By Dustin Cabeal
Everything I want from Young Animal continues to be on full display here in Doom Patrol #2. I’m not going to pretend that I actually know what’s going on in this story or where it’s going. I will say that it’s still interesting, weird and full of fantastic art. Granted, I’m a first-time reader of Doom Patrol, so my love for it comes from a long time reader of comics that’s enjoying a weird and strange story. And before someone says it in the comments, I will never read the old Doom Patrol material or for that matter any of the material that Young Animal is based on. Frankly, I don’t read old comics often, and I rarely bother with beloved/hyped to the point of no return titles. Judge me if you want, but I just don’t find the same enjoyment in reading something that the majority of the reader base hasn’t already jazzed all over… verbally. Verbal jizz. It’s a thing.
As for what happens in this issue. Everything, nothing, everything… nothing. Robotman gets his body back and is apparently missing pants. I laughed, I cried, I laughed again. Our ambulance team has apparently been stealing company property and not answering calls they were sent to because there’s someone controlling their radio.
I suppose I should address the opening which felt like a cross between Gerard Way and Frank Miller. The two gangs introduced were interesting and vague. I loved it. It felt like something pulled from the 80s, but not in the shitty way that Peepland from Titan Comics, did this week. Rather, something that genuinely belonged to the era that Way had tapped into just for a few pages.
The story is confusing and all over the place, but the dialogue is so rich, natural, and genuine feeling. For this reviewer, it doesn’t feel like him trying to write hip dialogue. Sure the characters, for now, sounds a little alike, but with so many introduced and so much happening it’s like saying two people that hang out all the time use the same slang… yeah… they do. It’s frankly refreshing to read dialogue this sharp in a story this confusing.
Nick Derington’s art is also some of the most refreshing I’ve seen in a long time. There’s just something lovely about it. It’s clean and detailed and yet fits this strange world. Even his covers are dynamic and beautiful to look at. In a lot of ways Derington’s artwork reminds me of Mike Allred’s, but improved in all the places that I find Allred’s style stagnant and dependent upon his notable style.
The unsung hero from the first issue and this issue is Tamra Bonvillain who has made a splash on the comic scene. Bonvillain’s coloring is vivid, bright and gives the artwork a natural looking. I’m not going to blast any other colorists, but Bonvillain is much better than a lot of the top colorist that made a name in comics a few years back. Some of which are barely coloring and others that are still phoning it in.
I’m enjoying the hell out of Doom Patrol. I have no clue if the vast majority of comic readers are and based on our group review, it's a mixed bag. Frankly, I don’t care so long as this continues to be released. This is exactly the type of book that DC should be dedicating some retail space to, and I hope that the rest of the line continues to do well. Things like Young Animal fit right at home at DC and used to be why the publisher was once dominate in the industry. It’s weird, it's experimental, and for a guy that doesn’t read superhero books (if I can help it), this is one damn fine exception.
Doom Patrol #2
Writer: Gerard Way
Artist: Nick Derington
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Publisher: DC’s Young Animal