Week 7: It’s not all Doom and Gloom

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? <<

9 thoughts on “Week 7: It’s not all Doom and Gloom

  1. Hey Katie,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. You presented your ideas with a smooth flow, and it was extremely easy to read. I also like how you acknowledged the lack of direct exposure to what is normal in Doom Patrol. They simply present the characters and their journey and let the reader make their own conclusions.

    Cheers,

    Taher

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Katie,

    Great post! I also agree that self-acceptance is important in the pursuit of self-confidence. I also agree that health is indeed a collaborative act since the health care field includes not just doctors but also nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, and so forth. It is important for them to work as a team with the patient in order to ensure optimal delivery of prime health care. Communication and teamwork are key.
    Your side note is interest as well and your enthusiasm for this comic is reflected in your post.
    Nice blog once again.

    Alicia Chung

    References:
    Way, G., Derington, N., Bonvillain, T. Doom Patrol, Volume 1, Brick by Brick. Burbank, CA, DC Comics. Retrieved from Comixology.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Katie!
    I agree with what you said about the comic bringing on a whole new experience. It’s a whole new concept that really pushes the boundaries of what is usually considered normal and gives you something that exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Katie,

    I’m actually surprised you liked the comic.. Interesting. That’s great. I found it the most boring, over-simplified and childish story so far expect for Ms Marvel.. Not a big fan of her either.. The art and world was vibrant and fun but thats as much praise as i can give the comic. Not much can be said expect for how to me there is a serious lack of depth to explorations of the ideas and values presented. Most characters seemed like a copy paste-generic saturday morning scooby doo character. I felt that if i were a teenage again, i would get this story.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post Katie,

    Good to hear you liked the comic. I enjoyed it as well. I didn’t think of it until you said it but this comic does make me question what is “normal.” I was wondering does her roommate die often? Does she usually see robots getting hit by trucks? She acts as if these events are all fairly common, but in reality it isn’t. I agree that many of the characters are not our typical idea of “normal”, Lucius can be a good human depiction of not normal, making some sort of pentagram ritual circle on his floor while his father calls him a sorcerer. Im glad somebody enjoyed the comic as much as I did!

    Daryl Hsiung

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had completely forgotten about the dyanmic between Lucius and his father, that is definitely an example where we are guided to judge someone as unusual – thanks 🙂

      Like

  6. Great post Katie! I agree that this comic was great and it was probably my favourite out of all the ones we’ve read in class. I think the comic does a good job of illustrating the theme of self-acceptance and the way each character goes about accepting themselves made the story that much more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Katie, great post! I know what you mean when you say the message their sending in the comic is with good intentions. What I found most interesting is how each character was unique in their own way, and the powers which gave them strength could also be seen as a weakness… Crazy Jane for instance and her many personalities! Overall great post, keep up the good work!

    Like

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