The first episode of Doom Patrol - the latest highly-anticipated live-action series produced for DC Universe, has finally arrived and with it a number of big questions. Unlike Titans, which was based upon a number of superheroes that are well known to the general public, the characters in Doom Patrol are decidedly obscure. Even the most popular comics based around their exploits would be considered cult classics, at best.
First appearing in My Greatest Adventure #80, the Doom Patrol were unlike any heroes seen before at DC Comics. Comprised of Robot Man, Elasti-Woman and Negative Man and led by the mysterious scientist known only as The Chief, the Doom Patrol's superpowers were more of a curse than a blessing and the world was less than thankful for their efforts at trying to use their powers to protect it. In this, the series was a precursor to the similarly themed X-Men comic books at Marvel. Indeed, some comic historians believe X-Men may have been ripped-off of Doom Patrol's basic concept.
The first episode does a fine job of exploring the secret origins of Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser), Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer) and Rita Farr (April Bowlby) from the comics and gives us a good grasp of who The Chief (Timothy Dalton) and Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero) are, even if we don't know much about their histories. We also learn something of the origins of the series' narrator and chief antagonist, Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk). Yet for all that we learn before this episode's end, there is still so much that goes unexplained. Here are some of the biggest questions raised by the first episode of Doom Patrol.
- This Page: The Chief and Crazy Jane's Age
- Page 2: More Crazy Jane, Titans, and Mr. Nobody
5. Why Doesn't The Chief Seem To Age?
The story of the first episode of Doom Patrol spans several decades, with Rita Farr undergoing her metamorphosis in 1955 and Larry Trainor's accident occurring in 1961. Cliff Steele's disastrous car crash occurred in 1988, but we do not see Dr. Niles Caulder (aka The Chief) start successfully interacting with Cliff's new robot body until 1995. The show then skips ahead 24 years to 2019, yet Dr. Caulder does not seem to have aged a day when we next see him. The other characters have reasons for their apparent immortality and we don't know precisely when Dr. Caulder took Rita and Larry on as patients. Still, it seems odd that he is as ageless as his super-powered patients.
The answer may lie in the original Doom Patrol comics, where a young Dr. Caulder was hired by a figure known as General Immortus to recreate the Elixir of Life. The general had apparently used the potion for centuries to extend his life, but the recipe was lost to time and he had finally depleted his stockpile. Realizing the general's wicked intentions, Dr. Caulder refused to surrender his work and attempted to escape from his benefactor's clutches. He was ultimately successful, but lost the ability to walk in the process.
The encounter with General Immortus inspired Dr. Caulder to establish the Doom Patrol, so that other people who had been changed by scientific accidents might have a chance to use their abilities in the service of humanity. General Immortus would also be inspired, going on to establish the first version of the Brotherhood of Evil - a villainous group that would become the sworn enemies of the Doom Patrol. Though there is nothing in the show that indicates that the show's version of Dr. Caulder had an encounter with General Immortus or perfected an immortality serum, it would explain why he's still relatively spry after so long if he had.
4. Why Does Crazy Jane Look So Young?
When Cliff Steele is getting to know Crazy Jane, she says that she met Dr. Caulder sometime in the 1970s. She doesn't given any other details beyond it being the best day of her life. We aren't given any indication how old Crazy Jane is, but she doesn't look anywhere old enough to have been a patient of Dr. Caulder's since the 1970s, even if he did start treating her as a child.
The obvious, logical answer is that one of Crazy Jane's 64 personalities has a power that makes her immortal or somehow slows her aging. Another possibility is that one of her personalities can time-travel, which means she could have gone back in time and met Dr. Caulder for the first time before she was born. Of course in the world of Doom Patrol, the obvious and logical answers are rarely the correct ones.