Doom Patrol is coming back! If you know what that means then you’ll likely already be very happy that the cult DC Universe series is returning. If you’re thinking, “WTF is Doom Patrol?” then this piece is for you.Based on the weird and wonderful team who first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80, the dark and delightful show is about to be your new favorite superhero series. Doom Patrol returns to DC Universe and HBO Max on June 25, and you should be watching. Here’s why:
The Cast Is Unbelievable
Doom Patrol boasts a cast that other prestige TV shows would die for. Brendan Fraser makes his return to the screen here as the voice—and human form—of Robot Man, arguably the heart of the show. Fraser shares the joint role with Riley Shanahan who brings Cliff Steele to life in his incredible robot form. Matt Bomer also doubles up; he voices Negative Man and plays him in flashbacks, while Matthew Zuk plays him under those iconic bandages. Timothy Dalton as The Chief, April Bowlby as Elasti-Woman, Joivan Wade as Cyborg, Diane Guerrero as Jane, and Alan Tudyk as their terrifying foe Mr. Nobody round out the cast.
It’s a Sweet Found Family Story Wrapped in Superhero Trappings
One of our favorite tropes in superhero comics is the idea of found family. From the X-Men to Umbrella Academy, misfits finding each other is a powerful thing. Depending on who you believe, Doom Patrol might have been the first crew of truly strange superheroes to find each other. The show leans into the loneliness of being an outcast and how finding people you can trust and relate to can change your life for the better. There’s so much to love here but watching the ragtag group become a team is a truly joyous and life-affirming thing despite their hardships.
It’s Filled with Beautiful Queer Representation
Without spoiling too much, we’ll say Doom Patrol does a lovely job at presenting different ideas of queerness and gender representation. There’s an uplifting quality to the stories that it tells. The show avoids forced happy-endings but also denies most of the usual tragedy tropes that we see in queer storytelling. Basically if you wish your superheroes were gayer then you’ll likely be most pleased with the breadth and depth of representation in Doom Patrol.
The Practical Costuming Will Blow You Away
Something that really stands out in Doom Patrol is the level of care that goes into the world building and costuming. Robot Man is truly a feat of cinematic magic that we’ve yet to see in the often CG-heavy world of superheroes. DC Universe shows don’t have huge budgets, but Doom Patrol uses their funds to the max. In the process they create something that feels authentic, tangible, unique, and ultimately real.
They’re a Superhero Team You Probably Haven’t Seen Before
In a post-MCU world we know most of the heroes who hit the screen. We’re fully aware of the X-Men, the Avengers, Teen Titans, the Justice League. Even lower tier teams like Justice Society of America and New Mutants are relatively well known. But Doom Patrol really does offer up something a little more deep cut and strange. We get all the powers and battles you’d want with a humanity and depth that is rare to see in modern comic book series. And without the militarization and pro-authoritarian messaging that many contemporary super shows and films explore in their darker moments.
Diane Guerrero Gives One of the Best Performances of the Decade
We mentioned Guerrero briefly earlier as part of the ensemble that makes Doom Patrol so special. However, we had to give Guerrero her own shout-out here. Her performances as Jane’s many personalities are incredible. Though the concept of a hero with powers and personalities that manifest separately due to their mental health could easily slide into the problematic, Doom Patrol does an impressive job creating a powerful, brilliant, and beautiful character. Mostly due to Guerrero’s performance.
Doom Patrol Isn’t Afraid to Get Weird
The show is weird from the pilot. A flatulent goat; sentient Nazi puppets; a brain in a robot suit; a man controlled by negative energy; a street that protects marginalized communities. Doom Patrol is never afraid to draw from the weirdest and most wonderful parts of its comic book history. You’ll be in heaven if you’re a Grant Morrison fan. You’ll be ecstatic whether you love Danny the Street or Flex Mentallo. In short, if you’re ready for something different from the oversaturated military heroes of the big screen, then you’ll almost certainly be charmed by this lovely group of weirdos.
Featured Image: DC Universe/HBO Max