Mark the date, because September 28 is back Doom Patrol on Amazon Prime Video, with its second season. The anomalous and ramshackle group of superheroes, born on the pages of DC Comics in 1963 from the pen of Bob Haney and Arnold Drake with drawings by Bruno Premiani, continue their adventures to save the world from threats of a strange nature, subtle and subtle compared to those typical of the classic superhero genre. If our first impressions of Doom Patrol 2 had left us with the desire to learn more and to confirm or not the quality of this great return, you just have to follow us in our full review.
Dorothy e Caulder
In the finale of the first season we left the Doom Patrol right after defeating the intangible and subtle – in the true sense of the word – Mr. Nobody, the villain who kidnapped the Chief, Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton). Through moments of pure narrative madness, Robotman (voiced by Brendan Fraser), Crazy Jane (the incredible Diane Guerrero), Negative-Man (Matt Bomer), Rita Farr (Elasti-Woman, interpretata da April Bowby) and Cyborg (Joivan Wade) had managed to free Caulder, only to discover that their status as society’s outcasts had been caused by the Chief himself, in an attempt to allow a mysterious girl to extend her life expectancy. From this premise the second adventure of the Doom Patrol starts.
Drawing several ideas from the immortal comic run written by Grant Morrison starting from 1989, which is the main source of inspiration for the series – so much so that in the first season the Scottish demiurge is openly mentioned -, to move things, as if they were not enough, in fact, arrives the mysterious girl seen in the last episode of the first season: Dorothy Spinner, played by Abigail Shapiro.
Through the lens of flashbacks, the story of Caulder and Dorothy is told, related by a strong bond of parental feelings dating back to the end of the 19th century. The girl is deformed and has heavy facial features very similar to those of a chimpanzee. He lived in an era end of century in which the physically handicapped were considered freak phenomena, exploited at the level of slavery. Dorothy then surrounds herself with various imaginary friends, who are not so imaginary: her superpower allows her to make the visions in her head become real. After killing the circus owner who kept her a slave, she is taken under Caulder’s protective wing. From there begins the scientist’s ordeal to protect her and make them both long-lived, up to the present day.
Psychology and psychedelia
The nine episodes of Doom Patrol 2 reveal a real psychological descent, but also psychedelic, in the meanders of the mind and in the personal and generational inner conflicts of each of the protagonists. For example, the narrative with which Crazy Jane’s sixty-four personalities are handled is pure art. The latter are in fact represented as inhabitants of an underground subway station; a large space called underground, which is none other than Jane’s own mind, the scene of cathartic events aimed at exorcising the sexual abuse of her father.
And what about the relationship between Larry Trainor and his son, abandoned with his wife in the 1950s due to the serious accident he suffered, who, found now elderly at the end of his military career, can only betray him and try to hand him over to the army , because he no longer recognizes him as a father. Like the man for whom he had lost his mind, keeping his homosexuality hidden despite having a family. Unresolved problems, circles left open.
Or the harsh reality that is slammed in the face of Rita Farr, when the memory resurfaces of how she became a successful actress thanks to the pushes her mother gave to her career granting sexual favors to producers. Or Robotman’s relationship with his daughter, who was also left as a child immediately after the tragic accident that left only his brain intact. At the dawn of the daughter’s marriage to her partner – another homosexual bond slammed in the face of a society that is often very bigoted – it is highlighted how the differences, the diversities that can give life to “monsters” and “freaks”, can actually be an added value. This is because the feelings that harbor all of humanity are universal.
A brief mention of the love affair that binds Cyborg / Vic Stone to the war veteran Roni. Encountered in a listening group for misfits – she too is handicapped by an accident in battle – Vic falls madly in love with her, but she hides a much darker past and some subcutaneous grafts underline it. Vic thus has to deal with the character of the woman who clashes with his superhero morality, a former member of the Justice League, and to see things clearly. It will end well, but everything is never as it seems.
On the technical side it is difficult not to beat Doom Patrol due to definitely better special effects than the first season, although still quite rudimentary. It is obvious that the unscrupulous and spectacular action has never been the strong point of the series – an even more valid aspect in this second more intimate and profound season – but sometimes the backwardness of Dorothy’s creatures, for example, is glaring. At least there is a contrast a direction almost always clean in the most agitated scenes, making even the craziest sequences easily readable.