With just a week until the show premieres on the DC Universe streaming service, Doom Patrol finally has a trailer — and it’s pretty much what one might expect from the version of the DC Comics team introduced in the much-maligned Titans series.
Created by former Supernatural writer and co-showrunner Jeremy Carver, Doom Patrol is based on the team of the same name that debuted in 1963 and featured a team of heroes with powerful abilities that prevent them from fitting in with the rest of society and cause them to be shunned by humanity. The cast of the live-action series includes Joivan Wade as Victor “Cyborg” Stone, the same character who appeared in Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but will apparently have no connection to his big-screen incarnation in the streaming series. Joining Wade in the cast is Brendan Fraser as Robotman, Matt Bomer as Negative Man, April Bowlby as Elasti-Woman, Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane, and Timothy Dalton as the group’s leader, Niles Caulder, otherwise known as “The Chief.”
Also making an appearance in the trailer is Firefly and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Alan Tudyk as Mr. Nobody, a popular villain from one of the most popular story arcs in the Doom Patrol comic book series. In DC Comics lore, Mr. Nobody was the insane founder of the Brotherhood of Dada, a group of villains inspired by the Dada art movement, and appears as a two-dimensional being made of shadows.
“Part support group, part superhero team, the Doom Patrol is a band of super-powered freaks who fight for a world that wants nothing to do with them,” reads the series’ official synopsis. “Picking up after the events of Titans, Doom Patrol will find these reluctant heroes in a place they never expected to be, called to action by none other than Cyborg, who comes to them with a mission hard to refuse, but with warning that is hard to ignore: their lives will never, ever be the same.”
The version of the team appearing in the live-action series made their first appearance in the fourth episode of Titans, the DC Universe streaming series that was widely criticized for poor writing and overzealous attempts to present grimmer, darker versions of DC Comics’ young hero characters.
A precursor to the X-Men (and according to some reports, an uncredited inspiration for the Marvel Comics mutants), the Doom Patrol rose to prominence in 1989 with a celebrated story arc penned by acclaimed writer Grant Morrison, who dispensed with much of the team’s comic-book continuity and pivoted the series toward battling supernatural threats, as well as exploring concepts of philosophy, mental illness, mortality, and reality. The nature of Robotman’s humanity and the sexuality of Negative Man — a man and woman forcibly merged with a powerful entity to become a transgender, transracial being of negative energy — were recurring themes throughout Morrison’s run and earned the series critical acclaim for its unique spin on superhero stories. Morrison also introduced several new, bizarre characters to the DC Comics universe during his run, including a sentient street named Danny.
Much like Titans, the live-action Doom Patrol series isn’t expected to tackle the sort of subject matter and themes that made its source material popular, as the trailer suggests that it will take a more comedy-driven approach to its team of weird, reluctant heroes. This perceived divergence from the spirit of the source material and the show’s positioning as a spinoff of Titans has led to some early negative buzz surrounding the series, which is the second live-action offering on the DC Universe platform.
Doom Patrol premieres with the first episode of its 13-part season on February 15.