle out of the decision-making process by informing the Don that Castle “ain’t good for much else besides parking the car.”  Punisher, however, finds a way to glean information that involves neither Mickey nor Julius, but this hurts Julius in a much different and more personal way.

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(So, Rosa was apparently just sitting around in her mini-dress, designer boots, and BODY-LENGTH FUR COAT and planning her wedding.  Oh, Mafia Princesses!)

Mickey Fondozzi must be the biggest Goddamn idiot of all time.  How could he think his plan to make Punisher look like a dumbass would somehow work to his advantage?  It’s being stuck in a cage with a rhino who has left you alone and then deciding to poke it with a sharp needle and make fun of its mom.  Everyone knows rhinos are fiercely protective of their families.

Here’s another example of the blatant lack of emotion and empathy found in Punisher.  Rosa is certainly not a teenager or anything, but she is obviously a young lady who is being put through an emotional minefield.  Punisher sees her as nothing but a path to more information, and he sees nothing at all wrong with manipulating her in a time of duress to get what he desires.  There is no such thing as a man named Frank Castle; there is only a force of nature called The Punisher and his war.

Punisher has decided not to allow Mickey to keep the spoils given to them by Julius, but I am pretty sure half of the reason he did it was to look cool as hell while riding a motorcycle through a window as he fires automatic weapons.

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(To me it seems that if the police or the mob really wanted to find Punisher they would find the guy who does his custom motorcycle and motorcycle accessories.)

Punisher seems to be having too good of a time, as Mickey tells him that his hit on the numbers operation is a huge deal.  The family isn’t taking it lightly, and Mickey cannot cover up for Punisher.  Someone else is covered up for Punisher, but would rather be uncovered for him.  See the following picture!

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(People sure were excited for a third ongoing monthly title for Punisher.  Not as excited Rosa Carbone is for Punisher though, as she must have been waiting with that towel for hours for this moment.)

Obviously, this is going to work out very well for all involved parties.

This arc goes through the first eleven issues of the new title, and it establishes Lynn Michaels and Shotgun as great supporting characters in Punisher lore.  It’s a shame the characters have been used so little since then, as they make for great allies and foils depending on circumstances.

This arc doesn’t drag at all despite the large number of issues.  The title shows the range and ability of both John Romita, Jr. and Chuck Dixon, but even more importantly, it shows readers how everyone and everything is nothing to Punisher.  The creators really show readers how Punisher will do any and everything to any and everyone in order to gain even the slightest amount of ground in the war against criminals.  Usually, the psychotic nature of The Punisher is displayed via violence, torture, sadism, and the like, but the true measure of the depths of Punisher’s sociopathic nature is how he treats the folks around him.  Microchip is nothing but a tool for him to use and discard of if he gets to be too risky.  Rosa Carbone is just a key to a chest of information.  I love this, and it is this combined with John Romita, Jr.’s great depiction of the violence and Punisher’s always empty facial features that makes this my favorite Punisher story of all time.  Look for more on Friday in the follow-up!

Live Longbox Graveyard Podcast TONIGHT!

Longbox Graveyard

I will be a guest on Voc Nation tonight — Sunday, April 13th — starting at 11:30 PM EST!

VOC Nation!

Because you have nothing better to do at that hour, you need to listen. Even better, call in with a question or comment … this is a LIVE podcast, and while it will be immortalized in some archive after the show, tonight is your unique chance to call me names before a breathless online audience.

Talk to you soon!


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