'Doom Patrol': How the original team members from the DC graphic novel fare against their live-action counterparts
Doom Patrol is the answer to Marvel's X-Men and also offers an alternative to the more popular teams of goody-two-shoes heroes like the Justice League and Teen Titans
'Doom Patrol' has been a long-running graphic novel ever since their introduction in DC's 1963 issue of 'My Greatest Adventure #80', a popular comic at the time, which tended to introduce even more popular characters which got their own spin-offs. But 'Doom Patrol' has been getting an ever-changing roster over the years (similar to Justice League and Teen Titans), with Robotman (Cliff Steele) being the only character to play a recurring role in the Doom Patrol team till date.
Doom Patrol is the answer to Marvel's X-Men and also offers an alternative to the more popular teams of goody-two-shoes heroes like the Justice League and Teen Titans. The members of Doom Patrol never asked for the powers that engulfed them, and their stories show them coming to terms with these new found powers, and how they make the best use of them.
'Doom Patrol' was introduced late last year in DC's live adaptation of 'Titans', where they crossed over into the series for two episodes of the same name. The crossover happened due to Beast Boy's original ties to the 'Doom Patrol' and we're introduced to almost all the characters from the original 1963 roster, except for Mento, Cyborg, and Crazy Jane, the latter of which will appear in the upcoming live-adaptation of 'Doom Patrol'. We'll be covering these characters in a later iteration, and only mentioning the original characters as of now.
Being the founding member of Doom Patrol, and also a somewhat stern (if not eccentric) father figure to the team, The Chief aka Dr. Niles Caulder, is a gifted scientist and inventor and is responsible for helping the team develop their powers and learn to contain and harness them. In the 'Titans/Doom Patrol' crossover episode, we learn that it is because of Raven that The Chief becomes a paraplegic (although he totally deserved this, in our opinion). He is essentially the leader of Doom Patrol and will be played by the charismatic Timothy Dalton, not Bruno Bichir, who played the role of this character in the crossover episode.
One of the more tragic characters of the lot (next to Robotman), Rita Farr was an Olympic gold medalist turned actress, who got exposed to unusual volcanic gases while shooting a film in Africa. This unfortunate incident changed Rita's biology forever. She could change her size and shape at will, but it was not before her career suffered a tremendous loss due to not being able to control her powers, and appearing as something more inhuman (a blob of protoplasmic-like flesh). The live adaptation, played by the gorgeous April Bowlby, will take Rita along a similar line, except for her not meeting her future husband (Mento, who doesn't appear to be in the show's roster).
Another founding member of 'Doom Patrol', Negative Man, aka Larry Trainor, was a decorated pilot and had the misfortune of being accidentally exposed to a radioactive field in the atmosphere while piloting a test plane. While not actually known as Negative Man himself, Larry gained a power where he was able to send forth a Negative Spirit, which would wreak havoc on those unfortunate to cross its path, but he can only send it out for 60 seconds at a time without risking death. The character in the live action seems to be on point, he's got the whole "mummified" look along with his trademark sunglasses, and couldn't have looked better! The character will be played by Matthew Zuk, and voiced by Matt Bomer.
The last founding member of 'Doom Patrol', Cliff Steele aka Robotman, was actually a daredevil and race car driver, but met with an accident during the Indianapolis 500, destroying his body, but leaving his brain intact, which The Chief promptly transferred into a cybernetic body. Having suffered the physical loss of his humanity, Cliff's story mainly revolved around depression, and how he shines while coming out of it. The live adaptation version of Robotman is better than we expected, giving a nod to the golden age of comics. The character still retains that old vintage copper touch which was present in the original comics, and it's nice to see a retro robot in DC's world of advanced machinery. Robotman is excellently played by Brendan Fraser in this adaptation.
Garfield Logan aka Beast Boy, is a later addition to the 'Doom Patrol' team. In the original, he's the adoptive son of Rita Farr and Mento, but since we don't see Rita and Logan sharing too much screen time, and with the absence of Mento, it is safe to say that the story arc is a bit tweaked here. The crossover episode emphasizes Beast Boy's transition from 'Doom Patrol' to the 'Titans' team, and he may have only a couple of guest appearances on the new 'Doom Patrol' series, essentially after he became a Teen Titan.
We also have DC veteran Alan Tudyk, who will be playing the villain Mr. Nobody, a living shadow who can drain the sanity of others.
With most of the characters retaining their original story background, and even looks (we're especially impressed with Robotman), it is safe to say that they may not stray too far from what their creator's intended. But this just leaves poor Cyborg stuck in the middle again, is he a Titan, or is he part of 'Doom Patrol', we'll just have to wait and see.
For all 'Doom Patrol' fans out there, the series will premiere on www.dcuniverse.com on 15 February.