Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Doom Patrol/Justice League of America Special #1 Review and **SPOILERS**


Cottage Cheese

Writers: Steve Orlando & Gerard Way 
Illustration: Dale Eaglesham, Nick Derington 
Colorists: Tamra Bonvillain and Marissa Louise 
Letterer: Clem Robins 
Cover: Clay Mann & Marissa Louise 
Cover Price: $4.99 
On Sale Date: February 28, 2018


And now, the end is near, and so I fear, the final milk spill. This is it, folks! The end of “Milk Wars”…which wound up not being so much of a war, and for which milk was more or less an allegorical storytelling device. I guess that’s not a whole lot different than Star Wars—it’s the inhabitants of the planets at war, not the stars. So it’s okay to be a little misleading. Have a peek at my review of Doom Patrol/Justice League of America Special #1, commencing below!

Explain It!

I think, at one point during this un-event, I said that one needed only to read the two bookending JLA/Doom Patrol issues to follow it, and the three issues within were voluntary. Well, I’d like to rescind that statement: you will need to have read part 3 of this series, Swamp Thing/Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye Special #1, to have any clue as to what is happening. And even then, you might be lost. See, there’s a plain old comic book story here that can be explained as “a rebooting of the Young Animal universe.” But there’s a slightly more interesting allegorical story being told, through the ministrations of Retconn and their socially-homogenizing milk products, and the very existence of the Young Animal imprint.
It must be understood that, prior to the Industrial Revolution, people did not define themselves by the things they consumed. It simply wasn’t possible. Mass entertainment did not exist, nor did the leisure time to enjoy it. There was no surplus of income to spend on trinkets and distractions. So the very idea that one can and should aspire to be a “pop culture expert” is somewhat dubious. It’s like being an expert of having your testicles punched repeatedly by virtue of being the target of a school bully. Experience may be the best teacher, but some lessons are simply not worth the pain of learning.
This comic posits, and perhaps rightly so, that the very act of writing comics is, in itself, “fan fiction.” There can hardly be a person unfamiliar with the medium that would deign working in it, and indeed many are quite dogmatic in their approach. Many fans also profess a slavish devotion to the perpetually irritating four-color stories appearing in the books on their pull list month-to-month. In this sense, comic books today are always a postmodern deconstruction of the 20th Century, always our nostalgia commoditized and quantified and sold back to us at a profit. And, to be frank, this comic itself offers no conclusion to this state of affairs, at least not for humanity. Because there is no conclusion: it is merely the way things are.
All that being said, this issue is absolute fucking bullshit because it was all smoke and mirrors to justify an unnecessary and completely unearned reboot. Rita Farr rejoins the team, and Cliff turns into a suspiciously blocky-looking human, but for the most part this is a cheeky nod and a wink about starting the Young Animal imprint over with new number one issues, all for the privilege of paying twenty-five dollars. I’m loathe to scorn this book because, like most of this “Milk Wars” series, it looks phenomenal: Eaglesham does an amazing job on the interiors, in particular a two-page spread that involves every core character spilling out of a dimensional rift, and it’s great to see Derington’s work on the epilogue. But fuck this book and fuck this “Milk Wars” series. I tried to be open-minded about this thing, but it’s little more than a grift.

Bits and Pieces:

It's a reboot, folks. That's all this has been leading to the whole time. I doubt you'll get your money back from the retailer, but for twenty-five bucks this should have been a lot more. The artwork is gorgeous, but cannot stem my anger at having been duped.


1 comment:

  1. weirdly comics will be fan fiction if your only schtick is a 10th generation xerox of grant morrison. I honestly cant believe they are doing a crossover and reboot after 10 issues while trying to pretend they are "alternative" - it's the biggest corporate whore-athon i can think of. fuck this imprint