[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Gerard Way
Artist: Nick Derington
Today is Casey Brinke’s birthday! However instead of relaxing at home or partying with friends she’s driving an ambulance through the streets of the city saving a life! However this is just an average day for her! What happens when things take unexpected turn for Casey as she gets a call for a hit and run? The call isn’t what’s weird at all — maybe its the giant robot that’s been hit! What else can Casey run into on her birthday?
“Brick by Brick,” written by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, gives us an inside look at the day of Casey Brinke. From what I can tell so far, she seems to be a typical everyday emergency response driver. From the first pages of the book we see her driving like crazy through the streets with an elderly victim in the back who’s sure he’s going to die. Her friend and co-worker, a man named Samson, confidently tells the old man that he has nothing to be afraid of because Casey is the best at what she does and he’s right — they are immediately at the hospital and his life is saved. The conversation afterwards is where we find Casey feeling that she’s destined for more however but she’s not quite sure what.
Way does a great job of showing us a woman who has good ideals and she believes in saving lives–yet she feels unfulfilled. As Casey deals with these thoughts throughout the book, she’s placed in situations throughout the city that as a emergency responder she has to be there for. I found it enjoyable that we get to see all of these events unfold through the eyes of a mere spectator so far and as you read more of the book I can tell that there is more to Casey than just what is perceived. Gerard Way does a great job of making us question what’s next in each page while at the same time wanting to know more on the current one. It’s a delicate walk that few writers can do, but he does it well here.
My biggest complaint is towards the end of the book itself. I found the conclusion very questionable and I think the only real way you’ll enjoy this book is if you’ve ever read any previous issues of the Doom Patrol in the past — I’ll admit that I haven’t. Gerard Way seemed to lose pacing toward the end of the book and I was left wondering how the ending made sense at all. I really hope that the next issue clears up my questioning because I really enjoyed the beginning and the middle parts of the story. The ending leaves more to be desired.
If you’re already a fan of Doom Patrol then I think this will be a great read for you! However if you’re a novice to the book like me then you’ll probably want to either read previous issues of the book or get the next issue along with this one to give it a proper shot. I really enjoyed the character of Casey Brinke and I hope to see more of what her true role is in the series itself but the first issue really doesn’t set you up for that. The ending instead takes you somewhere else completely and makes you wonder what exactly this has to do with Casey at all? Gerard Way has an interesting way of wanting you to grab another issue of Doom Patrol but I just hope that when I do I’ll at least have some of my questions answered about the ending.