We Need Rachel Pollack's Doom Patrol

Late last year, I wrote a piece about Coagula, the first and only trans superhero in the main DC universe. Coagula is a character created by Rachel Pollack, a trans woman herself, for her run on Doom Patrol which preceded Grant Morrison's highly praised run. Her run, dating back twenty years, was well ahead of its time not only for having a trans superhero, but for how well it handled her gender identity and other issues that we still don't quite have a handle on today. Unfortunately, her run has never been reprinted or collected in trade paperbacks. At the time I wrote that piece, there were absolutely no public plans on bringing Doom Patrol back as its own comic.

Now that's changed. Back in April, it was announced that Gerard Way would be heading a new imprint at DC Comics, Young Animal, and that a relaunch of Doom Patrol would be the flagship title. Additionally, DC has started reprinting Grant Morrison's run again in double sized trade paperbacks. With this in mind, I can't think of a better time for DC Comics to reprint Rachel Pollack's run.

When Gerard Way went to Twitter about this relaunch, Gerard made it a point to mention not only that Rachel Pollack wrote a great run on the title, but that Coagula was a favorite character in particular. I got the chance to talk with Rachel about this, and to her delight she told me, "Wow! Times have changed. I can't wait to see what he does," adding, "I didn't realize until I looked him up that he wrote Umbrella Academy. Nice stuff."

The important point here is that Gerard Way is not only a fan of what Rachel Pollack did with Doom Patrol, but that plans for homage to that run are actually being made. Often Marvel and DC will use revivals to bring back an older run into print. And this should be one of those instances.

I also had the opportunity to talk to some of the illustrators who worked on that run, including Richard Case and Linda Medley, both of whom are proud of the work they've done on Doom Patrol. Linda Medley is genderqueer, and their role at DC Comics is far too often overlooked. People like Rachel Pollack and Linda Medley get overlooked in part because the work they did while they were there is not in print. At a time where publishers are endeavoring to become more diverse and are facing backlash from fans for not being as diverse as they would like, it would be in DC Comics's best interest to remind people that there was a time — two decades ago — that they had a trans writer and a genderqueer illustrator telling tales about a trans superhero.

Pollack's run starts immediately after Morrison's, so DC Comics they could continue printing the trades, continuing the numbering to volumes 4 and 5 which would cover all of Pollack's run. Someone with a passionate following like Gerard Way could easily inspire enough interest in Doom Patrol to convince DC Comics to reprint Pollack's run on the title.

Her run is not just important in terms of the Doom Patrol comics, but in greater queer comics history. It's a run that deserves to be preserved, reprinted, and cherished as an achievement. So if you're a fan of Morrison's run on Doom Patrol and never read beyond that, or you just want to read a queer comic by queer creators, then please check out comixology for Pollack’s run, and reach out to DC Comics and let them know that reprinting it is important in preserving queer comics history.