SDCC 2017 [Panel/Comic Review]: Young Animal / Doom Patrol #7!

“Dynast” Dana Keels
IG/Twitter @hatandwand

DC’S YOUNG ANIMAL (Friday – 5AB) – Okay, I’ll admit.. my main reason for attending this panel wasn’t to learn more about the new DC comics imprint Young Animal and what they have in-store for its thirsty comic audience in the not-too-distant future. I was there to see Gerard Way, having loved My Chemical Romance back in high school. This Dynast never got a chance to see them live, so hearing Way speak on his DC comic imprint was the next best thing. That, and I’m a huge Doom Patrol fan (with the brand-new-spanking #7 review just down below).

For the un-initiated, Young Animal is a Vertigo-esque imprint that brings more obscure characters to the forefront in titles like the aforementioned Doom Patrol, Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye, and Shade The Changing Girl, amongst others — all crically-acclaimed and fan-adored books in their own right.

Hell, Young Animal is officially under the Vertigo label now. Each Young Animal title has also just released on paperback, and I highly recommend getting your hands on Doom Patrol, written by Way himself, if you’re looking for a comic more off the beaten path.

That said, the biggest takeaway from the panel was the announcement that Young Animal title will crossover — and address how the fringe imprint fits in — with the larger, mainstream DC Universe. Although that also equates to seeing the beloved Shade, Cave and Mother Panic go on hiatus from this October to January 2018, the first special to drop will be Doom Patrol/Justice League! Co-scripted by Way and Steve Orlando with an All-Star Superman, the comic with also feature Aco on the art and an influenced cover by Frank Quitely, introducing Milkman Man. Wait.. Milkman Man? Yeah, kids, there’s clearly no better time to jump on the Young Animal bandwagon if you haven’t already. 3.5/5 Bibles.

Other highlights from Young Animal @SDCC2017:

  • Jodie Houser‘s Mother Panic will see former Deadpool artist Shawn Crystal on the linework, with plenty of Ratcatcher and a new, psychdelic tone for the comic — full of dreams and trippy visuals.
  • Cecil Castelluci‘s Shade begins her search in Los Alamos for the “Life With Honey” star in issue #10, with series artists Marley Zarcone and Kelly Fitzpatrick commendng “fresh” science and Atomic Age propoganda posters as influences for their respective linework and color pallette.

DOOM PATROL #7 – Young Animal

Doom Patrol returns! And along with it… Niles Caulder (a.k.a. The Chief) too? After the weirdness of the first arc of Doom Patrol, the heroes find themselves trying to clear their heads–namely Negative Man and Robot Man chilling at the mall–when low and behold Niles pops onto the scene. And anytime Niles pops onto the scene, you already know some shits about to go down. “He’s very deceptive, loves chocolate — and a bit sketchy”, joked Way in the panel above.

In fact, Doom Patrol–and Young Animal as a whole, for that matter–usually finds itself breaking down the established and expected superhero tropes. Doom Patrol #7, a nod to the 60s original, takes that even further. It shows that maybe some heroes are better off without a leader, and maybe they don’t have to have a defined purpose and can do missions for the hell of it.

Doom Patrol #7 finds our heroes going on another obscure mission, ultimately more of a trial run to see if The Chief is fit to lead the team again. Way‘s writing left me in stitches the entire time. Not only is Doom Patrol one of the stranger books out right now, it’s probably one of the funniest too. It could easy become an animated series in the vain of Rick and Morty. The artistic team of Mike and Laura Allred, whom Way said he specifically wrote this issue for despite trying to get them “to do things [fans] haven’t seen them do”, wind up the right fit. Their distinctively vivid and psychedelic images really come sparkle the pages. If you’re tired of the same old same old, give this book a read. It’s fantastic. Comic = 4.5/5 Bibles.

-Dana Keels

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