Justice League’s Strangest Case Shows Why Doom Patrol is a Better Team

They may not be as put together as the Justice League, but some things in the DC Universe are so odd, only the Doom Patrol is fit to handle them. When the city of Paris came under attack by a mysterious painting, it was up to the World’s Strangest Heroes to save the day.

Though they don’t have a Flash or a Green Lantern in their ranks, what Niles Caulder’s collection of curious characters lacks in power, they make up for in personality. The Doom Patrol has largely consisted of a rotating cast of heroes with unconventional powers that, while not suited for traditional hero work, allow them to take on some of the oddest threats in the DCU. Characters such as Negative Man, Elasti-Woman, and Robotman have been to the DC Universe’s furthest corners and solved threats that make the Justice League’s usual antagonists look like child’s play in comparison. While the Doom Patrol recently reappeared to stop Superman’s death, their early adventures are far wilder.

Related: The Doom Patrol Return To DC Comics To Stop The Death of Superman


The Justice League saw how out of their depth they could be compared to the cadre of odd heroes in Doom Patrol #28 by Grant Morrison, Richard Case, John Nyberg, Daniel Vozzo, and John Workman. The Doom Patrol’s most annoying antagonists, the Brotherhood of Dada, have stolen a painting that could allegedly eat people and sicced it on the entirety of Paris. Justice League Europe investigates the painting and are absolutely stumped on how to handle the situation. The Doom Patrol rolls up and, while they’re met with the jeers of their more professional colleagues, the odd team easily manages to take control by using Rebis’ contradictory nature as a gateway into the portrait. League members Booster Gold and Blue Beetle can only look on puzzled at the entire ordeal.

Even when heroes with more experience arrive on the scene, they have no clue how to take care of such an odd occurrence. In fact, as the Doom Patrol tries to handle the matter within the painting, the only thing the League can do is try to mitigate any potential damage. While the event resolved itself and the Doom Patrol didn’t get any more credit than they had before, the brief crossover shows the necessary role they play in the larger scope of the DCU.

As eccentric as he is, Patrol founder Niles Caulder recognizes the vast peculiarities that lie within the DC Universe. Though Niles is sometimes portrayed as a borderline villain, he’s smart enough to know that there are threats that need solutions beyond punching a villain’s lights out. The Doom Patrol have prevented apocalypses, been to extradimensional worlds, and seen reality reshape before their eyes. There are enough heroes in the world that can stop space despots or time-traveling killers, but only one team was built to go after the niche problems that could have the biggest consequences. The Justice League may get the spotlight, but the Doom Patrol is the team secretly saving the DC Universe.


Next: The Justice League Never Would Have Existed Without The Sandman