Written by Gerard Way
Art by Nick Derington, Tamra Bonvillain, and Todd Klein
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: September 14, 2016
Have you ever taken a step back and asked yourself, “Do gyros hold the secrets of the universe?” DC has launched their new imprint YOUNG ANIMALS with the premiere of Gerard Way’s (Umbrella Academy, frontman of My Chemical Romance) DOOM PATROL. Illustrated by Nick Derington with colors by Tamra Bonvillain, this team has crafted a new sizzling world of fresh imagery to the world of Doom Patrol while refreshing the rebirthed DC universe as well. Finally, a breath of cosmic, neon punk air that looks and feels both young and fresh.
As maniacal as this book is, Nick Derington’s panels move fluidly. Derington makes Way’s words even more meaningful with his great use of emotion in each panel. The pacing is just enough to make each moment special dealing with detail in gyros and exploding trash cans, to giving Casey the most energetic and caring persona possible. Derington gives us all of this without overloading the story. Throughout the twenty-eight pages of the story, he gives us all we need to feel connected and believe in each of these characters, new and old. From high-speed ambulance driving to enemy flies, gyros, and domino-masked statues, he lands it with class and comic book perfection. Tamra Bonvillain’s touch of color brings it all together with nicely placed tints and neon moments that make each panel special.
Gerard Way’s poetic and at times cryptic writing style is heavily influenced by Grant Morrison’s run. Way has definitely done his homework for this project. With exciting nods to past Doom Patrol history, it looks like Way has some great and exciting plans to bring forward. We already see small notions with mentions of things like Oolong Island which was pulled from Pete Griffin’s last run, and Danny? Danny the Street is known from Morrison’s time…or Danny the Brick from again Griffin’s last mention of the character? Which leads us to more hype, what’s going on with Niles Caulder? Who is Terry None? Who is Em? Way has successfully recreated a universe that has some itching questions. A known big fan of the title, Way has worked hard to build up the hype for this new YOUNG ANIMALS imprint and this was the perfect start.
The book launches with a four-panel spread of wonder before diving into a two-page splash revealing our new heroes of the book, ambulance driver Casey Brinkie, and her paramedic partner Sam. With a mysterious background of fighting off Phantahawks and a prom date turning into a lavender membrane, Casey is already filling in the odd and unusual requirements of being part of the Doom Patrol. Then we find Robot Man in an unexpected place, reminiscent of a character from The Empire Strikes Back, it’s safe to say he is in safe hands. Turning to a wordless page with the question, what’s going on with Niles Caulder? A mysterious cult meeting taking place by a group of creatures we may find to be the first antagonists. Topping it all off with the introduction of another new character, Terry None.
DC is midway through their REBIRTH stage and this exciting and mysterious book is exactly what it needed. If you’re tired of the average superheroes, meet the superheroes you never wanted to be. The future of DOOM PATROL looks bright and is in great hands. With early hints of characters like Negative Man and Flex Mentallo coming into play soon, we’re excited to see how extraordinary and cosmic this book will be. With “Dangerous comics for dangerous humans” as the YOUNG ANIMALS imprint slogan, Doom Patrol is demonstrating just that. Old and new readers can all find something in this new beginning to draw them in, and with a second reprint of the book coming out soon, you still have a chance to catch up on all the excitement.