I’ve eagerly followed Doom Patrol and Young Animal and I’m super excited they’ve returned. Taking major cues from Grant Morrison (my favorite comic writer), Gerard Way has curated (his self-proclaimed title) an exceedingly quirky slate of Vertigo-esque work. Doom Patrol has had ups and downs, but remained engagingly surreal, as evident in “Weight of the Worlds” with the help of Jeremy Lambert.
Almost like OG Star Trek, the Doom Patrol are visiting different planets and realities to solve the problems of the multiverse. And as per usual with Way’s comics, there are a lot of subplots going on at once.
Spoilers for the end of #1, but Cliff crashed his car TDKR style after failing to connect with his estranged family—and now he’s back in a robot body. Wow. That’s some writer cruelty right there. At least, that’s what it felt like at first. But Cliff quickly moves past the tragedy. In fact, it’s portrayed as a positive thing that he’s a robot again, since now he can unlock features by doing good deeds.
I can’t help but think back to Grant Morrison’s first issue of Doom Patrol where we see Cliff’s true anguish over being encased in metal, as opposed to “Weight of the Worlds” flippant attitude. Let’s also not forget the great run by underrated trans writer, Rachel Pollack, who successfully dealt with Cliff’s body dysmorphia. On top of that, there’s mention that Casey is shaken up by seeing Cliff’s mangled body, but again, we don’t actually see any expression of grief or even happiness from her that he survived.
Why? Because we’re shuffled on to the next subplot with Larry Trainor, Negative Man. It’s a little complicated, but to summarize: he’s been having freaky dreams, but then he got a dog, so now there are these orbs with legs of pure happiness that have escaped from his chest, but I guess it all works out because Lotion the cat eats an orb in Dannyland, but then he’s able to hug these planets with bodies who are going through a space divorce. Make sense? No? Good—that’s what I’m here for.
Stylistically, there continues to be bold innovations, like an exhaustive map of Dannyland inserted in the middle of the issue. Or take a splash page that uses collage to convey Larry’s embattled psyche. While the first issue had far too many small panels for such large-scale absurdity, James Harvey lets things breathe here. The colors are stunning, both vivid and otherworldly, especially for the eerily hilarious cosmic divorce scene.