Monday, April 11, 2016

Real Name: Clifford Steele
First Appearance: My Greatest Adventure #80 (June, 1963)
Fight Club Ranking: #DNR

Featured Fights:
Yet To Be Featured on Secret Wars on Infinite Earths.

Last week's HOTW ended on a bit of a grim note [04/04/2016], and honestly, I expected the Dawn of Justice post-mortem to still be the biggest talking point of this week, as well. If it is the biggest story in your world, I recommend a Variety opinion piece by Kristopher Tapley, which was one of the better mainstream articles examining what went wrong, and what's next for Warner Brothers. Once that's out of your system, we have something much more pressing to discuss!

Characters traditionally come first on Secret Wars on Infinite Earths, so this week we have the debut of unranked DC hero: Robotman. If we were a little broader in our definitions, it might have been rockstar cum comics creator as Hero of the Week: Gerard Way. The My Chemical Romance frontman was at Emerald City Comic Con this week to announce he's overseeing a brand new DC Comics imprint called "Young Animal" -- and it already looks several shades of fantastic!

Comic Book Resources reports a stellar line-up of talent assembled to work on four new titles: Doom Patrol with Gerard Way and Nick Derington, Shade, The Changing Girl with Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye with Way, Jon Rivera, and Michael Avon Oeming on art, and new Gotham City stories in Mother Panic by Jody Houser with John Paul Leon, and covers by Tommy Lee Edwards. Becky Cloonan was announced for Shade covers, as well.

Way discussed his then-doomed work on Doom Patrol late last year, citing band commitments and his inability to hit deadlines as the reason for the project's demise. Evidently his desire to write comics has been strong enough to thrust him into a world of increased responsibility! How much the imprint depends on Way is a little unclear, but his stamp of Morrison-esque pop alternative is a thrilling sight for sore eyes emerging from the deconstruction of DC!

If you don't know much about Doom Patrol and think the above promo image looks all together weird, don't worry - you're pretty much on the right path! Conceived as an oddball group of heroes in the sixties, Doom Patrol are a weird and wonderful collective of heroes battling the strange and bizarre evils that threaten the good.

Robotman is one of the iconic Doom Patrol regulars -- a daredevil racing driver who suffered an accident so horrific, only his brain was able to be salvaged! It was placed into a robot body by team leader and brilliant physician Dr. Niles "The Chief" Caulder, creating the unfeeling powerhouse that is Robotman!

Over the years that origin has come back to haunt the hero, inflicting great emotional pain in the absence of physical sensation. It all got suitably twisted in the early nineties, when Grant Morrison steered the team down a path eventually transplanted into the Vertigo imprint.

With DC Comics undergoing a "Rebirth" and Gerard Way's prodigal son now deeply entrenched in the new, perhaps 2010s Image-inspired diverse line-up, it feels like exciting things are again possible from the Big Two publisher! A fine alternative to Black Canary [HOTW 03/07/2016], whose pop music infused madcap adventures seem to be a destined casualty of DC's rebirth of classic hero dynamics. The remedy for boredom is here!

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