Doom Patrol/Justice League of America Special #1 – Steve Orlando, Gerard Way, Writers; Dale Eaglesham, Nick Derington, Artists; Tamra Vonvillain, Marissa Louise, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Excellent Ending
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Doom Patrol/Justice League of America Special #1, the conclusion to “Milk Wars,” the strangest DC crossover in a very long time, delivers a satisfying ending that also seemingly reboots the Young Animal universe into its new shape in the coming months. With the one-two punch of iconic DC artist Dale Eaglesham and Doom Patrol artist Nick Derington, the story zips between countless elements to bring the story to a close. I wasn’t a big fan of the opening part, finding it more bizarre than intriguing, but the successive three chapters were excellent and this one built on those strengths.
This is a disturbing issue in places, as the subplot involving Rita Farr makes very clear. She’s…somewhere, being tortured, as she desperately tries to get free and grasp her true nature, which is very key to the issue. Cave Carson’s been captured as well, by the forces of Retconn, and his fate isn’t much kinder when the issue opens. The confused, powerful Milkman Man will do anything to get the truth out of him.
Milkman Man could have easily been a stock villain, but Orlando and Way manage to coax some genuine pathos out of his situation. He’s essentially a god who’s also a newborn baby, and many of his actions come off more like the flailing terror of a confused being with more power than they know what to do with. The Justice League shows up to the plate fairly early, along with classic Vertigo hero Flex Mentallo. To say this issue is Morrison-esque would be putting it lightly. A few of the scenes are incredibly bizarre, especially one display of Flex’s power. But in the middle of it, there’s a ton of interesting cameos, a great moment between Casey and her “son”, and almost everyone gets a moment to shine. However, this is ultimately Rita Farr’s story, with a great reveal about her that sets up a fresh start for the universe – with the three relaunches being quickly previewed and a major change for one of the Doom Patrol. I’m not sure this hit on all levels, and maybe tried a bit too much, but I’m thrilled DC tried this experiment.
Corrina: Morrison-esque is a good word for Doom Patrol/Justice League of America Special #1, as it reminded me strongly of Morrison’s recent contribution to the DC Metal event. Meaning, it throws in everything but the kitchen sink into the tale, including surreal concepts and obscure characters, and yet somehow never loses the thread of humanity that brings the emotions to the story.
I’ve enjoyed some chapters more than others but this and the Mother Panic/Batman have to be my favorite. In a way, it felt like a crazy old-school Justice League of America/Justice Society of America/Earth-S multi-verse team-up, where reality is altered, people forget who and what they are, but they’re still heroes, in any case, no matter what happens.
The event definitely delivers the wonder and joy and craziness of comics. (Something that’s largely been missing from the Metal event.)
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.