DC - doom patrol couch club /tags/doom-patrol-couch-club en Doom Patrol: Connecting With Cyborg /blog/2020/07/16/doom-patrol-connecting-with-cyborg <div class="field field-name-breadcrumb field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="breadcrumb"><?php echo $entity->type; ?></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-title field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="schema:name"><h2>Doom Patrol: Connecting With Cyborg</h2></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-author field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Tim Beedle</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-post-date field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 12:00</div></div></div> <div class="body-insertable"><p>There’s not much I don’t love about <em>Doom Patrol, </em>but I’ll admit, for the show’s first season, I had a hard time getting my head around what Cyborg was doing there. To be clear, this is not a knock against Victor Stone. I think the character is one of DC’s secret weapons—one day someone’s going to write a mind-bending, groundbreaking cyberpunk comic featuring Cyborg that will do for Vic what <em>Saga of the Swamp Thing </em>did for Alec Holland. But even without that, Cyborg is a Justice Leaguer. He fights world-spanning existential threats alongside Superman and Wonder Woman. He spends much of his time in outer space, for cryin’ out loud, looking down on the Earth from the Watchtower.</p> <p>If Vic had shown up on <em>Titans, </em>I’d get it. After all, Cyborg was first introduced as a member of Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s <em>New Teen Titans, </em>so even though Vic’s since made the leap to the varsity team, there’s at least well-known comic book precedence. But <em>Doom Patrol?</em> He’s never been a member of the Doom Patrol in the comics or anywhere else.</p> <p>That isn’t necessarily a problem. I’m not a purist who believes you can’t make tweaks to comic book storylines or lineups when you adapt them for other mediums. However, when placed alongside the more established members of DC’s weirdest team of heroes—Robotman, Elasti-Woman, Negative Man, Crazy Jane and the Chief—Cyborg sticks out like a titanium thumb.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2020/07-JUL/source-DPL103C009720V1_5f0fb875cee502.88955514.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p>Admittedly, like the other members of the Doom Patrol, Cyborg is struggling with overcoming trauma—oh boy, does he have a traumatic origin. It’s especially rough in the unique spin <em>Doom Patrol </em>has given it, where Vic’s accident also resulted in his mom’s death. That’ll put a damper on any superhero’s first day on the job.</p> <p>For much of the first season, Vic served as the Doom Patrol’s motivator—he was the one who encouraged them to use their abilities to find the missing Niles Caulder. There’s no doubt they needed someone like that at the time, and ultimately Vic’s discovery in that debut season was that he needed the Doom Patrol just as badly. But—and this is not to make light of Vic’s struggles—it’s hard to see Rita, Cliff, Jane and Larry feeling like they have much in common with someone who has Batman on speed dial and whose disability also comes with near-godlike powers over the world’s information systems. (After all, if Vic needs a therapist, he can dial up the best in the world within seconds.)</p> <p>I’m not saying that an emotionally broken take on Cyborg wouldn’t make for an excellent TV show, but is it right for <em>this </em>show? I’m not sure.</p> <p>Or rather, I wasn’t sure.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2020/07-JUL/source-15883157ca7d6ff0e00d442d8128fe9a977d4690master_5f0fb8936b6f99.47994173.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p><em>Doom Patrol’s </em>creative team makes the bold choice to have Cyborg seemingly leave the team in the second season debut. While it would be easy to see it as an acknowledgement of my season one concerns—that he’s an odd fit—it turns out the show has something far better in mind for him.</p> <p>Cyborg heads back home to Detroit where he starts attending a support group for victims of violent trauma. While there he meets Roni Evers, an army veteran with a serious limp and even more serious take-no-bull attitude. (Roni’s name suggests that she’s likely a gender-bent take on Cyborg villain Ron Evers, though with one or two key exceptions, her story seems pretty far removed from Ron’s.)</p> <p>Roni, played by Karen Obilom, is willing to challenge Cyborg in a way that the beloved superhero isn’t usually challenged, and he finds it both compelling and attractive. It’s hardly a surprise to learn that Roni has some serious walls up when it comes to getting close to her, but that’s something Cyborg is used to. And just as important, she thoroughly accepts Victor’s cybernetic enhancements. They neither disgust her nor provoke morbid curiosity—they’re simply a part of her new friend.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2020/07-JUL/source-15895174c59f50b3f03b487fb3d3c60bcf726b31master_5f0fb8a9d91f83.45654084.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p>It doesn’t take long for Vic and Roni to enter into a relationship and for Vic to discover that most of Roni’s body is significantly scarred. She’s emotionally scarred as well, having participated in some pretty brutal war crimes during her tour and afterwards. (I’m deliberately being vague here because I don’t want to spoil everything.) The important thing, of course, is that Vic also accepts Roni’s body and soul they way that they are. After all, he knows what it’s like to survive trauma and carry around guilt. And Roni knows what it’s like to have your body enhanced, only…</p> <p>Well, you’ll just have to watch the most recent episode to figure out the rest of that sentence. (But for those of you who are up to speed, I’m curious if Roni’s experience—and the key difference between it and Victor’s—is ultimately going to prove to be a real problem in their relationship. We’ll have to see!)</p> <p>Cyborg and Roni’s relatively quiet story has to compete with the much flashier action taking place this season with Dorothy and her lethally destructive imaginary friends. That’s not easy to do, but so far actors Joivan Wade and Obilom seem up to the task. After all, one of the best—and I believe most important—scenes that we’ve seen this season was an intimate moment between the two. In it, Vic and Roni lie in bed as Roni discusses her past. When she’s done, Vic tells her that she’s not a bad person, to which she replies, “I don’t want to be.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2020/07-JUL/source-158952554eda2c3f65424e64ac8084ccaeeac369master_5f0fb8c774ffe8.17471092.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p> <p>There’s a lot we could unpack psychologically in the scene, but put that aside for the moment and think about what we’re seeing there. Two disabled, physically and mentally scarred Black characters being intimate and sexual with each other. When was the last time we’ve seen that? HAVE we ever seen it before?</p> <p>I’m not sure that we have, and while we have no idea where Vic and Roni’s storyline is going, you have to applaud the <em>Doom Patrol </em>writers for even introducing it. It’s a pretty big win for representation and a surprisingly poignant direction to take a big leaguer like Cyborg in. Victor Stone may have initially seemed like a strange fit in this team of stranger heroes, but this season, it’s becoming clear what he has to offer <em>Doom Patrol. </em>He’s the bridge between the show’s superpowered damaged people, and the non-powered damaged people we find in our real world. As someone who’s always working on coming to terms with his humanity, that’s a pretty good place for Victor to be.<br /><br /><br style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;" /><em style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;">New episodes of Doom Patrol debut Thursdays on both <a href="https://www.hbomax.com/dc?utm_source=dccomics.com&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=fusion_launch" target="_blank">HBO Max</a> and <a href="https://www.dcuniverse.com/join/" target="_blank">DC Universe. </a>Drop by <a href="/tv/doom-patrol" target="_blank">our official Doom Patrol page</a> for more news, videos and features on the world's weirdest heroes.</em></p> <p style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;"><i>Tim Beedle covers movies, TV and comics for DC24ֱ.com and writes our monthly Superman column, <a href="/blog/2020/07/08/super-here-forthe-politics-of-superman" target="_blank">"Super Here For..."</a> Look for him on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/Tim_Beedle" target="_blank">@Tim_Beedle.</a></i></p> <p style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;"></p> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><a href="/tags/couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dc-couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dc couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv-couch-club-0" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dctv couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv-couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">#dctv couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-0" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/couch-club-patrol" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">couch club patrol</a>, <a href="/tags/cyborg" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">cyborg</a>, <a href="/tags/victor-stone" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">victor stone</a>, <a href="/tags/vic-stone" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">vic stone</a>, <a href="/tags/joivan-wade" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">joivan wade</a>, <a href="/tags/cyborg-on-doom-patrol" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">cyborg on doom patrol</a>, <a href="/tags/roni-evers" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">roni evers</a>, <a href="/tags/karen-obilom" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">karen obilom</a>, <a href="/tags/cyborg-romance" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">cyborg romance</a>, <a href="/tags/diversity" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">diversity</a>, <a href="/tags/inclusion" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">inclusion</a>, <a href="/tags/inclusion-on-doom-patrol" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">inclusion on doom patrol</a>, <a href="/tags/disabled-heroes" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">disabled heroes</a>, <a href="/tags/damaged-heroes" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">damaged heroes</a>, <a href="/tags/recovering-from-trauma" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">recovering from trauma</a>, <a href="/tags/elasti-woman" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">elasti-woman</a>, <a href="/tags/niles-caulder" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">niles caulder</a>, <a href="/tags/the-chief" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">the chief</a>, <a href="/tags/robotman" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Robotman</a>, <a href="/tags/negative-man" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">negative man</a>, <a href="/tags/crazy-jane" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">crazy jane</a>, <a href="/tags/tim-beedle" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">tim beedle</a></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-reader-cta field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Reader CTA:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Read Now</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-article-header-layout field-type-list-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Header Layout:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Standard Layout</div></div></div><span rel="schema:url" resource="/blog/2020/07/16/doom-patrol-connecting-with-cyborg" class="rdf-meta element-hidden"></span><span property="schema:name" content="Doom Patrol: Connecting With Cyborg" class="rdf-meta element-hidden"></span> Thu, 16 Jul 2020 19:00:00 +0000 Tim Beedle 453200 at /blog/2020/07/16/doom-patrol-connecting-with-cyborg#comments Doom Patrol: Pride for Negative Man /blog/2019/06/25/doom-patrol-pride-for-negative-man <div class="field field-name-breadcrumb field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="breadcrumb"><?php echo $entity->type; ?></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-title field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="schema:name"><h2>Doom Patrol: Pride for Negative Man</h2></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-author field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Joshua Lapin-Bertone</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-post-date field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 12:00</div></div></div> <div class="body-insertable"><p>Since this is the last Couch Club of June, it seems appropriate to honor Pride Month by looking at the journey of Larry Trainor, the Doom Patrol’s own Negative Man. In the comics, Larry is a heterosexual man (he briefly had feelings for Rita), but the <em>Doom Patrol</em> television series reimagined him as a homosexual man from the 1950s coming to terms with his identity. This character change led to a powerful emotional arc for Negative Man, and I feel like there are some important lessons to take from it.</p><p>While Negative Man wasn’t originally conceived a closeted homosexual, it’s interesting how much of his character design compliments the storyline. As we first meet Larry, he’s ashamed of his sexuality and doesn’t have a high opinion of himself, and the bandages that cover him almost seem like a visual representation of that. Sure, they’re meant to protect everyone from the dangerous radiation, but it’s hard to ignore the bandages as symbolism, even if it’s coincidental. Even the name Negative Man speaks to Larry’s state of mind. The Larry Trainor audiences meet in the <em>Doom Patrol </em>premiere is very much a victim of his own negativity. Thankfully, though, he got better.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2019/06-JUN/source-DPL101E028420V1_5d0d6927efd605.79147583.jpg" style="width: 700px; height: 1050px;" /></p><p>One of the most well-received scenes of the season was when Larry gleefully sang Kelly Clarkson’s “People Like Us” to a packed house of dancing souls. I love that scene. It’s one of my favorites, but it also makes me feel incredibly sad for Larry. The entire sequence takes place in his head, because at this point in his life his imagination is the only place where he could be free. He pictures himself as he was before his accident (and why wouldn’t he?), once again showing that he can’t accept himself for who he currently is. The lyrics speak about healing from heartbreak, but Larry can’t bring himself to do that yet.</p><p>The biggest kick in the gut comes at the end of the song when the fantasy is revealed and the real-life Larry looks at the microphone and briefly considers letting himself shine. Instead, he refuses the offer and simply states “I don’t sing” before walking away. Maybe I’m reading too much into the phrasing of Larry’s reply, but I find the simple and understated “I don’t sing” tragic. When he says he doesn’t sing, he’s saying he doesn’t embrace joy. Larry is wallowing in his own depression. He hasn’t let “let himself sing” for decades. Watch the scene again with that in mind, and you’ll get so much more out of it emotionally.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2019/06-JUN/source-DPL108D078220V1_5d0d69da69c917.15817357.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p><p>Cliff had a desire to fix his life and sought out his daughter to reconnect. Larry was too down on himself to do anything similar. His sons are both grown, and he never felt the need to seek them out because he thought any sort of relationship with them would only be a burden. He deeply regrets the way things ended up with his former love John Bowers, and even though he agonized over it for decades, he never took the steps to seek him out for closure. Indeed, when we first meet Larry in <em>Doom Patrol</em>, he had given up on love, life and himself. Can you imagine a more tragic way to spend decades?</p><p>I hope I haven’t depressed you too much because I also feel that Larry’s story is an inspiring one about pride and acceptance. Yes, he was in a miserable state of mind when the series began, but by the end of the season, Larry was able to grow and finally start to live. To do this, he had to make peace with three different people: John Bowers, the Negative Spirit and himself. Only then was he able to find pride and start living the life he deserved.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2019/06-JUN/source-DPL101G026020V1_5d0d6a3db3d3e2.53996125.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p><p>Although Larry didn’t say much about it, I think his time on Danny the Street was eye opening for him. It was full of people celebrating themselves and unashamed of their sexuality. That was unheard of for a man who was forced to live in the closet back in the 1950s. Larry saw that life could be different, and if the citizens of Danny had nothing to hide, then why should he?</p><p>Once Larry stopped resenting the Negative Spirit, he was able to learn that the energy being was as much of a prisoner as he was. It turned out that the Negative Spirit wanted to help Larry, and it sensed his pain. Once Larry started listening to the spirit that was trapped in his body, he was able to learn to live with it and even use it to help improve his life. There might be some symbolism there that people can learn from. Don’t hate yourself and reject who you are. Once you begin to embrace it, your life will flourish.</p><p>The Negative Spirit also pushed Larry to make peace with John Bowers. That was another important (and utterly heartbreaking scene). Thankfully, Larry was able to get to John before he died, and although they would never be together romantically, Larry was able to cradle John in his arms as he passed away. They were able to discuss their failed love affair, allowing Larry to get closure and let go of the regret he had carried with him for decades.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2019/06-JUN/source-DPL111b011320V2_5d0d69f0024a20.30126117.jpg" style="letter-spacing: 0.39px; text-align: center; width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p><p>When I watch Larry during the final episodes of <em>Doom Patrol’s </em>first season, my heart is warmed to see how much he has grown. He seems so at peace with himself, and no longer carries his emotional burdens. Listen to the way Matt Bomer delivers his lines in the first episode, and then compare it to the season finale. He even sounds happier in the way that he speaks. It may have taken him over 90 years, but thanks to his prolonged mortality from the Negative Spirit, he can now live the rest of his life (however long that is) as the free person he should’ve been all along.</p><p>So, the next time you’re on Danny the Street and someone hands you a microphone, don’t tell them you don’t sing. Instead, grab the microphone with fierce intensity and sing proudly, even if it’s off key. I have a feeling that’s what Larry will do if he’s ever given the choice again.</p><p style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;"><br /><em style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;"><a href="/tv/doom-patrol" target="_blank">Doom Patrol Season 1 </a>is now available to stream in full on DC Universe. Not yet a member? <a href="http://www.dcuniverse.com/join" target="_blank">Click here to subscribe now.</a></em></p><p style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;"><em style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;">Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC24ֱ.com and DCUniverse.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, <a href="/blog/2019/06/14/gotham-gazette-fear-the-reaper" target="_blank">"Gotham Gazette."</a> Follow him on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/TBUJosh" target="_blank">@TBUJosh.</a></em></p><p style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;"></p></div> <div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><a href="/tags/doom-patrol" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-series" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol series</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-tv-series" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol tv series</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-tv-show" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol tv show</a>, <a href="/tags/larry-trainor" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">larry trainor</a>, <a href="/tags/negative-man" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">negative man</a>, <a href="/tags/negative-spirit" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">negative spirit</a>, <a href="/tags/john-bowers" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">john bowers</a>, <a href="/tags/bureau-of-normalcy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">bureau of normalcy</a>, <a href="/tags/danny-the-street" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">danny the street</a>, <a href="/tags/matt-bomer" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">matt bomer</a>, <a href="/tags/pride" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">pride</a>, <a href="/tags/pride-month" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">pride month</a>, <a href="/tags/lgbtq" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">lgbtq+</a>, <a href="/tags/lgbtq-characters" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">lgbtq characters</a>, <a href="/tags/lgbtq-issues" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">lgbtq issues</a>, <a href="/tags/couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv-couch-club-0" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dctv couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv-couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">#dctv couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dc-couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dc couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv-0" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dctv</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">#dctv</a>, <a href="/tags/dc-universe" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dc universe</a>, <a href="/tags/joshua-lapin-bertone" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">joshua lapin-bertone</a></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-reader-cta field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Reader CTA:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Read Now</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-article-header-layout field-type-list-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Header Layout:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Standard Layout</div></div></div><span rel="schema:url" resource="/blog/2019/06/25/doom-patrol-pride-for-negative-man" class="rdf-meta element-hidden"></span><span property="schema:name" content="Doom Patrol: Pride for Negative Man" class="rdf-meta element-hidden"></span> Tue, 25 Jun 2019 19:00:00 +0000 Joshua Lapin-Bertone 446636 at /blog/2019/06/25/doom-patrol-pride-for-negative-man#comments Doom Patrol: Crazy Jane and the Healing Power of Imperfection /blog/2019/04/23/doom-patrol-crazy-jane-and-the-healing-power-of-imperfection <div class="field field-name-breadcrumb field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="breadcrumb"><?php echo $entity->type; ?></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-title field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="schema:name"><h2>Doom Patrol: Crazy Jane and the Healing Power of Imperfection</h2></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-author field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Tim Beedle</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-post-date field-type-ds field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 13:00</div></div></div> <div class="body-insertable"><p>Since their debut earlier this year on DC Universe, the tragic heroes of <em>Doom Patrol </em>have battled their fair share of shady government bureaus, Nazi scientists, apocalyptic floating eyeballs and beard hunters, but on this DCTV show more than any other, the heroes’ biggest adversaries are themselves. Robotman longs to reconnect with his daughter, but is afraid his earlier actions have created too insurmountable an obstacle for a relationship with her. Elasti-Woman is (literally) weighted down by the guilt brought on by her earlier cruelty in life. Negative Man’s refusal to embrace who he really is has created a reality where he’s (also quite literally) at odds with himself. Cyborg wants to be a leader, independent of his father who has (once again literally—look you get the point, right?) built his life as a hero from the ground up, but worries that’s leading him down a path of destruction. As for Crazy Jane? Well, you can build a whole episode around Jane’s internal struggles.</p><p>And they did.</p><p>“Jane Patrol,” which debuted on DC Universe on April 12<sup>th</sup>, is a surreal trip through the deeply distraught mind of the Doom Patrol’s most unpredictable member. It gives us our clearest understanding of what exactly happened to Jane—or to be more accurate, Kay Challis—to bring on her disorder. And it’s easily one of the best, most powerful episodes of <em>Doom Patrol </em>so far.</p><p>It’s true that Jane’s personalities are colorful. This <em>is </em>a comic book show, after all, and Jane’s essentially 64 different superheroes in one body. Superheroes tend to be colorful. But all of this is couched in a real, honestly conveyed portrayal of a young woman who’s been damaged to the point of mental dysfunction. Jane is hurt and broken, and yet, as much as she is capable, she still attempts to be a positive force in this world. Honestly, I find that inspiring.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2019/04-APR/source-DPL109A030920V1_5cbf65aef42329.22679979.jpg" style="letter-spacing: 0.39px; width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p><p>Yet, Jane had been in a downward spiral since her visit to Niles’ mysterious school, something that was escalated sharply by Cliff’s completely misguided attempt at group therapy (but cut the guy a break, he had a rat inside his head). This culminated in the emergence of Jane’s most desperate personality, Karen, before the willful romantic’s attempted escape into manipulated wedded bliss proved too much for the other personalities. They subdued Karen, leaving Jane’s mind with no one at the helm.</p><p>Usually when a TV show or comic book has a storyline set inside a character’s head, I roll my eyes and wonder if I could get away with skipping it. Their purpose, and “Jane Patrol” is no different, is typically to give us a symbolic shorthand into a character’s emotional struggle. It’s the rosebud sled stretched out to sixty minutes, and usually take the form of a series of random scenes connected thematically, but not narratively.</p><p>I’ll be honest. I kind of hate them.</p><p>But “Jane Patrol” takes an entirely different approach. Yes, most of the episode takes place inside Jane’s head. But there’s no randomness to it. Rather, the episode finds Cliff Steele, now stripped of his robot body and back in his human skin, journeying through the strange world of Jane’s subconscious on a quest to find her and bring her back. That subconscious takes the form of the “Underground,” a space where all of Jane’s unique personalities are represented with distinct physical forms.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2019/04-APR/source-DPL109C007820V1_5cbf65eb637fe1.06947609.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p><p>This itself is pretty amazing. Jane’s personalities are quite a diverse crew, and it’s clear we’ve only scratched the surface of them. There are personalities who are resourceful, personalities who are wistful and personalities who are downright terrifying. They don’t all get along with each other, and it’s clear that they don’t always have Jane’s best interests at heart.</p><p>That might make sense when you consider that Jane is the primary personality, but she’s not the original one. As I alluded to earlier and as fans of Grant Morrison’s <em>Doom Patrol </em>comics know, Jane was originally Kay Challis, a girl born in the 1950s who developed dissociative identity disorder after a traumatic experience during her childhood. All of the personalities found within the underground exist to protect Kay, not Jane. The problem is that memories of that traumatic event have started to unexpectedly come to the surface, and it’s proven to be too much for Jane. Which creates a unique dilemma: What happens when the personality tasked with protecting a damaged person becomes too damaged herself?</p><p>For Jane, apparently what happens is a perilous journey through the Underground to the Well, a memory deep within where Kay has buried her trauma. There are answers to be found there, but the problem is that the last personality to go seeking them never returned. So, with Jane on what amounts to a suicide mission, it falls on Cliff, with an assist from the affable personality known as Penny Farthing, to stop her.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2019/04-APR/source-DPL109D003520V2_5cbf660e12c116.44789186.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p><p>Cliff’s relationship with Jane, which began with a few surprisingly poignant scenes in <em>Doom Patrol’s </em>pilot, has seemed to have unraveled lately. Cliff may feel responsible for this, but there’s plenty of blame to go around. In one particularly affecting scene, Penny Farthing reveals that a shared memory that Cliff sees as good is actually a bad one for Jane because it was the first time he gave her hope. Jane and Kay’s other personalities have pushed Cliff away because they don’t want to get to where they trust and care about him. After all, the people Jane comes to care about all seem to violate that trust in the worst way possible.</p><p>Dr. Caulder disappeared and the doctors who were supposed to help Jane were cruel and abusive. But the absolute worst violation, the one at the root of everything, has to do with her father. Whether you’ve seen the episode or not, it’s probably not too hard to figure out what happened there. In real life, the fate of Kay’s father remains unrevealed, but in her head, he lives on at the Well as a frightening figure assembled out of the puzzle pieces she played with as a child.</p><p>As Jane goes to confront him, keeping young Kay’s personality safe in the process, Cliff is barred from getting to her by one of Kay’s most frightening personalities. Black Annis, who looks like the Wicked Witch of the West crossed with Freddy Krueger, protects the Well. No man can pass…but Cliff is no longer a man. Reverting back to his robot skin, he’s let through in time to stop her from sacrificing herself to the memory of her father.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/imce/2019/04-APR/source-DPL109D016220V1_5cbf6640c708a3.68081569.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 600px;" /></p><p>What follows after that is one of the most powerful moments I’ve seen on TV this year. As Cliff arrives at the scene and is attacked and torn apart by Kay’s father, Jane finally snaps out of her trance-like state. Emotionally screaming at her father to stop, she defiantly shouts that she is not afraid of him—all of the anger, rage and pain that Kay has kept deeply buried finally starts coming out.</p><p>It’s a cathartic moment for Jane, and in an interesting way, for Cliff as well. Jane’s father was a monster who damaged his daughter irreparably. Trust and love do NOT come easy for her, and likely never will, especially when directed towards someone seen as a father figure like Cliff. Yet, the very thing that Jane used to hurt Cliff two episodes ago—saying he’d never be a father because he isn’t even a man—is the one thing that she may actually need. Jane has been hurt by the men in her life, but Cliff isn’t a man. At least, not in the traditional sense. Cliff’s damaged too. He’s abnormal. People look at him with fear and mistrust, the same way they do Jane. And when Jane was threatened by something intent on harming her, Cliff was willing to sacrifice himself without a second thought to save her.</p><p>That’s what a father does. That’s what someone who cares deeply about you does. And Jane, despite her insistence that she doesn’t need anyone to take care of her, sometimes kind of does. (Spoiler alert—we all do.) Cliff may be a weird, nowhere-near-perfect father and Jane may be an unpredictable, sometimes violent daughter, but the truth is that in finding each other, they’ve found the family they both so desperately need. It may not be enough to heal Jane, but when things get really dark, it can at least be a light for her to follow.<br /> </p><p><em style="letter-spacing: 0.39px;">Catch new episodes of Doom Patrol every Friday on DC Universe. <a href="http://www.dcuniverse.com/join" target="_blank">Click here to subscribe now.</a></em></p><p><em>Tim Beedle writes about TV, movies and comics for DC24ֱ.com and recently interviewed Shazam! composer <a href="/blog/2019/04/19/benjamin-wallfisch-sets-shazams-magic-to-music" target="_blank">Benjamin Wallfisch about setting magic to music.</a> Follow him on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/Tim_Beedle" target="_blank">@Tim_Beedle.</a></em></p><p></p></div> <div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><a href="/tags/couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv-couch-club-0" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dctv couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv-couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">#dctv couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dc-couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dc couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-0" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-couch-club" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol couch club</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv-0" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dctv</a>, <a href="/tags/dctv" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">#dctv</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-series" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol series</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-tv-show" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol tv show</a>, <a href="/tags/crazy-jane" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">crazy jane</a>, <a href="/tags/diane-guerrero" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">diane guerrero</a>, <a href="/tags/jane-patrol" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">jane patrol</a>, <a href="/tags/kay-challis" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">kay challis</a>, <a href="/tags/cliff-steele" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">cliff steele</a>, <a href="/tags/robotman" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Robotman</a>, <a href="/tags/niles-caulder" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">niles caulder</a>, <a href="/tags/the-chief" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">the chief</a>, <a href="/tags/cyborg" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">cyborg</a>, <a href="/tags/elasti-woman" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">elasti-woman</a>, <a href="/tags/negative-man" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">negative man</a>, <a href="/tags/dissociative-identity-disorder" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dissociative identity disorder</a>, <a href="/tags/multiple-personalities" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">multiple personalities</a>, <a href="/tags/penny-farthing" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">penny farthing</a>, <a href="/tags/hammerhead" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">hammerhead</a>, <a href="/tags/black-annis" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">black annis</a>, <a href="/tags/grant-morrison-0" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">grant morrison</a>, <a href="/tags/doom-patrol-comic" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">doom patrol comic</a>, <a href="/tags/trauma" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">trauma</a>, <a href="/tags/mental-disorder" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">mental disorder</a>, <a href="/tags/emotional-trauma" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">emotional trauma</a>, <a href="/tags/dc-universe-0" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dc universe</a>, <a href="/tags/dc-universe-original" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">dc universe original</a>, <a href="/tags/tim-beedle" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">tim beedle</a></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-reader-cta field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Reader CTA:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Read Now</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-article-header-layout field-type-list-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Article Header Layout:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Standard Layout</div></div></div><span rel="schema:url" resource="/blog/2019/04/23/doom-patrol-crazy-jane-and-the-healing-power-of-imperfection" class="rdf-meta element-hidden"></span><span property="schema:name" content="Doom Patrol: Crazy Jane and the Healing Power of Imperfection" class="rdf-meta element-hidden"></span> Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:00:00 +0000 Tim Beedle 445718 at /blog/2019/04/23/doom-patrol-crazy-jane-and-the-healing-power-of-imperfection#comments