JLA/DOOM PATROL #1 by Steve Orlando, Gerard Way, and ACO
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
JLA/DOOM PATROL #1: an oversized issue giving us a bright meta-story that peels apart the universe as we know it. The most psychedelic DC crossover to happen yet.
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A Tall Glass of Milk Does the Body Good
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Finally, it’s here! JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1 by Steve Orlando, Gerard Way and ACO brings us the start of the “Milk Wars.” The first crossover between the newly formed YOUNG ANIMAL imprint and the DC Universe. The two universes collide as Retconn alter the minds of the JLA, and only the Doom Patrol can save them from Milkman Man! A five-part crossover event leading to new YOUNG ANIMAL titles. It’s an oversized issue that’s full of head-scratchers and psychedelic splash pages. So come on, dive into the bizarre and let the Milk Wars begin!

JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1
JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Spilled Milk in JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1

So JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1 combines the insanity of the Doom Patrol with all the heroics of the JLA. First off, you don’t need to know what’s going on in DOOM PATROL or JLA to understand the series. Although, fans of the DOOM PATROL title may notice that “Milk Wars” was initially supposed to start after the events of DOOM PATROL #12.

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On that note, the series kicks off with the corporation that brought you $#!+, now selling real(ity) estate to their off-world customers. Setting up a new home for Lord Manga Khan, they demonstrate how they alter the minds of superheroes or duplicate them outright.

In Happy Harbor, home of the JLA, a Milkman making his rounds isn’t what he seems. With that, the JLA have fallen under the control of Milkman Man and his mind-altering milk. The Doom Patrol appear while following a rocket sent from Retconn to Happy Harbor. Here they come across Carl Lobo. That’s right, the Main Man himself. A copied version of Superman, Milkman Man, has possed the JLA!

The mind-altering process gives everyone a very 1950’s Pleasantville vibe. Alongside the Doom Patrol, the cast of the JLA must figure out what they’re dealing with. Without knowing Milkman Man’s intentions, the two teams must figure out what’s going on and for what purpose the false hero was created. With a team up that no one saw coming, and a distress call from Cave Carson, the series looks promising already.

JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1
JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Thirst Quenching

Overall, the story dives more into some larger meta-fiction as the team battles each other, which makes the story over the top in a great way. Gerard Way has so far pulled a lot from Grant Morrison’s run, and now pushing some of Morrison’s concepts and ideas even further.

There are also a few call-outs to ALL-STAR SUPERMAN throughout the book. From Milkman Man’s appearance on the cover of the lines spoken about Milkman’s origin. The collaboration between Orlando and Way works extremely well within the dialogue of team members especially.

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So ACO’s work may seem familiar to fans of the recent NICK FURY title and the New 52 CONSTANTINE. JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1 may finally put him on the map. The splash pages that he does towards the end are 100% what YOUNG ANIMAL strives to show with their bizarre characters.

Overall, there’s not a page in the book that isn’t visually exciting. The more you read on, the better and weirder the artwork gets, keeping you intrigued and entertained. The final pages feature some of the best backgrounds and blended panels in comics right now. Hopefully, ACO works more with the YOUNG ANIMAL titles or does more work with DC in general. He’s a talent to keep an eye on.

JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1
JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1 page 18. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Keep Refrigerated

Overall, JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1 has excellent promise for a fun month-long crossover event. It’s going to be loaded with all of our favorite DC icons and finally mix the YOUNG ANIMAL characters into it all. This could open up bigger doors for everyone regarding future stories.

The only drawback so far comes from the publisher’s releasing this storyline before the “Nada” arc wrapped. Although fans will get the idea immediately, it does contain a spoiler or two from the end of that run. Keep reading as the “Milk Wars” continues with a MOTHER PANIC/BATMAN crossover next week!

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