DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS #1
Written by Gerard Way with a co-writing assist from Jeremy Lambert, Doom Patrol returns to shelves and digital readers. James Harvey is credited with the art, colors are by Harvey and Sajan Rai, no one is attributed to lettering, so I'm going to presume Harvey tackles that as well.
The title is Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds and it is stamped with a #1 on the cover. It picks up from the end of the previous Doom Patrol series Gerard Way wrote that featured art from Nick Derington (occasionally with Tom Fowler), colors from Tamra Bonvillain, and letters by Nick Klein.
The title of the issue is "Damaged," and the title sequence labels this as issue thirteen. It also attributes creation of the Doom Patrol to Arthur Drake, not Arnold Drake, with no mention of Bruno Premiani or Bob Haney.
Fortunately, it gets better from there.
Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1 opens with Cliff Steele on the toilet, presumably having his first bowel movement since returning to humanity.
Way and Lambert then bop around to the rest of the cast, giving brief overviews of who everyone is and adding in the weirdness that has accumulate on the Doom Patrol brand for the past half-century.
The weirdness is a bit too much at points in this issue, feeling like Way, Lambert, Harvey, and Rai maybe went weird for weirdness' sake, but this is the first issue, there is a significant legacy of weirdness to uphold, and most of the cast are inherently odd.
Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1 wraps up quite a bit in one tale, and manages to give readers a Cliff (capitalized because it involves the former Robotman) hanger. This issue has some rough edges, and meanders a bit before hitting the crux of the story and wrapping up the conflict in quick succession. Taken as an independent sample, Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1 is a fun read, with some bizarre concepts that is easy enough for new readers to snag. It also harvests the previous Young Animal stuff nicely, giving readers incentive to revisit the previous, without the wait.
Harvey's first page is everything you never expected from a man on a toilet image, and some of what you would expect. He layers in detail – sludge on the toilet, the key to the restroom on a huge wood block, an overflowing waste can, and stuff all over the floor. He also adds in superimposed imagery that function as non-traditional panels to tell the traditional scene-setting adventure. The composition of the page works, but a lot of the imagery has a sameness in scale that could be broken to emphasize Cliff a bit more while being more subtle about the process that put him here.
The art throughout the issue is solid, with separate retro and indie feels. Some panels and specific items in those panels (early shots of Cliff's mustache) lack the traditional comic-book-inked outline, some other panels have perspective that threatens to drift apart, or storytelling leaps just aren't clean enough (who's the guy who almost hit Cliff, and was that actually Cliff he almost hit?). For the most part, it all comes together enough to give Way and Lambert solid visuals for their adventure.
The characterization seems on-target enough for the vignettes we receive in this issue. I'm curious to see more about Larry, his state of mind, and where he goes from here, as I don't recall him being on edge at the end of the previous run. He always seemed the most at peace with his position in the previous volume, but here there is not much in the way of peace.
Cliff Steele's journey is a strange one, indeed, as he begins to explore his humanity an what it means to the rest of the world as he tries to rediscover his world.
The weirdness for weirdness sake works for Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1. It would be nice to see Way, Lambert, and company mine some Doom Patrol ideas that already have roots in space if the team is going to be there and I understand completely the need to create new threats, allies, and settings.
Hopefully, some of the rough bits can get hashed out as the creative team continues to come together, mirroring the Patrol actually in this issue.
Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1 is a welcome return for our favorite team of misfits and it has a lot of potential for future storylines debuted in this comic.
I'm going to give this 3 stars (out of five) and I'm going to look for a fun Doom Patrol rating theme.
What do y'all think about this comic?