This week DC’s Young Animal imprint kicks off with Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol, and The Fix kicks off a new story arc!
Doom Patrol #1 (DC Comics)
It’s been a few years since Gerard Way, the lead singer of the My Chemical Romance, had a book on the comic stands. But his return to the paneled page could not have come with more hype. Not only is he writing a new take on Doom Patrol, he’s also the creative force behind “Young Animal”, DC’s new publishing imprint that’s kind of like Vertigo if it was really into punk and zines. As the first book in the initiative and the first mainstream series written by Way, all eyes are on Doom Patrol.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: Doom Patrol is a weird book. Is it weirder than Way’s other comics? No, but it’s still pretty weird. This opening issue follows Casey Brinke, an ambulance driver who loves her job, but only when she’s getting to drive people to the hospital. To her, the thrill of helping people and getting them the care they need is enough to get her by. But soon weird things start happening to her. A robot that looks like a man comes stumbling out of an alley that Brinke arrives at for a 911 call, and an intergalactic telegram messenger arrives with a birthday message, even though it’s not Casey’s birthday.
Gerard Way’s script does a good job of juxtaposing all this weirdness with the seemingly mundane existence that Brinke lives. Sure, there are moments where Doom Patrol gets a little TOO weird (Robot Man, for instance, was on a mission inside of a Gyro sandwich that Casey’s partner was eating before crashing into that alley), but it also doesn’t become so weird that it’s incomprehensible to read. As someone who has only a passing knowledge of the Doom Patrol, this weirdness actually made the book more enjoyable, as I was able to relate to Casey when it came to not knowing just what the hell was going on. Way smartly knows where to cut back and let the story breathe, but you can tell that there’s a lot of self control being used though.
Nick Derington’s art in this issue is stellar. He handles everything the script throws at him, whether it’s Casey’s ambulance blasting through busy city streets or the battle raging inside of the gyro. Derington’s cartoonish style works extremely well for this series, and it’s going to be really interesting and exciting seeing what he comes up with as the series continues.
Doom Patrol #1 is weird, but it’s a good weird. Sure, there are moments where you’ll be scratching your head a little bit, and it doesn’t tell you anything about the Doom Patrol, but there’s something undeniably interesting about this book. If the point of Young Animal was to create conversations about their books, Doom Patrol is certainly a great start for the imprint.
The Fix #5 (Image Comics)
Spoiler alert: The Fix is one of my favorite series on the stands right now, so this review is going to be pretty positive. The Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber series has been a hilarious ride, and the fifth issue is no exception. The start of the new storyline introducing the Mayor of the city, The Fix #5 is another hilarious entry into the series, and shows that Spencer and Lieber aren’t planning on slowing things down any time soon.
The Hollywood starlet that Roy was supposed to be protecting is now dead, and now his boss is gunning for him. Roy’s in deep trouble, the kind so bad that he’s going to have to meet directly with the mayor himself, which would be a problem if the Mayor wasn’t a twenty something who spends his off time playing video games and smoking weed. Thankfully Roy and The Mayor hit it off, but it’s not long until Roy screws up his own press conference and gives chase to a criminal that has a surprising connection to him.
It’s reveals like the one with the Mayor that really make The Fix so unique. Nick Spencer’s script does a phenomenal job of setting up and delivering on jokes, and the final page reveal is on par with the “Hydra Cap” one from his Captain America #1 from earlier this year. Spencer’s got a real gift for creating some pretty hilarious scenarios that also don’t seem like they couldn’t be too far removed from actually happening.
Steve Lieber’s art is, as always, extremely on point here. His work with Spencer is like peanut butter and chocolate. The two have an incredible story telling ability in their own right, but when you put them together it’s magic. The pages leading up to the end page, where Roy is chasing after his culprit, are extremely well done, and contain some hilarious gags as well.
The Fix is, simply put, one of the best comics on the shelves right now, and absolutely deserves a place on your pull list. Lucky for you there’s a trade out right now, so you can grab all five issues for pretty cheap. If you’re a fan of movies like The Nice Guys, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, or even some of the goofier missions in Grand Theft Auto 5, you owe it to yourself to pick this book up. It’s that good.