Doom Patrol is almost back, and here’s the first trailer for the second season. The show returns on June 25 on the new HBO Max streaming service, a big step up from its previous home of DC Universe, with three episodes premiering that night and more following thereafter.
The Doom Patrol isn’t one of DC’s better known superhero squads, but it’s not a new concept. The team debuted in 1963, just a couple of months before Marvel launched a very similar group known as the X-Men. Neither comic was a big success in the ‘60s, but one of them blew up in the 1970s to become one of the most popular comic books and multimedia franchises of all time. Hint: it wasn’t the Doom Patrol.
That relative obscurity opened up the gates for some of the weirdest and most inventive superhero comics ever released by the two major publishers, though. Grant Morrison took over a failing Doom Patrol reboot at the end of 1988, and turned it into a brilliant postmodern riff on superheroes and science fiction, with a heavy focus on the relationships between its main characters. Morrison’s 44 issues set the template for pretty much all the Doom Patrol relaunches that have followed, none of which have matched his in either creative or commercial success. The TV show is heavily influenced by his run, which means it’s the smartest and weirdest superhero TV show this side of HBO’s Watchmen, but with a different cast of characters that includes most of the original ‘60s team, Morrison’s best addition (Crazy Jane), and, inexplicably, Cyborg, who’s best known from Teen Titans and the Justice League and never really had any relation to the Doom Patrol before the series. The show actually makes it work, though—he doesn’t feel as shoehorned in as you might think, and having two characters that are part man and part robot actually never feels all that redundant.
The new trailer quickly establishes the overall theme of the series—the Doom Patrol is less of a superhero team than a collection of damaged people working through their mental, emotional and physical issues while also occasionally saving the world from various apocalypses—while also introducing the character of Dorothy, who was a major figure in the comics in the early ‘90s. She was even briefly the lead in the comic, when Rachel Pollack wrote it for two years right after the launch of the Vertigo line. Check out the trailer below, and if you want to catch up before season two launches, you can find the first one on both HBO Max and DC Universe.