The Brotherhood of Evil
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The Brotherhood of Evil(pop culture)
Abrain in a jar, a talking gorilla, and a plastic woman: anomalies one might expect to see as carnival attractions, this “Brotherhood of Evil” first banded together for the “ultimate mission” of destroying the “World's Strangest Heroes” in DC Comics' The Doom Patrol vol. 1 #86 (1964), written by Arnold Drake and illustrated by Bruno Premiani. Masterminded by the Brain, a disembodied genius brain floating in liquid under glass, the Brotherhood— Monsieur Mallah, an intellectually enhanced gorilla (with an IQ of 178), and Madame Rouge, a French beauty with stretching powers, plus their lackey, Mr. Morden, operator of a 100-feet-tall robot called “Rog”—attempt to steal the Statue of Liberty to extort money from the U.S. until the freakish dogooders the Doom Patrol (DP) stop them. The Brotherhood was a recurring threat to the DP during 1960s, with the pear-shaped alien Garguax and the undying despot General Immortus occasionally joining its ranks. Never a tight-knit group, the Brotherhood was ultimately undone when the schizophrenic Madame Rouge killed her teammates after confederating with Nazi war criminal Captain Zahl; in this landmark tale in Doom Patrol #121 (1968), the DP also perished, at Zahl's hand. The Brain and Monsieur Mallah survived, however (as did the DP's most popular member, Robotman, who eventually returned in a DP revival with new members), resurfacing in The New Teen Titans #14 (1981), courtesy of writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez. Their Brotherhood of Evil added to its ranks the voodoo techno-wizard Houngan, the fear-inducer Phobia, the teleporter Warp, and the protoplasmic creature with the disintegrating touch, Plasmus. The Brain and Mallah regrouped in 1990 as the Society of Sin, joined by the illusionist Trinity. In Doom Patrol vol. 2 #19 (1989), writer Grant Morrison and penciler Richard Case refurbished the DP's arch-enemies. The surrealistic Brotherhood of Dada was organized by the original Brotherhood of Evil wannabe, Mr. Morden, who had been transmogrified into the living abstract Mr. Nobody. Joining him were the cyclonic Frenzy, the superstrong somnambulist Sleepwalk, the cloud-producing Fog, and the Quiz, who could exhibit any superpower one has never imagined. Devoted to eliminating the status quo, the Brotherhood of Dada endeavored to expunge Paris via a painting that absorbed matter. Mr. Nobody later formed another incarnation of this absurd team, featuring Agent “!”, Number None, the Toy, and Alias the Blur. Writer/artist John Byrne rebooted the Doom Patrol in 2004, sidestepping the DP's ties to the Teen Titans, including the Brotherhood of Evil. Doom Patrol vol. 3 #14 (2005) sent Robotman through alternate realities that included encounters with the Brain and Monsieur Mallah, Byrne's acknowledgment that these characters are, despite his restart, connected to DP lore. The Cartoon Network, unencumbered by decades of story contradictions, introduced both the Doom Patrol and the original, three-member Brotherhood of Evil (along with General Immortus) into the 2005 season of its Teen Titans series (2003–2006).
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.