DC/Young Animal: Milk Warsby Published 19 Jun 2018
|DC/Young Animal: Milk Wars.pdf|
Characters from the DCU cross paths with characters from the pop-up imprint DC's Young Animal in this epic crossover event.
So what happens when these astoundingly original realms and their unbelievable inhabitants collide?
The answer--Milk Wars!
The World's Greatest Heroes meet the motley misfits of the Doom Patrol!
The Dark Knight Detective confronts the madness of Mother Panic!
The Amazon Princess braves the extradimensional weirdness of Shade, the Changing Girl!
And the Avatar of the Green takes on the strange science of Cave Carson and his Cybernetic Eye!
All to save the Multiverse from the homogenizing horror that is Retconn!
Can these astonishing individuals put their differences aside and cut through the chaos that threatens to overwrite their very identities? Or will this history-making meeting end in world-shattering mayhem--or worse?
Find out in DC/Young Animal: Milk Wars, brought to life by masterminds Steve Orlando and Gerard Way and a constellation of accompanying creators, including ACO, Jody Houser, Ty Templeton, Cecil Castellucci, Mirka Andolfo, Jon Rivera, Langdon Foss, Dale Eaglesham and Nick Derington!
"DC/Young Animal: Milk Wars" Reviews
When the first issue of the Milk Wars came out I grabbed it out of curiosity but wasn’t really anticipating much. We’re in the middle of DC’s great Metal, White Knight, and Doomsday Clock stories. But once I read the first issue I was amazed by the depth and meta commentary to such a degree that it has to be said DC is going through somewhat of a renaissance as of late (well the weird copycat new heroes they just came out with are still up in the air for a moment, but I digress...).
Despite the duel titles of each of the five parts this story is firmly within the Young Animal imprint as most the stories revolve around each of its title characters. So all this to prepare you: it’s weird.
The story itself is about a inter-dimensional “reality estate” corporation called Retcon that is trying to homogenize earth to sell off. The first part introduces everything, next three gets all the other characters to the third act, and the last part closes the story.
But what makes this story so great is that it has a lot of meta commentary on creativity, sanitation of art, playing it safe, corporations over controlling nature, companies trying to “milk” a property for everything they can, trying to reboot everything, redeeming characters, feminism, and a lot more.
Theres all kinds of fascinating pokes at the comic creators own company. In one part a characters cuss words are constantly edited out because it’s a shared title with batman (a general audience title). The main character bemoans this censorship and can’t wait till thing “get back to normal.” In another scene there’s literally a character being sacrificed and “stretched” to a cross with the “DC” logo on the nails being hammered in. The ending is also serves as a sort of jolt of creativity to open up new horizons.
This whole story was weird and surprisingly layered. A lot of thought and creativity went into this to tell readers something about art and creativity.
Every part isn’t perfect (multiple writers) but the beginning and end were very strong. For the shear thought and execution I’ll give it a five for me
Hell, after finishing this I'm astonished any mainstream comic book publisher had the guts to go ahead with this story. It is, in some ways, a criticism of most of the big money makers in this pretty small industry. At the same time, it gladdens my heart to see DC's Young Animal line embrace what made Vertigo great at its height.
They set out to tell a good story. The story has a message, especially in the first and fifth installments, but above all this is a good story.
You want to read a tale where you get an idea of how homogenized comic book characters could become if the corporate bean counters had their way? This is it. This tale takes on the concept of franchises, fan fiction, and everything that ties both fan fiction and franchise IP together.
And, it does so without gratuitous sex and violence. I'm not a prude but sometimes those two are used as easy vehicle to get in satire, or for shock value (yeah, you Mark Millar, and arguably Garth Ennis).
So, what I'm saying in brief is-
To love 'Milk Wars' is to fully embrace the manifesto of the Young Animal line.
World: The art is beautiful, from Quietly's covers to the multiple artists for each 5 books in the series, it is a visual feast of the weird, odd, quirky and the other. The art is not normal, the biggest example being the Shade issue, it's different and the art really informs the odd and unorthodox nature of the event, it's a visual feast. The world building, where do I start? It's a meta textual, fringe, middle finger to the established cliches and tropes of the genre and an embrace for the other and the odd. The premise of the world is odd and the main villain is just as much. I am being vague because the world needs to be experienced to fully enjoy it. If you like different this world is it.
Story: The story is suppose to be odd, it's suppose to be structured differently and not take cues from what's expected and normal or in the case of this event 'homogenized' this is a celebration of the other, the weird the odd and the different. It's interesting that I read this around the same time of watching Guillermo Del Toro's 'The Shape of Water' because both of these stories have exactly the same meta textual theme and the idea of embracing the weird and the other and it's a beautiful beautiful thing. I don't think this is a spoiler as all advertisement for this crossover has been focused on the three beautiful covers by Quietly and the 'homogenized' Trinity of Milkman Man, Faster Bruce, and Wonder Wife and it's this very over the top hyper focus on that time period that allows for this fantastic story to express it's voice in a very distinct way. Each issue may follow the same theme for 'Milk Wars' but each at it's core is about each of the Trinity and what each archetype represents and it's a call at them. I won't go into each cause that would spoil each Trinity for you but what each stand for is interesting and how it's twisted the most fun. I am rambling and ducking and weaving to avoid spoilers but man I have to much to say if you read the books, it's sooo good.
Characters: This series takes existing achetypes and dives deep into what makes them what they are. This is not a look internally like Miller's Dark Knight books but rather a meta and external look at these iconic characters and what their message and image represents and how they are perceived and our reaction as readers. It's interesting and beautifully written. I've not talked about all the Young Animal books cause there's too much to talk about, there's the beautiful realization and embracing of the weird of all these characters and some truly out there concepts that change the status quo of these characters (Shade, Cliff, and Violet get huge status quo changing things). These characters and their depth and the focus on each of them in each issue are the core of the message and manifesto of this 'Milk Wars' and so tied into the story that it would be impossible to have this story without this beautifully weird group of characters.
I love this event, it's odd, it's different and embraces the other. If you go into this expecting a manifesto meta book of the odd but still want a normal story structure you have the wrong mindset. If you go in waiting for a brain bending insane illogical all over the place ride that embraces the fringe you will love the hell out of this event.
Onward to the next book!
*read individual issues*
This book's biggest problem is that it's a particularly ill-conceived crossover. You see it's the story of heroes suddenly trapped in a Retconned reality where everything is different. They have to figure that out and break free and then get a Cybernetic-eye telegram from Cave Carson and decide to go fight the Retconn Corporation itself. Oh, and there's always mind-control milk as a major plot element.
Innately, that core concept is flawed because none of the authors produce Retconns that are that interesting. (The possible exception? Shade/Wonder Woman, which has her being Wonder Housewife.) And the pacing in all the books is horrible: there just isn't enough story to stretch out over the extended comic issues. But the big, big problem is that we see that same stupid, wrung-out story four times!!!
The fifth and final issue is better, because it finally resolves the repetitive story, and it has big, big repercussions for Doom Patrol, which makes this an almost must-read for that comic. But it's a painful must-read.
As with all things Young Animal, this is spectacularly weird, and definitely not for everyone. But if weird comics are your thing, read the Young Animal titles. Then, if you've got a working familiarity with the currently-active DC Comics superhero roster, come back to this. It's work, and there is a somewhat limited audience that lands in the middle of that Venn diagram, but man oh man, is this worth it.