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Doom Patrol, Vol. 5: Magic Bus

(Doom Patrol (1987) #5)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,340 ratings  ·  51 reviews
In the 1960s, they were DC Comics' misfit super-heroes, a team of borderline freaks who secretly banded together against evil. The team was brought back in 1989 by Grant Morrison, renowned writer of JLA and The Invisibles, who reinvented them as disaffected heroes up against a parade of absurdist villains.
Paperback, 203 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Vertigo (first published January 31st 2007)
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4.27  · 
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 ·  1,340 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The volume starts with presidential campaign that might have been weird by the standards of the day but almost seems tame compared with what is going on with the today's presidential campaign. Its a good story though, and a fun prelude compared to some of the darker stories here.

Some of the tales are a bit of a miss for me - the Kirby-esque story and whatever is going on with the Rebis story, but the other short story surrounding Crazy Jane and her confrontation with the events that destroyed he
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, superhumans
If only all exposition storylines were this well done! Yes, Magic Bus is mostly occupied with putting all of the pieces into play for what will follow in the next volume. But it's just so good that I don't mind at all. Much is fleshed out, but even more is left in the shadows. The cliffhanger at the end is unbelievably bold. Where does Doom Patrol go from here? I couldn't even guess. It's like Morrison casually threw a grenade on the property. In a good way.

And then there's Doom Patrol #53, a de
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
The conclusion of the Brotherhood of Dada storyline is pretty weak. Grant Morrison's politics (fiercely anti-establishment, but with no real recognition of class conflict, racism, power, etc.) are simply too shallow to sustain this kind of narrative. The subsequent issues of this volume are much better. The Rebis issue has some painfully overwritten prose (another of Morrison's weaknesses), but the layouts and artwork are some of the most impressive of the whole series. The Jack Kirby tribute is ...more
Paul Spence
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Grant Morrison's unstoppable reworking of the Doom Patrol thunders towards its inevitable conclusion in the penultimate book, "Magic Bus" (vol. 5 of 6). Morrison's runs rarely end with anything less than the apocalypse; this one is no exception, and probably the model for some of his other stories.

The book starts off with the resolution of the "Brotherhood of Dada" storyline left unfinished at the end of "Musclebound" and then sets about exploring the principal characters. Morrison has left the
Wing Kee
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
To turn history in it's head, that is great writing.

World: The art is surprisingly good. It's date but it's creative, the framing is creative and the character designs are creative. It's creative. The would building is absolutely wonderful. There is a turn in the end of the arc which I won't spoil but it is twisted and turns everything you know it's head. It is because of amazing world building and writing that makes possible. The stuff with Da Da and Jane...also great.

Story: Magic bus was fun
May 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the one where Grant Morrison shows that he's the biggest comic book fan in the world. And at the same time, one of the most inventive writers in general.

After the inevitable fall of the new Brotherhood of Dada, he and artist Ken Steacy do a one-off Kirby knock-off in issue 53, totally taking the piss out of the absurdly serious issues that came before or are yet to come.

The rest of this trade goes by quick, revealing a lot about the characters that you've come to get closer and closer to
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Even when Morrison writes mostly set-up, he does it in a mindbending and entertaining way. The anticlimactic conclusion of the Brotherhood of Dada's bid for the presidency fits completely with the themes the chaotic, anarchist group seeks to enforce on humanity. Meaningless silliness is ultimately defeated by meaningless silliness. It's pretty great. The rest of the volume focuses on setting the storyline pitting the Doom Patrol against "the Candlemaker," some sort of evil monster that remains u ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
OK, this was by far the most consistently entertaining Doom Patrol Volume yet. The stories all run together, make sense (in Doom Patrol terms) and develop and advance the characters and their stories quite a bit. There's also some interesting philosophy in there that's far closer to the surface that it's been in past volumes, regarding free speech, individualism, perfection, evil etc, etc. All in all, very satisfying and enough happens to leave the book on a cliffhanger and the reader wanting th ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
One of the minor (nay, major) (nay, undying) mysteries of my Goodreads logs is why, even though I read the entire Doom Patrol ten years ago, I never bothered recording any thoughts, or even a rating, on vols 5 and 6 of the series. But having finally reread Magic Bus within the context of the other books, I think I finally get it. It's an uneven volume, containing two half-storylines that are tonally about as different from one another as the series gets.

In the first half of the book, the Brothe
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
The most uneven volume so far. The Mr. Nobody for President arc has an anticlimactic ending, and it doesn't really provide any meaningful political commentary or satire. Whatever little bit of commentary is there just seems naive and childish. Also, I feel that at this point Morrison's approach of just throwing in any weird idea he can think of has become boring rather than thrilling.

The Jack Kirby parody issue is fun to me, but it must really have been cool if read at the time. At this date, th
Andrea Vega
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, read-in-2019
What the fuck did I just read?
May 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This volume starts off by finishing the Brotherhood of Dada plotline from the previous volume. This brotherhood is a great set of villains--weird in all the perfect Morrison ways--but I never could figure out their plan this time. What exactly is their goal here? This also introduces the bizarre and intriguing Yankee Doodle, who has almost no impact on the plot; hopefully, he returns, or I'll have no idea why he was even introduced.

Following this, we get an homage to those old Lee/Kirby comics,
Robert Hudder
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a dark series. It continues to ratchet up the badness. We find out more of Crazy Jane's back story and it is even worse but still plausible as we retrace parts of of her trauma. Cliff's own special issues become obvious and he pays for it.

I do like the whole sequence on elections and trying to get everyone to vote for nobody. It was cheeky at the time and has become more relevant. This series stays true to what I remember of the series. No character is safe and the background of the tea
Ben Brackett
Jun 20, 2010 rated it liked it
The first half of the novel is mostly one-shots and short story arcs, which I wasn't so fond of. Morrison is great in his ability to focus the weird in intricate long story arcs and these really not advance the characters at all, which is the true center of the doom patrol books.

However, the second half is the start to a really incredible in the series, and I'm really disappointed the novel was over just at the reveal. Can't wait to read the next.
Jul 13, 2019 added it
Shelves: comics, read-2019
Morrison sets the stage for the final act of his Doom Patrol run with a shocking reveal. I already knew what happens here, but it’s still very effective in the context of the story and Doom Patrol history. This is one of the best retcons ever. And the issue itself is so well-written.

Also in this volume, we have the Brotherhood of Dada storyline reach its zany conclusion, plus a haunting look at Jane’s trauma and a spotlight on Rebis. Then there’s issue 53, a tribute to Lee and Kirby’s Fantastic
Lucas Chance
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: loeg-archives
My least favorite of the Morrison Doom Patrol collections - the Rebis chapter wasn't terribly coherent, and the Crazy Jane story was a little predictable. The grand finale, the reveal of the Chief's duplicity, showed promise, but DC Collections pretty much screwed me. I hate trades with cliffhangers. Hopefully I'll remember what's going on when the next volume finally drops. Next year.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reprints Doom Patrol (2) #51-75 (January 1992-July 1992). Things continue to get weirder for Doom Patrol. Robotman tries to hold the team together as they face a new threat when the Brotherhood of Dada resurfaces in a pitch for Mr. Nobody for President…but Doom Patrol could be the least of the Brotherhood’s problems. It all could be moot due to a threat lurking in the wings. The real origin of Doom Patrol is about to be revealed and an even bigger threat that no one could have seen coming!

Patrick Hudson
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think I preferred this to the last one, but that maybe because I'm getting more used to the diverse tone and a little more tolerant of its wild experimental tendency.

It occurred to me while reading this volume that Doom Patrol is Morrison trying out different approaches and techniques. There's the broad satire of the 'Nobody for President' story line, the surrealistic character-based stories of Crazy Jane and Rebis, zany genre parody as in Flex Mentallo and the story in this volume '- and men
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is very much a book of two halves. The first half continues with the strange, almost whimsical, feel that has characterised Doom Patrol up until now. The first story finishes the story of the reformed Brotherhood of Dada and the Doom Patrol's attempts to stop them, while dealing with internal strife. The second is a hilarious Stan Lee/Jack Kirby-style re-imagining of the Doom Patrol, complete with imaginary references to previous issues. The third story is a very odd one that follows Rebis ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is another fantastic volume to follow the sheer brilliance we saw Grant Morrison exhibit in Volume 4 ("Musclebound") of his run on Doom Patrol.

Here (in Volume 5: "Magic Bus") he pays tribute to Ken Kesey (and the Who?), throws darts at the American political system, honors Jack Kirby through the dreams of a transvestite street, shows us the birth of one mystrious being through the deaths of two others, and winds all this around his usual themes of the occult and counter-culture.

Morrison al
This volume is probably the darkest, most enigmatic, most despondent of all volumes so far. Not so many story arcs, where we're chains the same villain or whatever through one two three issues. This volume goes micro and less macro, with indepth filler issues on the Doom Patrol Characters. But the overarching theme of apocalypse prevails. This time in form of the Candlemaker. You'll remember him as the thing that the Dorothy invoked to kill that avatar when they were in the city under Pentagon, ...more
ash newton
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
the exploits of the brotherhood of dada are less captivating here than in their first appearance, but all that subsides quickly and is followed by an issue dedicated to a bizarre dream sequence conjured by danny the street involving an alternate version of the team mingling with faux versions of marvel's fantastic four and galactus. after that minor diversion, we're treated to some nicely done back stories that dive deeper into rebis and crazy jane, two of the series' strongest characters. the l ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: doom-patrol
This volume's great, if only for the Kirby pastiche that comes in the middle. It's a great send-up of the classic Fantastic Four story, "This Man...This Monster!" that lampoons (lovingly) an already great story in a hilarious way.

The other stories include a conclusion to the Brotherhood of Dada story, Crazy Jane finally coming to terms with herself, and the Chief revealing his dastardly plan, all in a fashion that's slightly lacking in terms of plot propulsion, considering how little there is le
Feb 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I'll write this review for all the volumes of "Doom Patrol."

Definitely my favorite work of comic fiction, "Doom patrol" combines every aspect of art into one amazing pill. A superhero team that combats the forces of surreal art, surreal physics and surreal mysticism while maintaining a comedic edge. More than anything else, "Doom patrol" solidified the place of adult comics that dealt not only in hard-boiled violence, but in complex themes and structures that rivals, (and surpasses), most other
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vital-and-loved
ok, I have all these in their original format, so I'm not sure exactly which issues comprise which graphic novel, but it looks like this is where Mr. Nobody shows up.

Ahh, Mr. Nobody. Herr Niemand. A perfect and wonderful character... this is truly Grant Morrison firing on all cylinders. I don't do spoilers, but I will say that the sense of wonder that accompanies this "villain" borders on overwhelming.
Jul 30, 2008 rated it liked it
I lied, I continued reading. I really disliked the first arc, which sees Mr. Nobody run for president. It's pretty repetitive.

The Jack Kirby homage doesn't work. Neither does the Aenigma Regis chapter, which reminds me of Alan Moore's Blue Heaven chapter of Swamp Thing. But the Regis chapter is too abstracted and fragmented to really be successful.

However, the build-up to the final villain is great.
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
More genius from Grant Morrison's surreal period. Who else can skip from a psychedelic call to revolution with the Brotherhood of DADA to a perfect Jack Kirby/Fantastic Four pastiche to a horrifying exploration of the trauma of rape to Claremontian superhero soap opera? Doom Patrol is heinous, as always.
Donald Armfield
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
We get the origins of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol. From the magic bus of the enemies The Brotherhood of DADA that lets out a hallucinogen drug when it is driven down the road. Has to be one of the best in series. Crazy Jane's chapter is great. Eager to read the last in series I believe. But sad if it is.
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Scottish comic book author Grant Morrison is known for culture-jamming and the constant reinvention of his work. He is known for his nonlinear narratives and countercultural leanings in his runs on titles including DC Comics' Animal Man, Batman, JLA, The Invisibles, Action Comics, All-Star Superman, and Doom Patrol, and Marvel Comics' New X-Men and Fantastic Four. Many of these are controversial, ...more

Other books in the series

Doom Patrol (1987) (6 books)
  • Doom Patrol, Vol. 1: Crawling from the Wreckage
  • Doom Patrol, Vol. 2: The Painting That Ate Paris
  • Doom Patrol, Vol. 3: Down Paradise Way
  • Doom Patrol, Vol. 4: Musclebound
  • Doom Patrol, Vol. 6: Planet Love