Published on April 6th, 2016 | by Steven Roman
Review: The Doorman #1 (of 5)
So said Los Angeles police detective Roger Murtaugh in the classic buddy-cop movie Lethal Weapon. Murtaugh was a cop who’d just turned fifty and was considering retirement—and his mortality. He insisted he was too old for taking risks, for putting his life in danger in pursuit of catching murderers. So naturally he was partnered with a “loose cannon” named Martin Riggs, who had a serious death wish, and from then on Murtaugh’s life became an ongoing series of constant dangers and running gun battles.
Henry Clay Waters knows exactly how Roger Murtaugh felt.
For the past forty-five years he’s been working as a doorman, or Porter—literally a guy who wears a dressy uniform and peaked cap and guards an entrance. Only in Henry’s case, the entrance is a doorway in a Times Square basement that links Earth to a multitude of worlds across the cosmos. It’s a job he’s only too happy to give up, if only because he feels he’s done nothing with his life—in fact, when we meet him he’s just about to retire.
So naturally he suddenly finds himself partnered with a loose cannon named Detective Flower—a noseless, purple alien from the Confederation of Systems Police Department who informs him that someone is going around the galaxy, killing Porters. Henry was next on the list, and Flower needs his help to stop more Porters from being killed. From then on, Henry’s life becomes an ongoing series of constant dangers and running gun battles…
Henry, as you can probably tell, is the star of The Doorman #1, written by Eliot Rahal (The Paybacks) and Daniel Kibblesmith (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), illustrated by Kendall Goode (Death Saves), and published by the comic-book division of Heavy Metal magazine.
In terms of story, Rahal and Kibblesmith create an interesting setup here, with its comedic tone and cosmic setting playing like a mash-up of Doctor Who, Sliders, Stargate, Lethal Weapon, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Henry is our Everyman character, a human plunged into “the trip of a lifetime” (to use a phrase from Doctor Who), and Flower is the traditional rule-bending cop whose full-speed-ahead approach will result in either the killers being brought to justice, or Henry and her being found dead on some alien world.
Martin Riggs would be proud of her.
Artwise, Goode’s lighthearted style complements the story and seems very much at home at Heavy Metal, a company renowned for publishing comic strips and graphic novels by some of Europe’s greatest artists. There’s a touch of a Moebius-like feel to Goode’s science fiction cityscapes and alien populations, without being derivative.
Bottom line? The Doorman is a fast-paced, buddy-cop sci-fi adventure that should appeal to comic readers looking for a departure from more mainstream “grimdark” superhero titles. If you’re a fan of Douglas Adams, or even the Lethal Weapon franchise, give it a try.
Trust me, you’re not too old for this shit.
The Doorman #1
Written by Eliot Rahal and Daniel Kibblesmith
Art and cover by Kendall Goode
Publisher: Heavy Metal
32 pages • full-color
Issue 1 now on sale
Issue 2 on sale April 27, 2016