By John Magee
I’ll admit I was underwhelmed when DC announced they were making a spin-off series for the “Doom Patrol.” I mean really?
Sure the Doom Patrol episode of “Titans” was good but in a world filled with Krypton, and the upcoming “Pennyworth” solo show I feel like DC should focus characters a bit closer to the comics mainstream. Then I, somewhat reluctantly, watched the first episode of “Doom Patrol” and I was blown away.
The show had me hooked in the opening 10 minutes and I haven’t been able to stop watching since then. “Doom Patrol” immediately became one of my favorite comic book shows and I have a strong feeling it might become my favorite by the end of their premiere season.
For those of you not up-to-date on your obscure DC comics hero teams the “Doom Patrol” is a group of freaks and outcasts who have been taken in by the Chief who tries to help them heal both physically and emotionally. In the show the Doom Patrol. is made up of Cliff Steele, a race car driver who was in a terrible accident that left behind only his brain which has been placed inside of a robotic body, making him Robotman. Rita Farr who was a famous actress in the 1950’s who was exposed to a mysterious liquid in the african jungle that destabilized her body causing her to sometimes lose her shape and turn into a creature not unlike the blob. Larry Trainor was an air force test pilot in the 1960s that was disfigured in an a plane crash where his body was connected to a mysterious being made of energy. Finally there is Crazy Jane a woman with 64 different split personalities all with a unique superpower.
The cast of this show is amazing Diane Guerrero, who plays Crazy Jane, does a fantastic job making each different personality feel legitimately separate from the others. While there is sometimes a physical distinction between personalities that tells the audience when Jane switches between them you can always tell when a new personality takes control by the different ways they carry themselves after a few transformations you can tell which personalities are which without having to be constantly told.
I could keep going on about every cast member of the show but then the entire review would be about how great the cast is. Suffice to say the acting in the show is phenomenal and there hasn’t been a character so far that felt like it was miscast or poorly acted. Doom Patrol also has surprisingly great effects, when I saw Beast Boy transform into a Tiger for the first time I remember thinking to myself “Well, this is a DC Streaming service show, what do you expect?” but none of the effects in “Doom Patrol” have come off as cheesy or B-movie quality and this gives “Doom Patrol” a level of polish and professionalism that I never felt with “Titans.” Not to keep harping on “Titans,” I actually liked that show, but Doom Patrol is huge step up in terms of quality for DC’s streaming service.
“Doom Patrol” is absolutely the success that DC has been looking for lately, and has completely changed me from being cynical DC’s upcoming Harley Quinn and Swamp Thing tv shows to excitedly optimistic.