Tag Archives: doom patrol

Around the DC Universe: Titans, Doom Patrol, Dark Victory, and Green Lantern

Welcome to “Around the DC Universe,” Graphic Policy’s continuing feature that helps you get the most out of your subscription to DC’s premier comic book and video streaming service.

Originals

This week Titans introduced their version of The Doom Patrol. I’m not particularly knowledgeable about any of the comic book versions of the team but I did enjoy watching this episode. Brendan Fraser especially stood out as Robot Man, striking a perfect balance between goofiness and pathos that made me want to watch more.

I hate to say it but the one part of this show I’m not loving is Starfire/Kory Anders. Anna Diopp does a fine job of portraying the character but I don’t think the writers really know what to do with her.  Her costume is also completely ridiculous. I was willing to accept it in the beginning since it made sense in the context in which she’s introduced but four episodes (and a transatlantic flight) later the fact that she’s still wearing it stretches the bounds of credibility by making her stick out like a sore thumb. Hopefully the whole crew will be due for a change of clothes soon.

Special Features

Last Tuesday Batman: Dark Victory was added to the service for a limited time (they’ll be taking it down November 11th). This sequel to The Long Halloween, which features the fallout of the Holiday murders on the Gotham underworld and a version of Robin’s origin, is an improvement on the original but it does rely on it rather heavily for the purposes of continuity. It’s probably not the best choice if you steered clear of The Long Halloween and its not good enough in my opinion to make reading The Long Halloween worth it. If you ignored my advice or if you’re only discovering this column after learning that the original was not your taste, then check it out. It’s by far Jeph Loeb’s most readable epic.

Comics

If you were hoping for some Green Lantern comics to go along with the release of the first issue of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s run, then prepare to be disappointed. DC Universe’s current selection is rather spotty and missing some well regarded material including most of the classic runs by Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams and Geoff Johns. The best stuff currently available to binge are the first twenty issues of Hal Jordan’s original series from the 1960s with stories by John Broome and art by Gil Kane. While these comics are plenty goofy (as well as being full of the casual racism and sexism of the silver age) they are still worth reading as historical documents. It was editor Julius Schwartz’s reinvention of Green Lantern (along with The Flash) that set the tone for a new generation of comics. Gil Kane is perhaps the best representative of DC’s silver age style with his dynamic sense of motion and more modern page layouts (though he would not really hit his stride until later in the run when he began to ink himself) and Broome managed to weave entertaining science-fiction yarns that saw Hal adventuring across both time and space, introducing key concepts and characters along the way.

Preview: Doom Patrol #12

Doom Patrol #12

(W) Gerard Way (A) Dan McDaid (CA) Nick Derington
MATURE READERS
In Shops: Oct 31, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Something normal is happening to the Doom Patrol. Which means not weird, since their own normal is very weird. There are mysterious forces at work, unseen hands rewriting history, and the change is so gradual, the team doesn’t even necessarily see how much they are changing. The end of our second big DOOM PATROL arc leads into big things to come next month!

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d folks get? What’d you enjoy? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Multiversity Comics – Frederick Douglass’s Life To Be Told As Graphic Novel – This could be very interesting.

DC Comics – Breaking News: Timothy Dalton Leads the Doom Patrol – Some solid casting.

The Comichron – Heroes in Crisis leads advance reorders as August ends – This isn’t too surprising.

Kotaku – Game Developer Brianna Wu Loses Bid For Congress, Says She Didn’t Fundraise Hard Enough – Running for office is serious full time business and not easy.

 

Review

ICv2 – The Beatles Yellow Submarine

Newsarama – Ms. Marvel #33

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you all excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

CBLDF – 66 Pounds of Hentai Confiscated by Swiss Customs – Wow, that’s a lot of Hentai.

CBR – Doom Patrol Casts The Mummy’s Brendan Fraser in Lead Role – This is some good casting.

IGN – Marvel Needs to Give Spider-Man Miles Morales a New Home – We’re expecting something in December.

The Comics Journal – Rape, Sexual Harassment Allegations Prompt Defamation Suit from Small-Press Comics Publisher Cody Pickrodt – Well that’s one way to get the word out about allegations, a lawsuit for folks to cover.

 

Reviews

Comic Attack – Coda #4

Newsarama – Cold Spots #1

Talking Comics – Crowded #1

The Beat – Coyote Doggirl

Talking Comics – Gideon Galls #6

DC Universe Gets a Launch Time Frame and More Details

For months now, DC Entertainment has been slowly teasing out what we can expect from DC Universe, their digital platform that’ll feature original programming, and more.

Launching in Fall 2018, the new service will have original live action and animated series, classic tv series and films, and a “curated selection” of digital comics. Also included will be breaking news, a DC-centric encyclopedia, and access to exclusive merchandise.

New series include Titans, which launches this year, then followed by Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Harley Quinn, and Young Justice: Outsiders in 2019.

  • Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and loveable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.
  • Doom Patrol is a reimagining of one of DC’s strangest group of outcasts: Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Woman and Crazy Jane. Led by the mysterious Dr. Niles Caulder they’re called into action by the ultimate hero for the digital age, Cyborg. Banding together these rejects find themselves on a mission that will take them to the weirdest and most unexpected corners of the DC universe.
  • Swamp Thing follows Abby Arcane as she investigates what seems to be a deadly swamp-born virus in a small town in Louisiana but soon discovers that the swamp holds mystical and terrifying secrets. When unexplainable and chilling horrors emerge from the murky marsh, no one is safe.
  • Young Justice: Outsiders features the return of the fan favorite animated series with a huge cast of DC’s most iconic young superheroes – plus brand-new characters, many of whom are just discovering their unique meta-powers and special abilities. Set against the backdrop of a rich, deep world that touches all corners of the DC universe, the season focuses on meta–trafficking, and an intergalactic arms race for control of these super–powered youths.
  • Harley Quinn follows Harley’s adventures after she breaks up with the Joker and strikes out on her own in this new adult animated comedy. With the help of Poison Ivy and a ragtag crew of DC castoffs, Harley tries to earn a seat at the biggest table in villainy: the Legion of the Doom.

The launch of the service gets interesting when put into context for the recent purchase of Time Warner, DC’s parent company, by AT&T. Expect the service to be leveraged by AT&T through promotions and advertising.

DC Universe will be available at launch on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV, as well as the web and mobile.

On top of the five original series, the service will include material from the DC archives like the four original Superman films, Lois & Clark, Super Friends, Batman Begins, the first two seasons of Batman: The Animated Series, and the original Wonder Woman series starring Linda Carter. Some of the DC animated films will also be included.

The service will also include some digital comics. The latest announcement makes it clear that the selection won’t be as vast as Marvel Unlimited but will included a rotated assortment.

What’s most interesting is the focus on community. There will be social networking functionality where fans can rate, create and share personalized playlists, personalize a profile and avatars. There will also be some sort of chatrooms and boards.

Finally, there will be a commerce aspect of it which will include exclusive merchandise including from DC Collectibles. It will also include hard-to-find DC merchandise from their licensing partners.

All of this has been telegraphed through the Warner Bros. community feedback site which has been releasing questionnaires concerning a lot of these offerings.

Open beta will begin August 2018.

Doom Patrol is Coming to DC Universe as a One-Hour Live Action Drama

DC Entertainment has announced that the upcoming DC Universe digital service has ordered its next original series, the one-hour live-action drama Doom Patrol, from executive producers Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, Jeremy Carver, and Sarah Schechter. Doom Patrol is direct-to-series with 13 episodes ordered.

Written by Jeremy Carver, the series is based on DC characters originally written and drawn by Arnold Drake, Bob Haney, and Bruno Premiani.

Doom Patrol is a re-imagining of one of DC’s most beloved group of outcast Super Heroes: Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl and Crazy Jane, led by modern-day mad scientist Dr. Niles Caulder (The Chief). The Doom Patrol’s members each suffered horrible accidents that gave them superhuman abilities — but also left them scarred and disfigured. Traumatized and downtrodden, the team found purpose through The Chief, who brought them together to investigate the weirdest phenomena in existence — and to protect Earth from what they find. Part support group, part Super Hero team, the Doom Patrol is a band of super-powered freaks who fight for a world that wants nothing to do with them. Picking up after the events of Titans, Doom Patrol will find these reluctant heroes in a place they never expected to be, called to action by none other than Cyborg, who comes to them with a mission hard to refuse, but with a warning that is hard to ignore: their lives will never, ever be the same.

Doom Patrol will begin production this year for a 2019 debut on DC Universe.

DC Universe is a new digital service operated by Warner Bros. Digital Networks. The platform includes the announced Titans, Swamp Thing, Young Justice: Outsiders, and Harley Quinn.

Preview: Doom Patrol #11

Doom Patrol #11

(W) Gerard Way (A/CA) Nick Derington
In Shops: Apr 25, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Featuring the conclusion of the “NADA” storyline the Doom Patrol fights Dada and someone becomes a mama. How did life and death become so intertwined? It’s Robotman versus a classic foe as Casey and Terry take us into a whole new territory we’ve never seen before. But could this newness also just be a whole lot of nothing?

Review: Doom Patrol/JLA Special #1

JLADPA_Cv1It’s safe to say that Doom Patrol/JLA Special is the best comic ever to feature superheroes inflated like beachballs saving the day. Writers Gerard Way and Steve Orlando, artists Dale Eaglesham and Nick Derington, and colorists Marissa Louise and Tamra Bonvillain deliver a story that is action packed, emotion filled, and cerebral too. Orlando and Way steep the book in DC history, like the collected works of Grant Morrison, the first appearance of Doom Patrol in My Greatest Adventure #80, and even Keith Giffen “Bwahaha” era of Justice LeagueHowever, they aren’t overwhelmed by history and/or nostalgia and craft a satisfying ending to the battle against the Retconn corporation that has real consequences for both the DC Universe and Young Animal world going forward.

Along with the stained glass psychedelic passion play that is the return of Doom Patrol founding member Rita Farr aka , the relationship between Casey Brinke and her son Milkman. Way, Orlando, and Eaglesham could just use him as a strawman representation of corporate comics, but they give the tabula rasa turned moralizing pitchman a human side. Much of Eaglesham’s work in Doom Patrol/JLA is bombastic with splash pages and topsy turvy layouts, but the scenes with Casey and Milkman showcase his skill with interpersonal drama.

Up to this point, Milkman has been a punch/(misogynist) insult machine, but Casey, who is more EMT than superhero, takes him away from the fight, clasps his hand, and says it’s okay that he’s a little screwed up. This is because all of Doom Patrol is a little weird. In a few pages, Way, Orlando, Eaglesham, and Bonvillain and Louise’s warm color palette create a beautiful mother/son relationship that is stripped away in a moment that could be a “put the toys back in the box” plot device moment, but really resonates. Derington even adds a grace note at the end with Casey thinking about Milkman while having a “Good job, rookie superhero” chat with Wonder Woman.

CaseyFeels

Like all good final crossover issues, JLA/Doom Patrol has some great superhero battles beginning with the first double page splash of the entire JLA and Doom Patrol plus special friends Mother Panic and Shade jumping out of Cave Carson’s cybernetic eye. However, the story shows the futility of fisticuffs and the power of healing and, of course, hope to save the world. There’s the aforementioned conversation between Casey and Milkman as well as dialogue from Vixen about the power of the Red (Contained in her ancestral totem) to heal, their plan to save reality as a “defebrillation” and finally Flex Mentallo’s big damn monologue.

It’s quite amusing to see the super serious Batman speaking about “muscle mystery”, and Gerard Way and Steve Orlando take a page out of the Grant Morrison Batman handbook and make him comfortable with the absurd. You can definitely see him dressing up in a rainbow suit to confuse bad guys. It’s also just plain clever to make the most metafictional character of the bunch literally reset the reboot button while getting an assist from the rest of the teams. It also dovetails nicely with the Rita storyline, which goes from gaudy and religious to primal and minimalist while also kind of reminding me of the video for “Take On Me” as Elastigirl leaves her fictional television world for the real to her, sadly fictional to us world of the DC Universe literally entering the panels of JLA/Doom Patrol Special. She faces the literal comic of her origin story as a victim of circumstance and re-enters the world as a formidable character and charter Doom Patrol member. Retcons can be pretty great some time, and I think Grant Morrison would be proud at this use of comic book as magic spell that calls back to Multiversity and the letters page of The Invisibles. (Think wankathon…)

Speaking of meta, Way, Orlando, Eaglesham, and Derington don’t just use the fourth wall breaking for jokes and jabs at superhero comics (Everything out of Shade’s mouth is comedic gold though.), but give the self-aware-that-he’s-a-comics-character Robotman some big character moments. It’s kind of adorable to see The Ray geek out on him and mention the impact that fictional superheroes had on him. This heat of battle rapport pays huge dividends in the epilogue. Let’s just say, there are hugs.

Doom Patrol/JLA Special isn’t just an entertaining comic that is filled to the brim with hopefulness, it’s a paradigm for how superhero stories can be told. Basically, Gerard Way, Steve Orlando, Dale Eaglesham, Nick Derington, Tamra Bonvillain, and Marissa Louise are saying that superhero comics are pretty damn weird, and they can embrace this strangeness, be inspirational and even funny, and not just be grist in the mill of real life Retconns aka their corporate overlords. Because of this, I’m excited to see what Young Animal does next with its Eternity GirlShade the Changing WomanMother Panic: Gotham A.D., and Cave Carson Has An Interstellar Eye comics that get short, unobtrusive teasers in Doom Patrol/JLA Special.

Story: Gerard Way and Steve Orlando Art: Dale Eaglesham and Nick Derington
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain and Marissa Louise
Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Young Animal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: JLA/Doom Patrol Special #1

JLA DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1Grab a milkshake, put a cherry on top, and maybe add a shot of whiskey or two, and you’ve got JLA/Doom Patrol #1, the first chapter of the monthlong DC Comics/Young Animal “Milk Wars” crossover. Writers Gerard Way and Steve Orlando combine the surrealism and fourth wall obliterating metafiction of Doom Patrol  with the punching and personality-driven Justice League of America to create the soft serve chocolate swirl of “event” comics. It roasts these kind of stories while indulging in all the tropes, including a spread it all around your dorm room four page spread from artist Aco and colorists Tamra Bonvillain and Marissa Louise of the Doom Patrol fighting the literally homogenized version of the JLA.

It’s super entertaining, in general, to see the book go from a critique of corporate comics to a 1950s Americana small town mystery thriller, then a slugfest, and finally an unlikely team-up thanks to a couple stinger pages that put those Wolverine “post-credits” pages in inconsequential Marvel Comics to shame. The play of genre, tongue in cheek sense satire, and embrace of the strange side of superhero stories makes JLA/Doom Patrol generally fantastic. It’s the comic book equivalent of getting a tasty dessert and getting some nutritious visuals and ideas along the way.

From his first appearance on the obviously homaging All Star Superman cover from Frank Quitely, Milkman Man is a fantastic villain even if the real Big Bad is the aptly named Retconn corporation. Besides being connected to a plot point in the main Doom Patrol series, Milkman Man is Superman drained of all his inspirational power, connection to social activism, and humanity. Aco might homage Action Comics #1 when he lifts Danny the Ambulance and throws it at the Doom Patrol, but this is a Superman, who punches down and stands for the status quo. With his neighborhood watch buddies, including a thoroughly neutered (and hilarious) Lobo, he’s here to make sure that outsiders stay down, and that superhero comics are just mind numbing punch outs and don’t have any real connection to people, their feelings, and the world around him.

Milkman Man is cereal mascot at best and alt right “Politics don’t belong in my white DP_JLA_1_3male spandex clad power fantasies” mascot at worst. In his first appearance, Aco goes for pure horror with inset panels of him shoving milk down the throats of an average white Middle America family.  This powerful, nearly silent scene played against an idyllic color palette from Bonvillain and Louise is a reminder that even when art claims to be apolitical, just for fun, or not have a message that it, in fact, does have a message. The Retconn Corporation wants to “homogenize” the DC Comics characters, including their classic Trinity, and turn them from powerful icons of justice into basically toys and merchandise as revealed in a couple pages that seem like a “behind the scenes” of a corporate board meeting. Milkman Man’s reaction to reading the actual Action Comics #1 (After yet another gorgeous and meta as hell double page spread from Aco, Bonvillain, and Louise.) is a reminder of how powerful Superman’s origin story is from Way and Orlando, who realize that pop culture can change the world and immigrants get the job done.

Along with having strong metaphors, a well-written villain, and some knock your skull off your body visuals, JLA/Doom Patrol succeeds because Way, Orlando, Aco, Bonvillain, and Louise realize that one thing that makes DC Comics great is that they’re pretty fucking weird. As the unflappable comic book character brought to life Casey Brinke says to Milkman Man, “Some of the best people are weirdos.” I mean, this is a universe where their most iconic hero wears his underwear on the outside and saves cats from trees while a bisexual, chain smoking, left wing British magician can have 300 straight issues of his comic and age in real time.

Way and Orlando’s understanding of the weirdness of DC Comics really comes out when the JLA and Doom Patrol interact as (Not so.) regular people and not milk drinking, mind controlled Stepford superheroes towards the end of the book. Ray and Danny the Ambulance kind of, sort of flirt, Larry Trainor the Negative Man opens up way too much to Lobo, and Killer Frost and Crazy Jane really bond over trying to do good with their vast, yet unwieldy powers. After the punching of the first 2/3 of the comic, Aco settles down into a casual hangout vibe for these scenes before going stylized with the aforementioned “stinger” sequences. It’s a reminder that some of the best superhero stories aren’t just action figure fights, but treat their larger than life characters like human beings with thoughts, motivations, and of course, flaws.

In JLA/Doom Patrol Special #1, Gerard Way, Steve Orlando, Aco, Hugo Petrus, Tamra Bonvillain, and Marissa Louise combine the best of DC Rebirth and the best of Young Animal in one beautiful, oversized package. And as a bonus, Mags Visaggio and Sonny Liew begin to tell the poetic, retro-styled origin story of Eternity Girl in a two page backup.

Story: Gerard Way and Steve Orlando Art: Aco with Hugo Petrus Colors: Tamra Bonvillain and Marissa Louise
  Backup Story: Mags Visaggio Backup Art: Sonny Liew 
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Young Animal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and we’ve got interviews, reviews, and more coming up! What geeky things do you all have on tap? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Washington Post – Mort Walker, whose ‘Beetle Bailey’ was a comic-page staple for decades, dies at 94 – Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

 

Reviews

ICv2 – The Bridge

Comics Bulletin – Doom Patrol #10

Talking Comics – Raven: Daughter of Darkness #1

« Older Entries