Doom Patrol has a long pedigree in the DC Universe, appearing first back in My Greatest Adventure #80 back in June of 1963. The familiar story is of a group of misfits with super powers whose gifts were both cool and problematic, causing them to be isolated from the rest of humanity. The series ran as Doom Patrol through 121 issues, finally being killed off in October 1968. Since then, Doom Patrol has shown up time and again with different groups and members. All but Robotman, who has somehow managed to survive all the reboots.
In this latest take on Doom Patrol, the story revolves around perky and peculiar Casey Brinke, a daredevil ambulance driver who relaxes by playing the retro video game “Galactic Matador”. She works with single dad Sam and when they’re not rescuing people, they’re engaged in metaphysical musings about the universe.
During one meal break, Sam opines that there’s always an unknown world hidden inside what we can see, and points out that there are untold mysteries even inside a simple Greek gyro. In fact, Casey fires back, we might all just be inside someone else’s gyro.
With the weird and surreal world of Doom Patrol, we then learn that there is indeed an entire universe hidden within the gyro, a desert planet and a robotic battle that ends with an explosion so massive that the gyro itself explodes in front of Casey and Sam.
Meanwhile, at a bland hotel in nowhere, USA, a group of strange humanoid creatures are meeting to talk about the business of meat. It’s hard to know what the heck is going on, but at one point we learn that they’ve identified a “sentient organic generator sprawl” that should be a limitless supply of meat and that the aliens suggest it be called Danny Burgers.
Casey encounters a metal man, just in time for him to be destroyed by a fast-moving garbage truck. Or is he destroyed? She takes all the parts home, just to get a knock on the door. It’s Terry None, and she’s singing and tap-dancing, a singing telegram happy birthday. Except it isn’t Casey’s birthday and the end of the song involves Casey’s roommate blowing up. Awkward. Fortunately Terry can move in!
That’s where this first installment ends, and it’s definitely on the more peculiar side of comic book stories. It’s a long way from the original Doom Patrol, that’s for sure, but there’s a certain wacky charm in Derington‘s bright style and Way‘s storyline. Check it out, and you might just get hooked!
Doom Patrol #1, written by Gerard Way, art by Nick Derington, colors by Tamra Bonvillain, letters by Todd Klein, cover by Nick Derington, James Harvey, Brian Bolland and Sanford Greene. From DC Comics, published 15 Sept, 2016.