Doom Patrol Sets Up Its Own Version Of Guardians Of The Galaxy's Baby Groot

Warning: Contains spoilers for Doom Patrol season 3 episode 5.

Larry Trainor’s story has taken a weird turn, but Doom Patrol might be getting ready to adapt a bizarre Negative Man storyline that could have a result similar to the Guardian of the Galaxy’s Baby Groot. In the comics, Negative Man was one of the founding members of Niles Caulder’s band of misfits and his storylines weren't always easy to follow. While Doom Patrol isn't making a straight adaptation of the comics, it has drawn on important plotlines to help form new character arcs.

In the comics, the Negative Spirit is separated from Larry Trainor (Matthew Zuk/Matt Bomer) for a time and Larry is left recovering in the hospital. When the Spirit returns and wishes to combine with Larry again, it takes a different turn as he merges with both Larry and his doctor, Eleanor Poole, creating one single being that considers itself more than the sum of its parts and renames itself Regis. Doom Patrol season 2 explored this concept by introducing another comic character, the cosmonaut Valentina Vostok who had bonded with her Negative Spirit and become a new singular entity. The creation of Regis effectively leads to the death of Larry as he becomes an internalized part of Regis, with Regis himself becoming angry when referred to by the name.

Related: Doom Patrol: Who Are The Sisterhood of Dada (Comics Origin & History)

Doom Patrol season 3 sees the Negative Spirit depart Larry Trainor after taking him to space. This leaves Larry bereft and he starts to be sick as well as having a lump that forms on his belly and then moves around his body in a distressing way. This could suggest that the Doom Patrol series is creating an adaptation of the Aenigma Regis storyline in which Regis goes into space, mates with themselves, and creates an egg. After Regis is killed by Candlemaker, Willoughby Kipling helps the egg to hatch and Regis is reborn from it retaining all of his previous memories. By skipping the creation of Regis and having Larry gestate a baby Negative Spirit that has no previous personality, Doom Patrol can explore the storylines related to Larry and the Spirit becoming one without losing the character development that has been done for Larry as a character with a rich history. This is effectively the same ploy that Guardians of the Galaxy conducted with Baby Groot as, while Groot technically dies and propagates the new creature, it allows for the story of Baby Groot to be conducted without completely losing the original idea of Groot.

The creation of Baby Groot did not lose the concept of the original character, but it did of course change the dynamics between Groot and the rest of the team. Going forward, many of the Guardians find themselves in parental roles to the baby and then adolescent Groot, with behind-the-scenes information confirming that Baby Groot at one point refers to Rocket as his father. This possible take on the Aenigma Regis storyline would have a similar effect on Larry in Doom Patrol as he would still be the same character and would maintain his crucial connection to Rita and his budding relationship with Dorothy. However, it would likely also leave him preoccupied with what the new being meant for him, whether he was effectively the creature’s father, and how he related to issues of bodily autonomy and consent over the issue.

In having Larry and the Negative Spirit travel to the homeworld of the Spirit, Doom Patrol has hinted at how the relationship between the Negative Spirit and Larry is resolved in another comic continuity. In the “Young Animal” storyline, Larry is transported to The Negative Space (which might have been seen in Doom Patrol season 3) and separated from the Negative Spirit and through a trial, it is decided that Larry may choose to continue being merged with the Negative Spirit; however, every time the Negative Spirit is released Larry would experience a normal human lifecycle so that he could experience life without the Spirit.

Next: Doom Patrol Theory: Who Michelle Gomez Is Really Playing (Not Laura De Mille)

Doom Patrol releases new episodes Thursdays on HBO Max.

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