In 1963, DC Comics introduced readers to a ragtag team of superheroes who drastically differed from the superhero mold of that time. The original Doom Patrol was created by writers Arnold Drake and Bob Haney, and artist Bruno Premiani and debuted in My Greatest Adventure #80 in 1963. Each member of the first Doom Patrol suffered horrific accidents that gave them superhuman abilities, while also leaving them scarred and disfigured. Dubbed the “World’s Strangest Heroes,” the first group was made up of The Chief/Niles Caulder, Robotman/Cliff Steele, Elasti-Girl/Rita Farr, and Negative Man/Larry Trainor.
Before forming the Doom Patrol, Caulder was a scientific researcher who accepted the aid of a mystery benefactor. Because that always goes so well. Caulder discovered himself a pawn of criminal mastermind General Immortus, just in time to find a bomb inserted into his chest. While he managed to survive removing the bomb, Caulder lost the use of his legs and was confined to a wheelchair. Taking on the moniker the Chief, he gathered the superpowered “freaks” together to fight for a world that wants nothing to do with them. He helped these traumatized and downtrodden heroes step out of the shadows and investigate the strange phenomena effecting the Earth on a regular basis.
To help combat his permanently radioactive nature, the Chief created a special radiation-proof fabric for Negative Man. He later became the first surgeon to transplant a human brain into a mechanical body, saving Steele and transforming him into Robotman. Along with the original members, Doom Patrol later added millionaire turned hero Steve Dayton/Mento. In addition to combatting the insanity and depression the helmet causes, Meno is constantly trying to catch the attention of Elasti-Girl. Iconic shape changer Beast Boy also joined the Doom Patrol, before going on to receive more popularity with the Teen Titans.
The Doom Patrol has made cameos across various animated series, but did you know that the “World’s Strangest Heroes” are preparing to make their live-action debut? Greg Bertlanti is leading a live-action Doom Patrol series on DC Universe, following the live-action Titans series. More information on this exciting new series can be found on Scoop.