April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: Doom Patrol Volume 1

DC's strangest superteam returns in an appropriately strange adventure from the Young Animal line.

DC Comics’ Young Animal imprint was designed to allow creators to tell more experimental and mature-themed stories within DC’s superhero universe, similar to how Vertigo started, with the first such series being the return of the group called the Strangest Heroes Of All Time, the Doom Patrol.

The first volume, subtitled Brick by Brick, is suitably weird.  But is it any good?

Ambulance driver Casey Brinke is really good at her job, even if her past seems incredibly bizarre and her partner Sam doesn’t seem to believe it’s true.  Then her life gets really, really weird as Casey starts meeting up with members of the Doom Patrol, namely Robotman, Negative Man, Flex Mentallo, and Danny the Street.  But, it turns out she knew Danny a lot longer than that.  Also along for the ride is Crazy Jane and, somewhere, the Chief.  But nobody likes the Chief, and for very good reasons.

This first trade mostly acts to get the new team together, made up of old and new members from various incarnations.  Writer Gerard Way keeps the book and the adventure nice and weird.  Yes, it involves protecting Danny, but what the Doom Patrol is protecting Danny from is rather crazy, so I’m going to refrain from saying anything for now.  As it is, the series is mostly reminiscent of Grant Morrison’s run, but Way can’t reach Morrison’s level of weird.  That may be a good thing since Morrison’s work was hard to completely get what was going on even in longer trade form, but this Doom Patrol largely made sense as it followed its own rules.  I dug it for that.  8.5 lost cats out of 10.