DC's YOUNG ANIMAL returns

It is no secret that I love DOOM PATROL. When I heard DC’s Young Animal imprint is returning, and that I would get more of this series, I screamed. This is not hyperbole. I literally screamed. DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1 did not disappoint me, even in the slightest. Writer Gerard Way, co-writer Jeremy Lambert, and artists James Harvey and Sajan Rai knock it out of the park.

The book has a new art team and a fresh set of weird circumstances to explore, but the heart of DOOM PATROL is beating loud and clear. There is no other book that gives me quite the same feeling. Come with me, won’t you? I’ll share the journey of DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1. (Mild spoilers ahead, but you’ll have to read the issue to learn the big stuff.)

DOOM PATROL’s Witty Prose

I have said it before and I will say it again: Writer Gerard Way is just so damn good at his job. He’s been at the helm of DOOM PATROL for a while and is now joined by Jeremy Lambert. They’re a dream team so far. Whenever I think I know where this book is going, it takes a left turn down some alley that is invisible to all other humans. And that alley is weird, man.

DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WOLRDS #1
DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1 page 2. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

But that is the genius of it. I’m going to keep most of the plot points secret for now, but I will tell you that DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1 has one doozie of a left turn at the end. It’s not necessarily weird in any way, but it’s heavy. And while that’s not necessarily a shock for Way, it always takes me by surprise in DOOM PATROL. When he makes this kind of decision, it’s executed with finesse and expertise. And it is always impactful.

What I will discuss, however, is the prose. There is one devise Way has employed in this issue that serves dual purposes. He uses an editorial and narration box to reorient the readers with the characters. It’s been a long time since the last issue of the series, so we have some catching up to do in DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1. And these boxes are hilarious. They say things like, “Casey is also fictional,” “Danny is an ambulance,” “Danny is also a theme park inside an ambulance,” “Lotion is a man-cat with his own free will,” and “Fugg is Fugg.” Individually, they may not be humorous. But in context, hey made me laugh out loud.

An Important Message

Way’s DOOM PATROL has always had something to say. In the past, it dealt with individuality, the makeup of the human spirit, parenthood, the very concept of fiction (and existence), and more. DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1 tackles two big concepts that are especially important to me personally — mental health and body positivity.

DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WOLRDS #1
DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1 page 5. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

As I said, I want to keep some of the plot points sacred so that people can just enjoy the issue. I won’t go into detail on the body positivity aspect. Suffice to say, this is the main focus of the Doom Patrol’s mission in this issue. It’s handled with tact and is overall very touching. As for mental health, Jane and Larry are the focus here. They both do things to address their trauma, and that’s very important. Larry adopts an emotional support animal. We see Jane in therapy on perhaps the most impactful page of the issue — it is literally a brain, sectioned into panels. Come on! That’s so rad! The narration reinforces Jane’s situation:

“Jane is also real, and struggles with her mental health but she is working on it.”

Moments like this normalize mental health treatment. And that is a big deal. The image of beloved heroes address their mental health issues is another step toward ending the stigma that engulfs the topic and puts people at risk. And these moments absolutely stick the landing.

A New Look for DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1

Let’s talk about the art team! We’ve got James Harvey, and Sajan Rai, who are absolutely killing it on this issue. There are scenes with the now-human Cliff Steele that are so, so different in tone than the rest of the book. The coloring on these pages is extremely effective in transitioning you from one tone to another. You immediately get a feeling of sadness and even dread when you get to one of these pages, as it’s visibly worlds away from the rest of DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1.

DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WOLRDS #1
DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1 page 6. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The series is going to have a rotating art team, which I kind of dig. It gives the team a chance to really experiment and put a unique spin on the book, which is really in the spirit of DOOM PATROL. I had a soft spot for Nick Derington’s work in Way’s past DOOM PATROL runs, and I did not think I could get over the fact that he’s not on interiors this time around. But the art here holds up. It still feels like DOOM PATROL — just a new era. And that’s fine!

The work here by Harvey and Rai is excellent and I really like their direction. I still get to see Derington’s incredible art on the covers. The only thing I do not love is the lettering. While it is great most of the time, I really did not care for some of the font choices. It’s difficult to read at times. There are moments when the word “Go” looks like “60,” and that seems like a problem to me. It brought me out of the book a couple of times.

That’s not what we’re looking for, friends.

Ready for More?

All in all, DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1 is a damn triumph. It’s a nice entry point for people who just saw the DC Universe show or just want something new to read, and it’s a glorious return for diehard fans like me. Trust me, you’ll want to go pick it up from your LCS when it hits shelves on July 3rd.

DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1 by Gerard Way, Jeremy Lambert, James Harvey, and Sajan Rai
Art
Characters
Plot
Summary
It's back and I am so happy! This book is just a joy to read. It has humor, it has twists, and it has emotion. It covers important topics, while also being so freaking strange. The characters are all on a personal journey, and the plot is exciting and thoughtful. And this issue's art team really brought their A-game.
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A Glorious Return

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