The Weirdest Super Heroes Are Back

As always, Cliff Steele is in the Doom Patrol comic. He’s the only character who’s been in every series reinvention, so I was glad to see him back. However, he goes to pieces in this one pretty quickly after a weird interlude involving a subatomic adventure and a Mexican entrée.

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Casey Brinke is, during this issue, the focal protagonist. She’s an ambulance driver, loves old video games, and has a cat named Lotion. I like her a lot because she’s cool and laidback and drives her ambulance like she stole it! But every major player in the book after her is just off-the-wall.

Cliff Steele may or may not have been living in a world wrapped in a burrito that exploded and launched him into Casey’s world (which has not yet been confirmed as our world). A dispatch call puts Casey in the area with her ambulance and her partner at the time Cliff—still woozy from being detonated from a burrito—steps out in front of a bus.

I’m suspicious about that phone call to dispatch, though.

Following her innate need to help people, Casey gathers up Cliff’s pieces in a box and totes him home. What she plans to do with him there isn’t revealed. She seems like the kind that wouldn’t have given up on Humpty Dumpty either, though, so I think she had some definite Black & Decker in mind for Cliff’s future.

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Before she can get to that task, her new roommate, Terry None, pops into her life with a birthday cake and a song. Then she explodes Casey’s old roommate into meat confetti. So I’m wondering if Terry None was actually there to kill Casey, even though she swears she’s never had a birthday cake explode like that before. Terry knows her way around screwdrivers and robot brains, though, because she has Cliff’s brain laid bare in no time.,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/y87ryxthiuks4anriepe.pngImage courtesy of

Meanwhile, there are some aliens/monsters in a downtown hotel room planning a new fast food chain involving sentient meat that they will “torture” into doing what they want. And there’s a line shot with energy arrows. And what looks like a dead guy named Danny (inspiration for the aliens’ Danny’s Burgers franchise?), who may or may not have been killed with a brick with the words I’M SORRY written on it.

So I want to know what Robotman was doing on a miniature world inside a burrito, who Terry None is and what she’s doing with Casey (whom I like and feel protective of), and what these weird people are going to do with a new fast food chain.

That’s a very strange list of questions, I know, and they are being brought to you by Gerard Way, once front man for My Chemical Romance. Way is no stranger to comics, although he certainly seems to write them strangely. He authored The Umbrella Academy and The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. I haven’t read either of those, but I have to admit that now I’m curious.

The art is by Nick Derington, whom I have not heard of before. His art is really good, very stylistic and leans more toward graphic art. It’s beautiful to look at, and he makes good use of the page. After I finished reading the comic, I took another tour just to look at the panels. It’s that good.


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The comic just came out as the lead for DC Comics’ new Young Animals line. It posits itself as a Vertigo-like line (also owned by DC Comics) but focused on DC Comics characters rather than creator-owned series. They intend to shine the light on comics characters that have been more or less forgotten in the DC universe. Since comics characters are so popular these days, DC is probably hedging its bets with the reinvention of old properties.

The first issue of the new series has just come out. Usually I hold myself back and don’t read new series as they’re dropped. I make myself wait for the graphic novels so I’m guaranteed a good chance of getting a complete story.

Instead I’m going to wait a month for the next issue. And asking myself lots and lots of questions about where this story is going.


About Mel Odom: Author of dozens of novels in a wide variety of fields, Mel Odom lives in Moore, Oklahoma. His novel, The Rover, was given the American Library Association Alex Award in 2002. In 1995, after only seven years in the business, he was named to the Oklahoma Professional Writers Hall of Fame. He teaches in the Professional Writing program in Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma. If you want to know more about Mel’s writing, check out Fantastic Fiction.

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