Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

Doom Patrol: 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

The HBO Max series Doom Patrol has been praised for its surreal images, but some argue the comic books are better at capturing the team’s odd heroes.

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Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

DC’s weirdest superheroes, the Doom Patrol, are back for season 3 on HBO Max for further adventures involving farting donkeys, sex ghosts, and an army of bouncing butts. Mainly inspired by Grant Morrison’s comics, Doom Patrol focuses on misfit “heroes” trying to save a world that often rejects them.

Though Doom Patrol has been a fairly consistent comics-to-television adaptation, there are still things the show has yet to include or is unable to portray. On the other hand, the show has expanded the Doom Patrol universe in ways the comics could take note of. Some fans may argue that the comics are better at capturing the strangeness of the team while others will testify that the TV show is better at fully realizing the oddball powers and personalities of DC’s weirdest supergroup.

10 Comics: Justice League Crossovers

Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

The Doom Patrol was introduced to television via an appearance on Titans, but besides other DC shows produced by HBO Max, there is little opportunity for crossovers. In the comics, the Doom Patrol doesn’t often interact with main DC characters in the Justice League, but crossovers are at least an option.

In 2018, DC’s Young Animal released a team-up series entitled Milk Wars where the Doom Patrol and the Justice League banded together to face a reality-altering villain. Unfortunately, Justice League team-ups aren’t currently an option for the Doom Patrol’s TV counterparts as most of DC’s characters are stuck in their own movie or CW shared universes.

9 Show: Cyborg Is On The Team

Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

The comics’ roster has changed many times over the years, but one name it has never included is Victor Stone (aka Cyborg). Stone’s character was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez as a member of the New Teen Titans in 1980. In DC’s New 52 reboot, Cyborg was also a founding member of the Justice League.

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Despite not appearing alongside the Doom Patrol in the comics, Vic was introduced in the show’s second episode. He starts out as the only official hero on the team as he temporarily assumes the position of leader in the Chief’s absence. For fans, Cyborg has been a welcome addition to the Doom Patrol and his dynamic with the other characters on the show works surprisingly well.

8 Comics: The Pacing Is Better

Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

Doom Patrol employs a character-driven plot that allows viewers to really get to know the inner workings of the team, but sometimes at the expense of the main storyline. The show’s pacing problems were addressed by season 1’s omniscient, fourth-wall-breaking antagonist, Mr. Nobody, when he mocked the fact that it had taken too long to bring the plot to its conclusion: his and the Doom Patrol’s final showdown. Most Doom Patrol comics do not have the same pacing issues. Plots are weird and outlandish, but they never take too long to reach a resolution.

7 Show: The Cast Is Phenomenal

Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

Doom Patrol could hardly have found a better cast to portray the world’s weirdest superheroes. Brendan Fraser as Cliff Steele (aka Robotman), April Bowlby as Rita Farr, Matt Bomer as Larry Trainor (aka Negative Man), Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane, Joivan Wade as Victor Stone (aka Cyborg), Timothy Dalton as the Chief, and more. Each member of the cast brings their character to life from the page to the screen seamlessly and captures the dysfunctional family dynamics of the group perfectly. Michelle Gomez’s addition to the cast in season 3 is sure to bring more wonderful weirdness to the already surreal series.

6 Comics: The Scissormen As Villains

Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

The show has so far featured some of DC’s best and most infamous comic villains such as Mr. Nobody, but there are still many more bad guys the team could face. So far the show has neglected to portray one of Doom Patrol’s best antagonists in their comics: the Scissormen.

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The Scissormen were introduced to the comic book medium in 1989 as beings that spoke in nonsensical poetry and cut people out of reality. They sent their victims to an alternate world composed of their ruler’s thoughts. Their inclusion would be a great opportunity for the show to expand on its horror genre leanings.

5 Show: Mr. Nobody Narrating Season 1

Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

Mr. Nobody, played by Alan Tudyk, functioned as the show’s villainous narrator for much of season 1. Including Mr. Nobody’s narration was a great element for the show to draw from the comics, but the show also greatly enhanced Mr. Nobody’s abilities.

Mr. Nobody’s narration and near-omniscient understanding of the story helped engage and entertain viewers, but as Screen Rant’s Matt Morrison pointed out, “It’s entirely possible [Mr. Nobody’s] power to drain the sanity of the people around him [extended] into the audience and [was] making us see what he [wanted] us to see.” As viewers witnessed, he could change the Doom Patrol’s stories to whatever he liked. It is a fun idea that his reality-altering abilities could have affected the audience as well the characters’ perceptions.

4 Comics: Depiction Of Jane’s Most Powerful Personality

Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

In the comics as in the show, Jane’s dissociative identity disorder originated from severe childhood traumas, but in the comics, she started with 63 different personalities. She did not split into a 64th until she was retraumatized as an adult. After witnessing the murder of a god, Crazy Jane – the dominant personality – retreated to the Underground, and Dr. Harrison was born.

Dr. Harrison, one of the most powerful “alters,” became the new primary and refused to let any of the other alters surface. She used her powers of manipulation to lead a cult with the purpose of transferring the 63 other alters to the cultists in order to rid herself of them. Dr. Harrison is one of Jane’s most brilliant and insane personalities; she could have benefited from an entire arc on the show.

3 Show: Larry And The Negative Spirit

Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

The relationship between Larry Trainor and the Negative Spirit in both the show and the comics is usually strained, but the show added a personality to the Negative Spirit that makes their dynamic even more entertaining. Larry, at first, did not welcome the Negative Spirit’s intrusion on his life and the Negative Spirit did not seem any happier with the arrangement. The Negative Spirit wanted to drag Larry along while it was being a hero.

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Larry’s repeated attempts to reason with it were met with cheeky responses from the Spirit such as leaving Larry’s body while he was driving, almost causing a crash, and another time placing him on one of the roof beams in Doom Manor while Larry is unconscious. They eventually come to an understanding when Larry begins to accept his role as a hero in the Doom Patrol.

2 Comics: Danny The World

Doom Patrol 5 Reasons Why The Comic Is Great (& 5 Why The Show Is Better)

Doom Patrol’s Danny the Street is a sentient, traveling street who provides a safe haven and home to misfits and outcasts. They welcome everyone and everything to their peaceful neighborhood as long as visitors and residents are willing to accept the unusual. In the show, Danny started as a street, transformed into a brick, then became a wheel. Hopefully, that means the show is following the comics lead and viewers will see Danny the World and Danny the Ambulance in action soon.

In the comics, Danny expands beyond their usual bounds to created their own world and manufacture “Dannyzens,” citizens of this new world. Danny can still easily teleport, however, because their World is contained within the back of an ambulance that’s bigger on the inside. Because they morphed into a vehicle, Danny is both portable and accessible and is able to participate even more in the Doom Patrol’s shenanigans.

1 Show: Self-Aware Characters

Mr. Nobody’s commentary through season 1 discussed how strange the show’s plots and characters were as he watched along with the rest of the viewers. In the comics, the members of the Doom Patrol tend to easily accept the strangeness of their lives. In the show, however, the characters are much more aware of the fact that nothing they experience is quite normal.

Viewers might come to expect a certain level of weirdness, but the Doom Patrol, Robotman especially, understandably never quite get used to how weird their lives are. They are often surprised by the new levels of insanity the plot reaches each week, which shows them to be much more self-aware than their comic book counterparts. It also keeps things relatable for viewers who are still impressed by the show’s ever-increasing quirkiness.

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