'Doom Patrol': With a name like Negative Man, you'd be surprised that he's actually a positive and upbeat character
DC has shown us many messed up and brooding characters besides Batman, and 'Doom Patrol' has it's fair share of morbid unwilling superheroes as well.
Ever since 'Doom Patrol' was created in the early '60s by Arnold Drake, Bob Haney, and artist Bruno Premiani, we've seen this team of super-powered misfits in multiple incarnations over the past decades, and Negative Man, being one of the founding members of the 'Doom Patrol' team has gone through similar reincarnations and rebirths, but the most well-known Negative Man by far is Larry Trainor.
Negative Man is one of the founding members of 'Doom Patrol', and like many of the other team members, his story is also a rather sad one. Larry Trainor was an ace test pilot, who got accidentally exposed (as most to-be superheroes do) to a radioactive field in the atmosphere. After coming in contact with the radioactive field, his body had become highly radioactive (hence the whole mummified look), while simultaneously giving him a new ability as well.
Larry Trainor, while he may be known as Negative Man, does not have any real power, but is instead inhabited by a negative energy spirit/energy being. He can send this energy being forth to unleash destruction upon his enemies, and the being is described as a shadowy silhouette of a human, surrounded by a bright glow. The being has the power to phase through solid objects, fly at high speed, and "negatively" charge objects to the point of explosion. But Trainor is vulnerable when the being leaves his body, and he can only send it out for 60 seconds at a time, or else, he risks death. Since the energy being calls Larry's body his home, he's always highly radioactive, and this requires him to wear specially coated bandages in order to protect the people around him.
We got to see the first live-action portrayal of Negative Man in a special two-part episode of DC's 'Titans', and his character was played by Dwain Murphy and voiced by Matt Bomer, and I have to say that even though we can't really see any of Negative Man's expressions, Matt Bomer's ease at voicing the character has made him the most charming 'Doom Patrol' character so far.
'Titans' did right by 'Doom Patrol' and gave us one of the most memorable scenes in the series. While most of the 'Doom Patrol' team members are being melancholic or wallowing in self-pity, Negative Man is cooking a feast for the team with AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck' playing in the background. Most fans get worried about how a live-action would pull off a superhero costume, but to be fair, Negative Man's costume doesn't require any CGI, and there would be anarchy if DC managed to mess up this simple outfit, it is just bandages after all.
I'm really stoked for the release of DC's 'Doom Patrol', and particularly about Negative Man, for even though we get to see the character, we don't get to see him use this power.
DC's 'Doom Patrol' will air on February 15, exclusively on www.dcuniverse.com