DC Comics | Young Animal
(W) Gerard Way, (A) Nick Derington & Tom Fowler, (C) Tamra Bonvillain
I’m not going to lie, I picked up this issue solely because of its cover. I mean, just feast your eyes on this thing:
Doom Patrol #10 is not for everyone. On the surface, the story may not make a whole lot of sense, but that’s partially because it challenges readers to slow down and absorb every word and every detail on every panel. Writer Gerard Way rebels against the decompressed storytelling that has dominated the industry since the late 1990s. Blowing through this comic in 10-15 minutes like most Big Two fare will make the narrative seem incomprehensible. However, those with the patience to take their time are rewarded with a relatively straightforward plot. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still bonkers. However, it isn’t as impenetrable as some may make it seem.
Way’s script is full of self-aware humor. Though characters are not breaking the fourth wall, there are moments throughout in which Way seems to be saying “look at they’re letting me do” with a childlike glee that is infectious. Even the most hardened comic veterans will struggle to keep the corners of their lips from turning up at the sight of Mr. Nobody being chased by Robot Man up and down the isles of a supermarket. And this is while Flex Mentallo is felled by the odor of gym socks from a pair of sentient legs.
The real draw to this book is the artwork. Nick Derington and Tom Fowler capture Way’s manic script, packing each panel with a plethora of detail and visual gags. Perhaps the most striking element of their artwork is the comically 2-dimensional Mr. Nobody, who looks as if he was drawn into the book with a black Sharpie. And while the issue is crammed with visuals, it is the coloring by Tamra Bonvillian which truly brings this issue to life. Her cornucopia of colors gives an additional jolt of energy to an already kinetic comicbook.
To the surprise of no one, Doom Patrol #10 is batshit crazy. I’ve read every issue and, while I think I know what’s going on, I can’t be 100% certain. Maybe it’s the beautiful, pop-art inspired work by the art team of Nick Derington, Tom Fowler, and Tamra Bonvillain. Maybe because it’s unlike any other book on the market. Maybe I’m a sadist. Whatever the reason, this series keeps pulling me back in. It definitely isn’t for everyone, even if it has something for everyone.