Title: Doom Patrol, Vol 1: Brick by Brick
Artist: Nick Derington
Contributors: Tom Fowler, Tamra Bonvillain, Todd Klein
You may or may not be aware that I'm a massive My Chemical Romance/Gerard Way fan; I also totally love Umbrella Academy - Gerard Way's previous comic series - so I was sooooo happy when I got the chance to review this!!!!!!
OK, so, fangirling tendencies aside -
(I'm a Killjoy, Member of the Black Parade, and undoubtedly MCRArmy 'til I die! GEESUS ROCKS!!!! *ahem* OK, that's out of my system... ish,)
- I am going to do my best to be professional, critical, fair, and honest.
Except weird stuff keeps happening: the robot guy, and the talking ambulance, and the guy with the negative energy issues... and that's just the start.
It's gonna get really weird around here!
(Honestly, explaining wtf this was about is... not the easiest thing to do! Lol.)
Imagine smooshing Danger Days into Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, blending that with Umbrella Academy, and then adding a few literal rainbows for luck: that is what this is.
And it's glorious.
The randomness is amazing
It won't be to everyone's tastes - this is one of those books that you have to surrender to: you are not in charge here - but the random surreal-ness of this series is awesome.
The whole feel of... organised (or maybe disorganised) chaos, is totally my thing. It's a riot of primary colours and bizarre events.
(So, yes, I f**king loved it!)
Honestly, there was such a distinctive style to Umbrella Academy that I wondered how Way would work with an artist who isn't Gabriel Ba.
But somehow... it works.
It freaking works!
There's an edge to it which is similar to Umbrella Academy, but at the same time it manages to distinguish itself as something different.
Doom Patrol has a sleeker and sharper look - while somehow also being softer, less angular.
Possibly I sound like I'm talking out of my posterior now, (wouldn't be the first time,) so here's the TL; DR:
It builds on previous Gerard Way comics while establishing a style of its own.
This is an ensemble cast, but, if there is a main character, then that character is Casey Brinke.
And Casey - without giving too much away - has a prosthetic leg.
Casey is also amazing. She's the Doom Patrol's light in the dark.
If anyone with prostheses and/or missing limbs has reviewed this book, please let me know, I'd love to link to it!
There's also some mental health rep... sort of. It's blended with sci-fi elements, so is difficult to explain.
I think it's handled OK... The tone of it is respectful, probably not least because Gerard Way has had mental health problems over the years.
(He does however use language like 'crazy' which may offend some.)
The actual detail, though, is harder to interpret.
If anyone (especially anyone with dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder,) has a more in-depth take, I'd love to hear it.
We also have black characters here, in the form of Casey's paramedic co-worker, Samson, and his family.
From where I'm standing, the representation is pretty good - complex characters, their own agency, etc. - but I'm white, so my perspective is limited.
If any black reviewers have a link they'd like me to share/include, let me know!
There's also a sh**-load of swearing, if that's something that bothers you.
- Ableist language like 'crazy.' (As previously mentioned.)
- Possible complications of the representation of Dissociative Identity Disorder due to the sci-fi elements of that character. (Again, as previously mentioned.)
- There is (very, very, briefly,) a Latino shop-keeper who speaks in broken English... not inherently bad, perhaps, but definitely verging towards stereotype territory.
It's totally on my wave-length, but it's not gonna be for everyone!