The return of the Doom Patrol will be one of the first direct effects (and new title) launching out of DC's Lazarus Planet event kicking off its 2023-long Dawn of DC initiative.
The six-issue Unstoppable Doom Patrol series by writer Dennis Culver, artist Chris Burnham, and colorist Bruan Reber launches March 28, and Newsarama has your first look at DC's description of the debut issue along with its covers including a scratch-off variant (we'll explain). Additionally, Culver has been giving Doom Patrol fans information about the series and its characters on his Twitter (opens in new tab) account and compiled on his 'Culverized' online newsletter (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
"THE WORLD'S STRANGEST HEROES ARE BACK IN THE DC UNIVERSE!" reads DC's description (in all caps).
"After the events of Lazarus Planet, more people than ever have active metagenes! it continues. "Most of these new metahumans have become misfits, shunned and imprisoned by a fearful society. They are hidden away in the dark, lost to a system that only sees them as weapons or guinea pigs—ticking time bombs that can only be defused by the Unstoppable Doom Patrol!
"Robotman, Elasti-Woman, and Negative Man are joined by their brand-new teammates Beast Girl and Degenerate and led by Crazy Jane's mysterious new alter, the Chief, on a mission of saving the world by saving the monsters!(opens in new tab)
According to Culver, the series is "set firmly in the DCU," and describes the new Doom Patrol as a metahuman rescue team "saving the world by saving the monsters which often puts them at odds with traditional superheroes."
Culver also provided descriptions for the team's new characters - Beast Girl, Degenerate, and The Chief, who isn't a new character at all but a new alternate identity of Crazy Jane whose Dissociative Identity Disorder includes 64 distinct alternate identities, each of whom has their own metahuman superpower.
A new identity - the Chief - will lead this incarnation of the team and is obviously inspired by original team leader Dr. Niles Caulder, who went by the moniker The Chief.(opens in new tab)
Beast Girl is a "young metahuman whose powers have not only caused changes in her appearance but let her influence the primal instincts of those around her sending them into fight or flight responses among other things," reads Culver's description. "Beast Girl is very enthusiastic about becoming a superhero. You’re going to love her."
Finally, there's Degenerate, who when his metahuman powers are triggered "begins to devolve becoming more and more powerful as he loses more and more of his humanity."
"He doesn't immediately fit in with the rest of the team," writes Culver. "You're going to love to hate him."
Check out a couple of pages of first look art from the first issue along with a character sketch of the new team members.
Culver then described what he considers a giant pillar in the DCU - all the characters associated with the Justice League, their protégés in Titans titles, and the Justice League's mentors/inspiration the Justice Society.
"The Doom Patrol has never been a part of that and they no longer think their methods of doing things work," he writes.
"After the events of Lazarus Planent there are more metahumans than ever but very few will become superheroes," he continues. "Most will end up in places like Arkham Asylum where they will slowly fall through the cracks of society and become outcasts. At best some of them will end up guinea pigs for places like S.T.A.R. Labs and at worse weapons for the government in programs like Task Force X aka the Suicide Squad."
"The Doom Patrol offers an alternative to a very broken system and this will put them in conflict with the rest of the superhero community."
The fact that the entire series won't take place in Gotham City was Culver's final reveal, but the events of the debut issue will, as fans caught the appearance of Wayne Tower in the cover DC revealed weeks ago.(opens in new tab)
The series will kick off in a 10-page story in the Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate February one-shot, and then really start in March. And speaking of covers, Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1 will feature that cover by Burnham along with variants by Nathan Szerdy, and Culver, including scratch-off variant covers by Burham, which according to DC will feature five different versions of Jane reflected in the mirror that readers can reveal like a scratch-off lottery ticket.
DC tells Newsarama that the identity of five versions of Jane will be announced at a later date.
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