JLA/Doom Patrol Special #1 – Steve Orlando, Gerard Way, Magdalene Visaggio, Writers; Aco, Hugo Petrus, Sonny Liew, Artists; Tamra Bonvillain, Marissa Louise, Colorists
Ray – 7/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Combining the most unconventional DC team book at the moment with maybe the most unconventional book DC has ever put out, the premiere chapter of the Milk Wars crossover in the JLA/Doom Patrol Special #1 will either win you over or turn you off, and which of those it does will likely depend heavily on your tolerance for the Doom Patrol comic. With a hefty dose of surreality, brainwashing, and body horror, this comic wastes no time throwing you into the action as the shady corporation Retconn negotiates with a mysterious new supervillain named Lord Magna Khan, as they look in on an odd, supposedly bucolic neighborhood. This Stepford neighborhood – Happy Harbor, a place that will be familiar to many DC fans – is regularly visited by a mysterious figure named Milkman Man, who delivers fresh dairy to everyone in town. And occasionally severe beatings? The issue veers from 50s sitcom to brutal violence before you know what’s happened.
When the Doom Patrol shows up, that’s when things get stranger, as they investigate the house and find some sort of horrific cow-mutant-creature. From there, they’re confronted by brainwashed versions of Orlando’s Justice League, including pipe-smoking “Carl Lobo”, head of the neighborhood watch, and the rest of the League – playing 50s versions of themselves in the “Community League of Rhode Island”. Aco’s art is great, and these alternate takes on the Justice League are intriguing, but this issue doesn’t exactly know what it wants to be. Sometimes it’s a decidedly surreal title straight out of the Young Animal line, other times it’s a straight slugfest. We’ve barely gotten a hint of what this crossover is fully going to be about, but the issue does come alive when it focuses on the narratives of Casey Brinke and Caitlin Snow, the series’ most fleshed-out characters. How it plays out, that’s yet to be seen.
But stick around for the two-page backup, as the creative team of Visaggio and Liew delivers a gorgeous, old-school origin story for new Young Animal character Eternity Girl.
Corrina: :raises hand:: I’m one who gave up on reading Doom Patrol because it was so far off my wavelength that it wasn’t so much I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, it was that I didn’t want to make heads or tails of it.
But I decided to give this a try and I threw up my hands somewhere around the time when the Retconn Corporation showed up. (Sometimes meta references/plot devices can get way too cute and clever for their own good. This is one of those times.)
So when the Doom Patrol showed up and things got stranger, my tolerance for the oddness was already over. However, I must agree that everything in the issue looks amazing. It’s not coherent but looks amazing. (Note: I don’t mind odd. I loved Bug: The Adventures of Forager. But this is….incomprehensible oddness or, at least, not something I want to spend time sorting out.)
But, yeah, the two pages of Eternity Girl are quite good.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.