In the swirling mix of revamped superheroes like Green Lantern, Flash, and Wonder Woman comes a series that dares to stray from the mainstream, while still being published under one of the big two. Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol takes a bold step into the brand new Young Animal imprint. These books are in the DC Universe, but will offer more than just the mainstream superhero stories that we’re used to.
Gerard Way has never hid the fact that he draws influence largely from Grant Morrison, which I must say I absolutely love. Grant Morrison is one of my favorite writers, and his slightly confusing but utterly meaningful scripts have so much depth to them.
Doom Patrol has a unique script, but Morrison’s influence can clearly be seen in Way’s script. Way doesn’t use the same exact style as Morrison, nor does he even write the same way as his last series, Umbrella Academy. This series brings the darker, weirder side of DC to light, and it’s awesome!
The script is very nonlinear, and jumps around from place to place and protagonist to protagonist. In this way, it can be seen as confusing, but it isn’t a difficult read by any means. We can easily tell that Way is trying to purposely make the issue stand out, and he does it very well. For both old and new readers, this is a fun and exciting issue.
Way has a past working with psychologically unstable characters. The main characters in this issue are two EMTs who work together: Casey and Sam. They are both good at their jobs and are doing a Hell of a lot for the world (at least locally), but you can tell that they don’t fit in with the rest of the world too well. Casey is probably my favorite; we can tell that she isn’t the happiest of people, but she’s super good at being an EMT, and lives her life with an almost unnatural sense of optimism. However, she is able to stay grounded and humble. Sam is really cute, especially when a Gyro off a food truck makes his day.
Artist Nick Derington, along with colorist Tamra Bonvillain, perfectly portrays Way’s script and the tone therein. There is more than one art style in this issue, which is usually confusing, but is put into context with the words. The creative team really worked closely while producing this issue—it shows.
Although this story takes place in the DC Universe, you won’t find illustrations like this in Rebirth. We see a lot of realistic panels, but also some emphatic and surreal panels. With warm colors surrounding the line work, it’s impossible not to love this artwork.
Even the cover is brilliant. It proves to be a bit of foreshadowing for the series, too. The cover is completely white, with a Gyro in the middle. However, when you peel the Gyro up, a beautiful depiction of space, the universe, everything, the vast plane of nothingness is shown. As Sam says in the issue, you never know what lies within something/someone. You can only see the surface.
I am beyond happy that there is a book from DC that doesn’t fall directly in with its “popular” line of books. This series has a very clear and defined tone, voice, and theme. Fans that have read Gerard Way’s previous work and those who aren’t really into superheroes are going to adore this series. Having grown up with this writer, reading his words and listening to his music, I can honestly say that Way never disappoints, and he is always original. For an amazing read, pick up Doom Patrol at your local comic book shop and let us know what you think!
Written by: Gerard Way
Illustrated by: Nick Derington