There are plenty of weird superheroes out there, but no team has quite the concentration of the bizarre and unusual as the Doom Patrol. In fact, recruiting heroes who might not otherwise fit in is kind of their whole deal. From people who can't actively control their (potentially catastrophic) abilities to people who, well, aren't technically "people" at all, the Doom Patrol has decades of history packed to the absolute brim of the weird and wonderful. And the terrifying, depending on who you are and what you're looking at.
But don't let that spook you. They may be strange and sometimes unsettling, but their hearts are (usually) in the right place. Most of the time, at least. And they do save the world from time to time, when they're not standing on the edge of destroying it all together.
Look, being a hero is complicated! And so are they! So, with all that in mind, it's time to take a look at some of the Doom Patrol's strangest members, just to get a feel for what sort of heroes you might encounter if you choose to take a walk on the weird side of the DC Universe.
1) Rita Farr
Size-manipulation and elasticity powers aren't all that weird on their own—next to super speed and super strength, they're actually pretty common! But Rita Farr took that idea and turned it on its head with her borderline uncontrollable affliction. Instead of being able to bend and stretch playfully like Plastic Man, poor Rita would often find herself grotesquely melting and warping as she first tried to learn how to use her abilities, making for some extremely disturbing moments. But don't worry, no one was more horrified by this than Rita herself.
2) Crazy Jane
It's pretty common for heroes and villains alike to have multiple or split personalities. Just look at guys like Two-Face! But Kay Challis AKA Crazy Jane puts them all to shame. She's got dozens—possibly even hundreds—of personalities knocking around her head and all of them come with their own unique powers and caveats. There's something in that head of hers for absolutely everyone, including sentient scarecrows, chainsaw wielding nuns and queens who can create and manipulate ice.
3) Dorothy Spinner
Dorothy gets a combo for this one. Not only does she have a very familiar look, she's got some extremely specific and bizarre abilities! Her name and original design were all meant to be nods to Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, right down to the blue and white dress. But you'll probably notice right away that her face is considerably more ape-like than human (though that doesn't actually have much bearing on her abilities). Dorothy can manipulate imaginary beings, which means she can either manifest them into reality or destroy them. It's a pretty neat (and extremely powerful) trick, and one that leads to some truly wild encounters and mishaps.
4) Flex Mentallo
Our beloved hero of the beach, Flex Mentallo doesn't look all that unusual—he’s just really ripped! Flex is actually a pretty handsome guy, all things considered! What makes him strange, however, is his ability. Those muscles? They're certainly not just for show. When Flex, uh, flexes, he’s able to literally alter reality. What happens and how it happens all depends on which muscle he uses. As for how wild things can get…well, you have seen his debut on the Doom Patrol TV series, right?
5) Danny the Street
The most iconic "weird" Doom Patrol member may very well be Danny the Street, a sentient, genderqueer pocket dimension/street/place that uses any pronouns and can interact with people by manipulating their appearance. Danny can change images on the marquees that appear inside them, for example, and otherwise make things go a little topsy-turvy for anyone who happens to stumble onto them. Lately, Danny’s been taking the form of an ambulance out in the real world. You know, like you do.
Ah, Rebis. There's a good chance you're already familiar with Larry Trainor, AKA Negative Man, one of the Doom Patrol's core members and a man who was inundated with "negative" energy from an alien entity that fused to him and made him radioactive. That alone should be enough to land him on this list, but what if we told you that he's got an even stranger incarnation? Meet Rebis, a composite lifeform made from the fusion of Larry, another person named Eleanor Poole and that negative spirit, all of whom combined into a totally new lifeform. Talk about getting three for the price of one.
7) Ambush Bug
Where do we even start with this one? Ambush Bug is…well, difficult to describe, putting it mildly. Think of a character like Bugs Bunny, physics breaking antics and all, then put him in a superhero story where the multiverse exists and you're just starting to get close. Ambush Bug is sometimes a villain, sometimes a hero, sometimes neither, and he's also never quite sure if he's actually experiencing reality or some sort of elaborate delusion, which makes his ability to teleport literally anywhere in the multiverse at any given moment even more bizarre. Also, he looks like a giant, humanoid, radioactive spider.
Doom Patrol’s fourth and final season is now streaming on Max. New episodes drop on Thursdays.
Mason Downey writes about comics, movies and superhero history for DC.com. Look for more of his work on GameSpot, IGN and Polygon.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Mason Downey and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.