Monday, July 20, 2020
DCs Young Animal Round-up, Part One
DCs Young Animal Round-up, Part One Over the past and next few weeks, DCs new imprint Young Animal is launching a number of new titles. Charles Paul Hoffman and I are sharing our thoughts on each comic in a back and forth discussion. First up: Doom Patrol #1+2 and Shade The Changing Girl #1. Doom Patrol: From Doom Patrol #1 by Gerard Way, Nick Derington, and Tamra Bonvillain CPH: Okay, confession time. Before the Young Animal launch, I had never read any of these books before, and had never even heard of Cave Carson. (Mother Panic is all new, right?) So, I have been going into these totally blind. Andâ¦ itâs definitely been an experience. Issue #1 starts off normal enough, with Casey Brinkeâs life as an ambulance driver, but it quickly veers far off into the absurd. Not just the tiny society living on her partnerâs gyro, but the single page âWhatâs Going on with Niles Caulderâ aside (thereâs another in the second issue), the fast food franchisers from outer space, the singing-dancing new roommate who accidentally blows up Caseyâs old roommateâ¦ As I finished the issue, I had a serious âWTF did I just readâ sensation. So, of course, I proceeded right on to issue #2, which was totally more of the same. Thereâs a plot here, but itâs buried underneath what feels like a comic script written by Hunter S. Thompson thatâs been translated into Mandarin and then back into English. Maybe this makes more sense if youâve actually read Doom Patrol before? TM: My experience with the Doom Patrol goes as far as Grant Morrisonâs run and their cameos in different DC events, and I ate up both issues like the multi-flavored burritos they are. There are lots of seeming non-sequiturs that are cute winks to Doom Patrol fans that the band is getting back together. I am fine with Way, Derington, and Bonvillain taking their time to introduce a proper arc that pulls everyone together. Randomness for its own sake can be irritating, but I am all about Young Animalâs approach for now. From Doom Patrol #1 by Gerard Way, Nick Derington, and Tamra Bonvillain Add to your Hunter S. Thompson and retranslations the meta-influence of Doom Patrolâs return during DC Rebirth and Vertigo reshuffling. Cliff is struggling to stay in one piece as always, but so is DCâs publishing line, effectively segmenting Vertigo into this Young Animal side avenue under Way. The Casey Brinke protagonist stand-in cycles between a job and videogames, and gets shocked into paying attention. I wonder how many of Wayâs followers were weirded into reading more than one issue, let alone track #1 of a new comics series? You had a âWTFâ experience, Charles. Was it fun? CPH: Yeah, it was definitely fun for a couple of issues. And there is a real sense that this is, as you say, the âgetting the band back togetherâ intro arc before we get into the ongoing adventures. So, Iâll be here at least through the end of this arc before making the decision whether this needs to go on my pull list or just isnât for me. Shade the Changing Girl: From Shade The Changing Girl #1 by Cecil Castelucci, Marley Zarcone, and Kelly Fitzpatrick CPH: Funny story: I read Shade the Changing Girl #1 before Doom Patrol and I initially thought it was a tad hard to follow, but in retrospect itâs like a well-organized five paragraph essay next to DP. I really liked STCG. Maybe a tiny bit more background would have been helpful for new readers, but I guess all you really need to know is that Loma is a disaffected alien looking for a new adventure, she steals Rac Shadeâs madness coat, and inhabits the body that Megan Boyer wasnât really using. Watching Loma interact with Meganâs family and âfriendsâ has been a lot of fun so far. Weâre slowly getting the sense that Megan was a genuinely terrible person, and it will be interesting to see how Loma rebuilds Meganâs life and relationships (or not, as the case may be). The creative teamâ"all women, I might note!â"has done a fantastic job so far of creating an environment infused with madness. Not just the madness of Loma and Shadeâs madness coat, which manifests in Zarcone and Fitzpatrickâs psychedelic imagery, but also the insanity of everyday life. Thereâs a real potential here to dig into some issues we donât usually see in comics, such as how living as a teenage girl in the deeply sexist American society is enough to drive one mad. Iâm really loving STCG so far, and hope it gets a nice long run to explore these issues. From Shade The Changing Girl #1 by Cecil Castelucci, Marley Zarcone, and Kelly Fitzpatrick TM: Part of my enjoyment of Young Animalâs material so far comes from the difficulty of spotting the âtetherâ between each bookâs status quo and where itâs heading. A lot of superhero burnout can come from watching the limits of a bookâs setup stretch to the same limit over and over until the reader sees the tether before itâs even moved. Shade The Changing Girl, though? I felt a lot like you did during Doom Patrol, Charles. I had no reference point that wasnât built in real time, scene for scene. The combination of alien society, human society, and recurring trippy imagery kept me guessing from scene to scene. Any comic that feels like an ever-changing discovery is worth following. I think Young Animal is two for two in this roundup. What about you? CPH: Agree. Iâm not sure Iâll stick around long-term for DP, but pretty much everyone else seems to adore the book, and STCG is promising a perspective we donât see a lot in Big 2 comics. So far, the Young Animal relaunch is reminding me of the best of 1990s Vertigo, but with a contemporary flair. (Probably not a huge surprise, since both Doom Patrol and Shade, the Changing Man were in the Vertigo lineup when the imprint launched.) Hereâs hoping it succeeds like early Vertigo in bringing that odd, uncanny voice to a mass audience. TM: Heres hoping that any resemblance to the 90s fades away to transform into an all-new kind of touchingly weird. Thats it for Part One! Well see you next time to discuss Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye and Mother Panic. Sign up to The Stack to receive Book Riot Comic's best posts, picked for you. Thank you for signing up! Keep an eye on your inbox.