Rating: 5/5 – The only way to review DC Universe Doom Patrol Season One is to tell the story of Grant Morrison and his run on Doom Patrol. Doom Patrol Season One is shamelessly weird in every good way you can think of. This show wears it’s weird on its sleeve and matches it with a matching outfit. This is because it has very weird origins from a man who made weird a career path. The show is totally worth watching, the character building rock. The changes from comic to TV show works and the special effects are better than 60% of what’s out there. That’s my justification for my rating, so now let’s go on to take a larger look at DC Universe Doom Patrol and it’s rooted from the mind of a man whose weird helped change comics forever.
Doom Patrol Season One and Grant Morrison
Once upon a time in 1980’s DC comics, comic companies decided they needed to invigorate some of their comic lines. One of the biggest things comic companies, big and small, did was start shopping British talent. First to explode in American comics was Alan Moore, and he did so good other brits were imported in. From there, we got the likes of Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison. Where Alan Moore showed comics could be literature, Grant Morrison said, “This shit is weird and we should embrace that weird like lovers in a porno.”
Grant Morrison is a writer that can make weird make perfect sense. Before Doom Patrol, he took over Animal Man and did a storyline that leads the once D-List hero towards literally meeting his writer, Grant Morrison. Then he took over the current (1989) run of Doom Patrol starting with a story called “Crawling Through the Wreckage.” Before Grant Doom Patrol was another super-hero book with an X-Men like feel. Grant Morrison was the one who said, “These guys are some of the saddest excuses for super heroes ever because they are just too weird.”
Doom Patrol Comics vs Show
In the comics Grant Morrison did away with Rita Far off camera and Cyborg is a Teen Titan. Aside from those two, everyone else in DC Universe Doom Patrol was from Grant Morrison’s run. Cult of the Unwritten Book, Mr. Nobody, Danny the Street, paintings that eat city blocks, etc. All of that came from Grant Morrison. There’s stuff the show creators took liberties with or just added. The megalomaniac cockroach and the revenge-seeking rat is purely the show. Rita Far’s powers were she could stretch her body and often remain as a giant woman. The show makes her powers more of a deformity. It was Grant Morrison who realizes the true depth of the deformities and added Crazy Janes because Crazy Jane rocks in almost every version.
Diane Guerrero kicked so much ass as Crazy Janes. She deserves a goddamn Emmy nod. At least a nomination. But we’ll get into the actors later.
Doom Patrol Season One and Adaptation
What many younger fans – which is probably most fans – have to remember is that us comic collectors from the 1960s to the 2000s couldn’t even dream of such an era. A time when all our comic characters are being realized in live action, You especially couldn’t convince me that Doom Patrol Season One would exist. Especially not the Grant Morrison run of Doom Patrol. The first time an X-Men movie became a wide-spread rumor was around 1985. There were cartoons and some TV show but superheroes were both benefiting and suffering under the shadow of the Adam West Batman. The crow was lightning in a bottle that’s yet to strike again, as was Blade.
Then came the X-men and Spider-Man, and then the MCU and now everyone is trying to find their own superhero angle. Anything superheroes are either getting a movie or show or are being considered for one. There are actual stories about people attending conventions with just ideas for a superhero comic or novel and movie studios moving in to buy the movie rights. Most importantly, no longer are the creators of live action media ignoring the comics and their biggest stories just to try to benefit from the name.
That’s how the Grant Morrison version was adapted for DC Universe Doom Patrol. And unlike Titan, which was a top to bottom shit-show – DC Universe got Doom Patrol right. In fact, Doom Patrol was the show Titans was trying to be.
DC Universe Doom Patrol Cast: Crazy Jane
Did I already mention that Diane Guerrero was absolutely awesome as Crazy Jane? Not since Tatiana Maslany have I seen anyone handle multiple characters as completely believable. That’s hard work because the script called for her to turn from one character to another on a dime. My favorite is Silvertongue who can manifest words that can be or turn into cutting weapons at will. Sun Daddy, which is a giant creature with a real star for a head, and probably the scariest out of all her personalities. (Sorry Hammerhead, but I’ll never look at the words “Auf Wiedersehen muthafucker” the same again. Ever.)
DC Universe Doom Patrol Cast: Robotman and the Rest
Let’s talk about Brendon Frasier who seemed to vanish from the public consciousness after those Mummy movies made money. He plays Cliff Steele, Robotman. An ex-racecar driver who almost died in a horrible car accident. Niles Caldor (played by Timothy Dalton) transplanted his brain into a robot body. He’s the audience’s POV character who says the thing we all thought with every story, “What the fuck is going on here?” Fraser had to emote using mostly voice as Robotman can make facial expressions and he did a great job.
April Bowlby brought some real gravitas to the role of Rita Far aka Elastic-Girl becoming the heart of the show very quickly. Matt Bomer was good as Negative Man. Mr. Bomer’s back-story is featured throughout the show so he had plenty of time to flex those acting chops. A lot of credit does go to Joivan Wade who played Robotman a known superhero with some heavy daddy and mommy issues.
Saying Alan Tudyk stole the show would be redundant at this point. Move over Deadpool, Mr. Nobody not only breaks the fourth wall he took a swing at the fifth and sixth just to make things interesting. He wasn’t just talking to the audience, he was talking to everyone. The actors, the show producers, the megalomaniac cockroach, the rat who wants revenge, everyone. Tudyk is a must see in almost everyone he’s in, so nuff sed about that.
DC Universe Doom Patrol is an excellent show loaded with a stellar cast. The stories ripped right out the original comics that inspired the show and a crazy ass fun time for all. I hope this show is getting a second season. I want to see if they can continue this trend. Can keep to the spirit of the Grant Morrison storylines (though there are a couple they can still mine if they wanted to.) Had Titans been close to this good I’d be more on board for the DC Universe streaming service. DC Universe Doom Patrol would have been a much better start but went a long way to cleanse the bad taste Titan put in my mouth.