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This week the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics discuss DC’s Young Animal titles. They begin with Gerard Way and Nick Derington’s Doom Patrol, the maiden voyage of the new imprint. There have been three issues released so far, and the guys really like what they’ve seen. Way definitely takes a cue from Grant Morrison’s legendary run on the title, referencing many of Morrison’s original additions to the Silver Age series — most notably Danny the Street and Flex Mentallo — yet at the same time making Doom Patrol uniquely his own.
After that, Andy and Derek discuss the first four issues of Shade the Changing Girl. This is Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone’s revamping of the old Steve Ditko creation (and best popularized in the early 1990s by Peter Milligan and Chris Bachelor), Shade the Changing Man. Their emphasis on the lives of young high school women promises to be a curious spin on the property.
Next, the guys turn to what Andy calls his favorite of the Young Animal line, Jonathan Rivera, Gerard Way, and Michael Avon Oeming’s Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye. As they point out, Cave Carson is a character from the early 1960s appearing in both Brave and the Bold and Showcase, but unlike his contemporary Rip Hunter, he never received a title of his own. Way, Rivera, and Oeming are now giving him that opportunity.
The Two Guys conclude their episode with a very different kind of Young Animal title, Jody Houser and Tommy Lee Edwards’s Mother Panic. This is the only one of the four series not to be based on Silver Age properties, and it’s the only one to be deeply enmeshed into the DC Universe. For that reason, Derek is less enamored with Mother Panic — at least in terms of the first two issues so far — feeling that it takes itself too seriously and wonders why this wasn’t a regular DC title. Andy has no problem with this Gotham-drenched series.