Sunday, September 27, 2020

DC Archives Addition - Doom Patrol Vol 1

The Doom Patrol Archives, Vol. 1

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I acquired my love for silver age comics from raiding my brother's collection. He read mostly DC comics bought with his paper route money, so that was what I read, too. There was something about the DC covers that seemed indelible. Though my brother's collection has long since disappeared, I can still come across a cover of a 1960s comic book, and, remembering it from my youth, I am transported back to an earlier time. 

What I liked about this collection was how clean the artwork is, and how evocative it is of its period. It is a very stylized and romanticized version, as all major characters are white, with few (very few) representations of other ethnicities. That wouldn't have bothered me as a kid, but I can't imagine how discouraging it was for non-white kids to have "nobody that looked like me" in comics. This isn't a knock on the book ... it is not overtly offensive (cf. stereotypes of Asians are still common at that time, unfortunately, as seen in a few panels), and I doubt that any one involved felt any animus towards others. The book makes my very nostalgic. My nostalgia is for the lost innocence of my youth, not a desire to recreate a time that was patently unfair to many people I now cherish. 

Silver age comics are goofy and outlandish. Meant for children, these stories are often ridiculous. A ray that enlarges a toy tank to life-size also, without explanation, makes the toy capable of firing live rounds. None of this detracts from the joy of reading these stories and enjoying the artwork. Suspend your disbelief and enter the world of 1960s America, where science seemed to make anything possible.

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