Dec 31, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 675: JLA - Year One #5, May 1998

Let's jump forward in time a bit. I reviewed the Doom Patrol portion of the "Silver Age" crossover here, which would have been the next issue to read after DP #89. Arbitrarily, I placed the two issues of Mark Waid (who continues to block me on Twitter for no discernible reason), Brian Augustyn, and Barry Kitson's wonderful JLA: Year One that feature the Doom Patrol right after it, so we get a brief little Waid-penned break in the Drake/Premiani era. I see, though, that I might have misplaced these issues, as the design of the Brain is updated (can't remember when this happens in the old series), and Madame Rouge's stretching powers are revealed, which they haven't been in the original series yet. But that's only a slight speed-bump, so let's get on with it, shall we?

JLA:Year One, the continuity of which I have absolutely no clue about in current DC publications, shifts things for the DP and the JLA a bit. The Justice League made their debut 3 years before the Doom Patrol, but in today's issue, the DP are seen as an already-established team while the JLA are still cutting their teeth. In some ways, it makes sense - the Doom Patrol have had far fewer retcons and reboots than the Justice League, so their roots in their history is less fraught with uncertainty. Every incarnation of the Patrol has made explicit reference to the canonicity of their earliest adventures. This, of course, is often a function of their existing on the very fringes of the "real" and the fictional. Such cleaving to history offers us a rarity in superhero comics: a team that has a relatively coherent, if not always completely self-consistent, history. Then again, ask the same question when I finally come to the Byrne reboot - I'll probably have different feelings by that point.

Tomorrow we'll see how the DP/JLA team-up goes, and then bounce back to the 1960s for more kookiness.

That's right. Kookiness.


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