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Gerard Way unleashes his Young Animal in this exclusive Doom Patrol preview

(Image: Nick Derington/DC Comics)
(Image: Nick Derington/DC Comics)

DC Comics giving musician and writer Gerard Way his own imprint was one of the comics industry’s most surprising announcements this year, and the formation of Young Animal represents an exciting new phase for the publisher. Dedicated to reviving the stranger properties at DC Comics, Young Animal definitely has an early Vertigo influence in its initial lineup, which includes new versions of former Vertigo titles like Doom Patrol and Shade The Changing Man (which is now Shade The Changing Girl). The imprint debuts with the launch of Doom Patrol in September, and The A.V. Club has a first look at art from the new series written by Way with art by Nick Derington and colorist Tamra Bonvillain.

“DC’s Young Animal is first and foremost about the art of making comics: the teams and the collaboration and the desire of creators to do new and experimental things,” says Way. “It is a place for wild ideas, and these ideas become Comics for Dangerous Humans—those who seek an alternative to what is largely happening in mainstream comics and the media. We do this with honor to the past, while facing the future in a fearless way. I hope you check out these books—they are doing something different, they are forming something new. We are extracting the oddballs from the DC Universe and zapping them with invigorating life.”

Doom Patrol is the first oddball to get a Young Animal revamp, and it’s one that Way has a strong personal attachment to. “I grew up reading Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol and other books that paved the way for the Vertigo imprint,” says Way. “Stories that starred misfit characters from the DC Universe and people living on the fringes of society.” This new series reimagines established Doom Patrol characters like Robotman, Negative Man, Flex Mentallo, and Crazy Jane, but also introduces new figures like Casey Brinke, the EMT featured in these preview pages. Casey is the reader surrogate in Way’s story, and her intersection with the Doom Patrol sends her on a bizarre journey that forces her to come to terms with her own peculiar past.

“Telling great stories via words and pictures is the ultimate form of self-expression,” says Way. “I can’t think of a better place to tell the stories that represent the alternative zeitgeist than DC’s Young Animal.” Readers can tap into the alt-zeitgeist when Doom Patrol #1 debuts on September 14, but in the meanwhile, here is solicitation info and some preview images to whet readers’ appetites, including the cover for the first issue, the cover art for Diamond’s Previews catalog (the first time DC has commissioned new art for Previews), and two pages of interior art. The main cover is actually a sticker that reveals another image when the gyro is lifted, and as silly as the gimmick is, it establishes that Young Animal is taking a different approach to monthly comics.

DOOM PATROL #1
Written by GERARD WAY
Art and cover by NICK DERINGTON
Variant cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
Variant cover by SANFORD GREENE
Variant cover by JAIME HERNANDEZ
Variant cover by BRIAN CHIPPENDALE
Variant cover by BABS TARR
Retailers: This issue will ship with six covers. Please see the order form for details.
On sale SEPTEMBER 14 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • MATURE READERS

The atoms are buzzing. The daydreams crowd sentient streets, and the creative team has been warned, “Turn back now or suffer the mighty consequence of sheer, psycho-maniacal mayhem.” Generation-arsonists unite—this is DOOM PATROL, and the God of the Super Heroes is bleeding on the floor.

A blenderized reimagining of the ultimate series of the strange, DOOM PATROL combines elements from classic runs, new directions, and things that could not be. Our entry point is Casey Brinke, a young EMT on the graveyard shift to abstract enlightenment, with a past so odd that she’s not entirely sure what is real and what is not. Along with her partner, Sam Reynolds, the pair blaze a path through the city and its denizens, finding the only quiet that exists at 3am is the chaos of the brain. When the pair answer a hit-and-run call, they find themselves face to face with a familiar figure: Cliff Steele, AKA Robotman.

“It gets weirder from here,” writer Gerard Way had to say about the book, with artist Nick Derington gripping tightly on the wheel of the ambulance. The pair’s only communication? Shouting out of the open windows while at high velocity. Who needs a new roommate? Who names a cat “Lotion”? And when do we get to see all those muscles?

Find your answers inside the pages of this comic book, as we set the stage for new beginnings, as well as the re-introduction of some classic DOOM PATROL characters, including Niles Caulder, Negative Man, Flex Mentallo, and Crazy Jane.

The debut title of DC’s Young Animal line kicks off with a removable sticker on its cover: Pull back the gyro to reveal its secrets, but be warned—there is no turning back.

Cover by Nick Derington
Previews cover by Nick Derington
Previews cover with trade dress
Interior art by Derington and Tamra Bonvillain

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