Hey gang! Another week, another Forte, and another Pulp ready to burst out from the shadows and subdue some goons like the Dark Knight that inspired this whole shebang in the first place. As always, Pulp is here to explore the best (and sometimes, not-even-close-to-best) that the comics world has to offer, and as I’m sure you’ve realised by now, weird comics are a staple part of my comic diet. The more astute/long term readers will have noticed that over the last few months I’ve steadily been working my way through the Young Animal launch titles, and this week caps off a frankly wonderful foray into DC’s weirdest corners. This week, I’ve picked up the Young Animal/DC crossover Milk Wars, written by an ensemble cast of writers and drawn by a whole range of artists – there’s too many to concisely list! The main players here are Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy) and Steve Orlando (Justice League of America), supported by Young Animal writers and artists from across the range of books included in the crossover.
Something is wrong with the universe. Cave Carson is missing, his Cybernetic Eye roaming free, and the Doom Patrol, returning from their latest adventure, have arrived in a twisted, perpetually 1950s-style Happy Harbour. The Justice League of America have become the Community League of Rhode Island, and Superman has been transformed into the milk-toting misogynist Milkman Man, delivering a mind-controlling milk and murdering those that don’t submit. Elsewhere, Mother Panic learns that Gather House, the sinister academy that drove her to begin her vigilante crusade, has reopened – lead by Father Bruce, a bizarre version of Batman that preaches from the Bible rather than strike fear into criminals. Shade, the Changing Girl has fractured into multiple versions of herself, and serves Wonder Wife as she strives to become the ultimate housewife for her husband, Steve Trevor. The Doom Patrol and their allies need to find those responsible for rewriting reality – assuming the brainwashed Justice League don’t deal with them first.
Boy, was Milk Wars a trip. Young Animal specialises in weird, and this crossover turned it up to the max in a good way. It’s no small feat to bring together 5+ books for a crossover like this – every launch title from Young Animal was included, as well as the JLA and main DC trinity. Considering that each book also has its own themes and feel (Shade, the Changing Girl is a very different book to Mother Panic, likewise Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye and JLA are hardly similar) I think the balancing act is even more impressive. Using Cave’s eye as the bridging device is weird as hell, but considering that this is a Young Animal story, that’s not unexpected. While it’s a bit of a cop-out MacGuffin, I think that’s kind of the point – it’s a vehicle for weird and wonderful sci-fi in the vein of the classic stories that inspired Cave Carson in the first place. I particularly enjoyed the backup story written by Magdalene Visaggio (Kim & Kim) that introduced Eternity Girl and ended up spinning out into its own series – you can bet that it’ll show up on its own in Pulp soon enough. All up, Milk Wars is essentially the Infinity War/Endgame of the Young Animal imprint – if you liked the stories individually, you’ll like them together. If you’re a fan, definitely give it a read!
Written by Alastair McGibbon