Explanation for Negative Man’s Character Changes

I just watched the pilot for Doom Patrol, loved it, and immediately moved into the community chat to see what others thought. I was disappointed to see a few people upset about Negative Man’s sexuality, and thought I’d give my two cents as a longtime fan of the Doom Patrol for anyone who’s looking for explanation of that change.

I can actually understand the frustration with the changing of established characters, but it’s worth keeping in mind that Negative Man and the rest of the DP’s main cast were created in the 1960s, when being gay was never talked about and any comic book character that wasn’t white, straight, and male tended to be written lazily and uninterestingly. Plus, the Doom Patrol’s characters are hardly “established;” they’ve been around for a long time, true, but they’ve only ever been cared about by a very small population of comic book fans. Niche characters like that, in my opinion, are fully capable of being shaped in different interpretations in order to make them more interesting for a larger fanbase. Furthermore, it was never technically confirmed that Larry was straight. He’s never had a love interest in any of his iterations and was even fused with a married woman when he was Rebis in Morrison’s run in the 80’s, and was technically married to that woman’s husband. No one’s arguing about the sexuality of characters like Rita and Cliff who’ve had confirmed straight relationships, but artists are allowed to reinterpret and reinvent characters based on what they’ve been given about that character, and Larry’s always had a quality of being “vaguely straight” at most. Basically, my position is that the change in Larry’s sexuality isn’t an unreasonable one and actually makes sense based on his canonical comic history.

I’d love to hear what you all think, and if you have any questions for me, I’m basically an encyclopedia for Doom Patrol trivia, so ask away!

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I didn’t mind it. Interesting twist and didn’t dwell too much on it

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@TX85

And that’s a good attitude to have! Just hoping to provide some context for anyone who might feel differently :slight_smile:

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In the early years of the team wasn’t it loosely implied that Larry had a shy crush on Rita? Other than that I’m fine with it.

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The way it was done felt subtle and part of telling the story and not pushing an agenda. No problem with this change cause of how well this was executed.

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Heh, I thought this thread was about the change in Larry’s personality from the Titans episode to the DP pilot.

Never once occurred to me that the OP might talking about his proclivities back in the 60s. Just goes to show you how normalized it is in my head.

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@Maskedhombre625

You bring up a fair point, and I do agree that there were a variety of scenes in the 60’s comics where he and Cliff were both portrayed as having some mildly flirtatious interactions with Rita. Hence my claim that Larry has always been portrayed as “vaguely straight.” However, Larry and Rita never had a romantic relationship, and the flirting stopped almost completely quite early on in the series’ lifetime because Rita became married to Mento, another character who had been a part of the Doom Patrol’s cast in the 60’s. Other than that, most of Cliff and Larry’s affectionate interactions with Rita were portrayed as rather brotherly.

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It added nothing to the story, just pushing the SJW bullshit. Don’t go all Marvel on us DC

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Since Matt Bomer is a gay man in real life, it might have been a request he made before he’d take the part.

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I am so excited about Larry! Makes sense cuz Matt Bomer

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I’m with Chris, I thought this tread was about his personality change from Titans, which I find far more interesting to talk about then his sexuality

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I liked the Negative Man from Titans, he seemed more confident and funny. I suppose the show runners will have him grow/return to that by the end of the season.

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You all are entitled to your opinions, and if you came here and were uninterested by a conversation on Larry’s sexuality, then fair enough. I’m sorry if this seemed like “false advertising,” I was trying to avoid spoilers in the title. I find civil conversations about identity to be extremely interesting :slight_smile:

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@jimriem58.98433

I don’t think that’s a fair statement. We’ve only seen 1/14th of the story so far, it’s too early to claim that Larry’s identity “adds nothing” to the story. And even if it doesn’t in the end, who cares? I can set up that same logic for straight relationships in the story. Romances typically don’t affect the main continuity in action shows, they’re a side plot to increase drama and humanize characters. Being gay is a human thing that happens sometimes, it’s perfectly normal and should be portrayed as such.

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I’m sure Larry will be more like Titans Larry by the end of the season. Just a feeling a have and could be wrong but maybe also right.

I like this portrayal too though, so it’s fine either way

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I wish shows emphasized the importance of family. In every Berlanti show, a guy has to cheat on his wife, vice versa, or both. Yes, families have issues and can be quite dysfunctional at times, but what happened to honor and integrity in society?

As for his actions, like BrightKnight mentioned, this could have been an appeal on Matt Bomer’s end. Plus, the extended trailer decided it would be cool to show that in there as well.

I don’t agree with this decision, but then again, I shouldn’t complain. The first few minutes of the show indicated such matters, as well as if I watched the trailer first.

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There hasn’t been honor and integrity in society since way way better the 20th century

I can counter that with the Hobbit. Those movies show regality, honor, loyalty, and moral values better than most content today.

Trouble is Peter Jackson ruined some of it with a dwarf-elf romance, for just one issue.

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You against inter recial romance now?

Plus Middle Earth wasn’t a real time period