What do you get when you have the full tragic super hero backstory, including the eventual superpowers, but instead of coming to terms with your new life and deciding to do good for the world, you can’t get over it and just sit around depressed all day? What you get is pretty much the entire cast of Doom Patrol, the […]
What do you get when you have the full tragic super hero backstory, including the eventual superpowers, but instead of coming to terms with your new life and deciding to do good for the world, you can’t get over it and just sit around depressed all day? What you get is pretty much the entire cast of Doom Patrol, the DC streaming service exclusive show that is so much better than it has any right to be. Since every company out there has decided to jump on the streaming service cash cow, DC launched their own called DC universe, featuring all of their comics, all of their animated movies (Which are all actually amazing by the way) and a bunch of original TV shows like Titans, Swamp Thing, and Doom Patrol. And while I can’t speak of the other shows quality just yet, I can vouch for Doom Patrol being absolutely fantastic. And to celebrate the recently announced season 2 of the show, I thought I’d break down just what makes Doom Patrol so great.
Usually dubbed the “World’s Strangest Heroes” and it doesn’t take long to figure out why.
The team consist of:
– Cliff Steele, also known as Robotman, who is a former highly successful NASCAR driver but after a supposedly fatal crash with his wife and daughter in his car and is now just a brain in a robot body (He is also voiced by none other than Brendan Frasier)
– Rita Farr, also know Elasti-Girl (not that one), a egotistical former 1950’s actress who was exposed to a toxin while filming that turned her into some giant blob monster when she loses focus
-Larry Trainor, a former Air Force test pilot, who was exposed to some weird radioactive energy in the early 1960s while flying that led to a crash and him being horrifically burned all over his body. He’s also gay, something he’d been hiding since before the crash, and something he has yet to fully come to terms with, especially after growing up in a era that wasn’t so kind to homosexuals
– Crazy Jane, A member with 64 wildly distinct personalities, each displaying a different super power, and many of them aren’t exactly balanced individuals
– Victor Stone, also known as Cyborg, the half man/machine marvel of science that was in Justice League, who also has a lot of emotional baggage, especially with his overbearing father
Rounding out the cast is the groups highly mysterious “leader” Niles Caulder, a scientist who takes each of the members into his mansion to help them heal, but who’s secrets seem to hide a darker side and Alan Tudyk as the antagonist Mr. Nobody, the nearly omnipotent villain who absolutely kills it as the show’s arrogant main villain/narrator. The group is an island of misfit toys, people so broken that the world doesn’t have a place for them, so they seek refuge with Niles in his mansion, where they can hide from the world and their problems.
What you’ll notice is that all of these character are pretty emotionally crippled from the start. Cliff wrecked his family by letting his fame go to his head and began cheating on his wife, and once he finally was able to fix himself, his car accident kills his family. Rita wants to be famous again, but because she sometimes turns into a hideous blob monster, she’ll never be able to, and doesn’t know who she is anymore. Larry is covered in burns all over his body, and has a weird ass negative spirit in his body that has it’s own personality that he can’t control, on top of still coming to terms with his sexuality. Jane is in a constantly shifting between personalities, and all of them cause their own kind a mayhem with no real desire to control any of them. And even though Cyborg is a big time hero, he’s in a constant battle with his father, who’s control over him and his systems cause all kinds of mistrust between the two. All of these people are pretty much screw ups and assholes, and the show doesn’t shy away from telling you so at every turn. These people aren’t heroes, and they all know it, which means they were able to do what Suicide Squad wasn’t, which is to make a team of the worst heroes ever actually interesting
So while the characters themselves are pretty interesting to say the least, the world the show takes place in is just as weird and screwed up. I’m going to list off a few things out of context to give you a feeling for what i’m talking about. A guy who has telepathic control over people after he’s eaten their facial hair, a man who accidentally makes an entire town orgasm by accidentally flexing the wrong muscle, a living, teleporting, gender queer street named Danny, and a main antagonist that literally narrates the story and character’s actions. The world the show take in is just as weird as the characters and that keeps things interesting because anything can happen.
Each episode feels like a completely isolated story because the world keeps moving you through all these strange events that it the current threat is so completely different from the last one. One episode they’re tracking down a farting donkey that ate an entire town, the next they’re in therapy and dealing with the fact that Robotman is having a literal and emotional breakdown. Next could be literally anything, and after a certain point, keeping people interested isn’t hard, because you just need to know where it goes next.
So I’ve gushed about a lot of the things I like about this show, the writing, the interesting concept, and the overall weirdness, but I think the real heart of the show, the thing that really sets it apart from any other superhero show is, at it’s core, it’s about getting a second chance. This is a show about a bunch of broken people getting another chance at trying to find some kind of place in the world. Robotman at being a father, Rita at finding who she is now now that she’s no longer the actress movies star, Larry trying to come to terms with himself like he couldn’t before his accident, Cyborg trying to not let the machine part of him take over, and Jane trying to learn to let people in on her crazy ass world after everything that’s happened to her. Unlike almost any other super hero show out there, these characters aren’t superheros. They’re broken people, looking to fix what’s broken in them, and watching them come together and learn to try again is what makes Doom Patrol so great
Posted by Austin Hamblen, Owner and Main writer of Endlessmonkey.com