The current run on Doom Patrol follows Morrison’s example by focusing on the intersection of art and reality and the relationship between creator and creation. It’s been a theme of Morrison’s entire career found in Flex Mentallo, The Invisibles, Animal Man, The Multiversity and more. Way introduced the new lead character of Casey “Space Case” Brinke within his run on Doom Patrol; a living idea made manifest by Danny The Street. Casey’s role in the book is somewhat reflective of Gerard Way’s role as its new writer; Casey is a creation of Danny The Street, Grant Morrison created Danny The Street, and Gerard Way regularly names Morrison as one of the biggest influences on his art, going way back to The Umbrella Academy, a title which has Morrison and Case’s Doom Patrol in its DNA.
Casey has been struggling with her role as an abstract creation of a living street and her transition from fictional to real (albeit still fictional in a larger sense) but she isn’t the only one. This issue also introduces the space conqueror character that’s been teased since the very first issue, the man who murdered God with Danny The Brick: The Disappointment. Similar to Flex and Casey, The Disappointment was manifest from a comic book, but the love of his life Starlene is still trapped inside its four colour pages, leading him to go to great lengths to bring her back to him.
The Brotherhood of Nada
The mystery of The Disappointment will have to wait a bit longer as the Doom Patrol have bigger concerns due to the popularity of a strange new superfood known as $#!+.Pioneered by the enigmatic Eddie Zilch, $#!+ is described as the greatest taste its consumers have ever experienced and seems to be slowly taking over the world. In this issue, we learn the exact identity of Eddie Zilch and it should have been obvious from the start. Zilch approaches Lucius Reynolds — the son of Casey’s paramedic partner Sam — and reveals that he is in fact the Doom Patrol’s strangest enemy, Mister Nobody.
Mister Nobody was once Eric Mordern, a mobster who was locked in an all white room, driven insane by the lack of stimuli to the point his mind cracked and forced an evolution into his current form. He originally planned to create a new Brotherhood of Evil but determined that evil was an outdated concept and instead devoted his new team to the artistic principle of Dadaism, an avant-garde movement dedicated to randomness for randomness sake, popularized by the likes of Salvador Dali. Along with his new recruits Sleepwalk, The Quiz, The Fog and Frenzy, they stole a magical painting and trapped the Doom Patrol and all of Paris within its canvas. A later escapade saw Mr. Nobody run for President along with a new Brotherhood consisting of Agent "!", Alias the Blur, Number None, Toy, and the Love Glove; they stole the bicycle of Albert Hofmann, the pioneer of LSD.
However, Mr. Nobody has abandoned his commitment to Dadaism and has instead embraced Nihilism, forming a Brotherhood of Nada. His new teammates include The Brutalist, Hector The Boy Detector, 50% Chad and The Breeze. Together with Lucius, now The Great Ludini, The Teenage Nothing, they’re going to use $#!+ to control people and remake the universe into one with “no rules, no parents, no classical music”
It isn’t the first time that the concept of nothing or the absence of something has been mentioned in this arc; Keeg recently referred to Casey as coming from nothing, so it’s likely those concepts are going to converge by the end of the arc, With the Disappointment out there sending out Meta-Cons to test the limits of the Doom Patrol, things are only going to get weirder from here.