DC Universe is many things: A video-on-demand streaming service, a digital treasure trove of DC comics new and old, an encyclopedia, and a nostalgic throwback to the old school message boards. Most importantly, though, it’s a walled garden DC Entertainment hopes you never want to leave.
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If you were to ask a casual comic book fan who the usual members of the Justice League are, you’d probably hear the standards: Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, the Martian, the fish dude, and so on. But for the past few years, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. have been heavy-handedly trying to turn Cyborg into a core member of the League in a way that’s both narratively weird and optically questionable.
When My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way first announced back in 2016 that he was partnering with DC Comics to launch "pop-up imprint" Young Animal, he described it as a place where bold, innovative comics for "dangerous humans" would have the creative space to flourish.
Though Young Animal's creation produced some of the most fascinating, mind-bending titles that DC's put out in years - such as Shade, The Changing Girl and the Milk Wars event - the imprint and most of its titles are winding down later this winter.
Last year, DC launched Young Animal, the Gerard Way-fronted imprint that has become home to some of the publisher's most bizarre and fresh titles, including Doom Patrol and Shade the Changing Girl. But next year, Young Animal is going through a rebirth - not that one - and getting an interstellar upgrade.
DC's always had a fondness for pitting its heroes against bizarre, alternate reality versions of themselves in epic death matches. But in its upcoming JLA/Young Animal: Milk Wars event, the publisher is trying something a little different by straight up rewriting the origins and identities of its iconic Trinity to create something new.
Weird is a difficult thing to aim for. It's one thing if a creative work generates an outré and off-centre aesthetic by serendipitous accident or opaque genius. But executing something so that it feels loopy is much harder if an entire audience knows that's where you're trying to wind up. It's the problem that's staring right in the face of the newest version of Doom Patrol.
This week, DC Comics, along with former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, is bringing back Doom Patrol. This team of superpowered misfits has been around for decades, and this isn't the first time they have been brought back. In fact, it's kind of their thing. Here's what you need to know about DC's "latest" superteam.