DOOM PATROL / HADRIAN’S WALL / GOTHAM ACADEMY – SECOND SEMESTER [Reviews]: The Kids Are Alright.

DOOM PATROL #1 - Young Animal
DOOM PATROL #1 – Young Animal
"The Dutchess" Taffeta @TaffetaDarlin
“The Dutchess” Taffeta
@TaffetaDarlin

There have been various incarnations of Doom Patrol and despite their being different in many ways, the one constant has always been their dedication to the weird. Since I haven’t read much, if any, Doom Patrol in decades, I assumed I’d be out of touch–or even lost–with this new team; but, thankfully, previous knowledge is not a requirement.

Umbrella Academy and Fabulous Killjoys writer Gerard Way is responsible for the Young Animal line launch at DC Comics, which definitely feels like an homage to old school Vertigo. Prepare for more mature titles, readers! Even though Doom Patrol will exist within DC continuity, I expect to see more experimentation from it as it grows than the classic return of the current DC Rebirth titles.

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The main character in Doom Patrol #1 is a well-intentioned EMT named Casey Brinke who’s perfected the art of driving an ambulance. In the first part of the issue, Casey finds a robot. The comic then ends with a galactic singing and dancing unbirthday telegram moving in, the apparent set-up for more strange run-ins that Doom Patrol is known for.

Way does an admirable job with DP’s resurrection and, although I enjoy that his writing demands a lot of effort from the reader from the get, I didn’t lose my shit over it. A few parts felt “forced strange” just to be strange and unusual; but, it’s not a huge turn off and will probably keep the “Lydia Deetz is my spirt animal” readers coming back for another issue. Artist Nick Derrington, along with colorist Tamara Bonvillain, compliment Way’s writing with an askew, off-kilter retro style that changes as the story does. They’re a great team to take on this rejuvenation and present their work as more than capable evidence.

Doom Patrol is not your usual super hero title, yet it’s also not completely original and provided enough entertainment to keep me hungry for more. 4/5 Gyros.




HARDIAN'S WALL #1 - Image Comics
HADRIAN’S WALL #1 – Image Comics
"Archangel" Andrew Leos @MrAndrewLeos
“Archangel” Andrew Leos
@MrAndrewLeos

Engrossing. Complex. Sci-Fi. Tech-Noir. Murder Mystery. 80’s Nostalgia Soaked Bad Assery. These were the many buzz words floating through my mind as I close my copy of issue numero uno of Hadrian’s Wall, the new detective story from Image. Set in the year 2085, a floating frozen corpse is all that remains of one of the crew of the Hadrian’s Wall Space Station, a victim of fate, or foul play? What slowly unravels is a tense and dense whodunit, as a self medicating contract detective takes the case to investigate the death. Will his past–and ties to the ship–come back to haunt him, or will he discover the riddle of the ship? The first issue does an amazing job of laying the groundwork for the mystery ahead of us and left me ready for more.

The amazing team that brought you C.O.W.L is back and the gang is in glorious form. Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and Alec Siegel (Batman Beyond 2.0) hit the ground running, as they dig deep into the lexicon of 80s Sci-Fi mythos; the duo weave a wondrous noir tapestry, drawing inspirations from films and comics of the era while blending in elements of traditional pulp stories. The mystery feels familiar and warm in the cold clutches of space as the engrossing artwork of Rod Reis (Nightwing) draws the reader into a chilling nightmare, blending color and line work that captures the books desolate futurescape and scope. I honestly could go on and on about how this new book is going to be a hit and tickle your Blade Runner/Alien special place, but honestly you’d be better off grabbing a copy for yourself. 5/5 Synth-Filled Cyber Bibles.




GOTHAM ACADEMY: SECOND SEMESTER #1 - DC Comics
GOTHAM ACADEMY: SECOND SEMESTER #1 – DC Comics
"Great Rao" Bass @kidtimebomb
“Great Rao” Bass @kidtimebomb

It’s been a few months since the first volume of Gotham Academy ended, so it’s past time to check back in on what Olive Silverlock and her friends have been getting up to while the rest of the DC Universe has been busy Rebirthing itself all over the place. Last month’s annual put Olive on the bench while the rest of Detective Club took center stage, so everyone in my house was ready to get the whole gang back together for the start of the second semester. However, writers Brendan Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, and Karl Kerschl have slightly different plans.

This issue serves as more of an interlude, finding Olive holed up at the school during Christmas break with only good old Professor MacPherson for company, at least until she gets a new roommate, Amy. Amy is a bit more of a stock character than we’re used to around these parts, basically your run-of-the-mill teenager-who-chooses-bad-behavior. This is not an entirely unwelcome development, though, as she steers our protagonist toward some acts of vandalism that are cathartic, fun to watch, and reasonably set up by the beginning of the issue. Their adventures also carry them around the campus, setting up potential new mysteries for this semester.

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Artists Adam Archer, Sandra Hope, and MSASSYK, along with colorists Chris Sotomayor and Serge Lapointe turn in quality pages that blend well despite the number of people involved, hearkening back to this book’s house style set forth by Kerschl in the first arc. Though by the way things were going, it seemed to me like Amy was going to be revealed to be a figment of Olive’s imagination, which I would have been okay with, even though that’s a bit of a cliché at this point.

Overall, this first issue is a solid read and a welcome return, but it isn’t until the rest of the cast drives up on the last two pages that you realize that this whole deal has been kind of a prologue, maybe an overture, for what’s coming our way here in this second semester. All Maps has to go is hop out of the car and bellow a single proclamation to make us realize how badly we’ve all missed her. This issue succeeds on its own merits, but it’s very apparent that the best is still yet to come. 4/5 People Suck, Olive.

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