Doom Patrol has been without a doubt my favourite comic we have studied to date. For me it felt like a totally new reading experience with the jarring plot changes/interlinks set in such a vibrant world with an ultimately feel-good message of self-acceptance. I wasn’t aware until the bin exploaded that there was actually another world within the burrito – so cool! I thought at first it was just non-sequitur or scene-to-scene transitions to another place irrelevant to the burrito. What isn’t exciting about a fictional universe where worlds can exist inside a burrito?! The plot possibilities this sets up are so wild I find it super exciting!
We noted in class that a lot of the comics we have studied have been about self-acceptance and I think Doom Patrol takes this to another, more literal level. In Doom Patrol they don’t really ever define a normal, from the get-go with Terry None nonchalantly killing Casey’s roomate Doom Patrol asks the reader to accept and not question the parameters of normal. Although, there is definitely a difference between not questioning what normal is for the comic to being critical or questioning of characters/plots/motives etc. In fact, I think the pace of this first volume is greatly driven by the ambiguity and questioning of the world and Danny. If we compare this to comics such as Ms Marvel, the protagonist’s percieved norm is presented to us in the form of Zoe and then throughout the volume that Kamala rejects and redefines normal for herself (or that there is ‘no normal’). In Doom Patrol we see some but less explicit attention drawn to the strangeness of the world in which this is placed and as a result we get to see self-acceptance within and between multiple characters with a greater emphasis on the individuals journey to defining and accepting themselves.
Overall, I am really on board with the message of this comic and the expansiveness of this universe. In a similar way to Planetary I think it makes for a more immersive read when throwing us straight into the universe without a lot of set up – then revealing the origin stories as the plot progresses rather than separately publishing them. Doom patrol incorporates a lot of important messages in a way that is quite touching – I felt Jane’s acceptance of her mental health and admission that ‘healing is a collaborative act, not a relationship of control’ was particularly well done. I look forward to reading more of this series!
>> As a side note, is Doom Patrol just another comic in the original series of comics about Casey where she discovers she is a comic as part of the plot? – does that make sense as a question? <<