One of DC Universe’s most popular original shows has to be Doom Patrol. The members of this makeshift group of heroes, who are often seen as a family of sorts, all come with their own mysteries and baggage. Each has made mistakes in their previous lives, while hiding a traumatic secret. In the end, they all experience a tragedy that changes their lives forever.
Pilot Larry Trainor is no different. Working as a test pilot, Larry was exposed to a large radioactive field that transformed him into Negative Man. He's one of the more mysterious members of the group, so we're here to shed a little light on him. Here are ten things to know about bandaged hero Negative Man.
10 He Was A Founding Member Of Doom Patrol
While many different characters have joined the Doom Patrol or worked alongside them, there are only a handful of characters who can say they helped form the original team. Larry Trainor is one such character, as Negative Man joined Elasti-Girl, Robotman and the Chief as the original lineup for Doom Patrol.
This may come as a shock to those who only know Larry from Matt Bomer’s performance of the character on DC Universe’s Doom Patrol. In the show, it was shown that other heroes began the first Doom Patrol years before Larry arrived, but he helped start it all in the comics.
9 He's Modelled After The Invisible Man
One of the unique things about Negative Man is his iconic look. Modeled to look like the classic film icon The Invisible Man, Larry has to wear specialized bandages over his body to contain the radioactive energy permeating from his body after the accident that created Negative Man.
The incident also created the Negative Spirit, an entity that lives inside of Larry that can leave his body for up to sixty seconds at a time. It can fly, explode objects and phase through solid matter. This does leave Larry defenseless and weak, however, which explains why it can’t leave very often.
8 He Was Taken Out Alongside Rest Of Team
One of the defining moments of the Doom Patrol’s early years was the sudden passing of the original team. When comic book sales for the series were down, the creative team behind the series decided to end their run and let the team go out in a blaze of glory.
When the evil Madame Rogue and General Zahl threaten to destroy the small fishing village of Codsville, Maine, the team makes the ultimate sacrifice and save the village. This ends the lives of Negative Man, alongside Elasti-Girl and The Chief. Robotman survived after Will Magnus saved his mind and built him a new body.
7 Created Negative Woman
Once the team was destroyed in Doom Patrol, it was revealed that Robotman wasn’t the only one to mysteriously survive the explosion. Larry had also been lucky enough to do so, yet the Negative Spirit had separated from him, leaving him weak and still radioactive.
The Negative Spirit had found a new host, a Russian cosmonaut named Colonel Valentina Vostok. The bonding created Negative Woman, who was very similar in appearance and power to Negative Man. Larry attempts to bond again with the Negative Spirit, but eventually the spirit heals Larry and returns to the body of Valentina, giving Larry a chance at normal life.
6 Transforms Into Rebis
One of the next phases of Negative Man’s career came after he spent some time assisting the Doom Patrol as support and using tech weapons, until the Negative Spirit bonded with him once more. It was discovered shortly after this that the Negative Spirit wasn’t a mindless entity or extension of Larry, but an amoral, intelligent being capable of speech.
It forcibly bonded itself with Larry and Larry’s physician Dr. Eleanor Poole. The three spirits merged to become Rebis. Rebis is a divine entity that has the memories of all three spirits within itself, but must still wear the bandages.
5 History Retconned By Superboy-Prime
In 2004, it was revealed that the histories and memories of the Doom Patrol had been altered and rewritten, making Larry Trainor Negative Man once again. The Negative Spirit housed within him now looked more like a black skeleton than the shadowy figure of the past.
Alexander Luthor revealed during Infinite Crisis that these changes were in fact a result of Superboy-Prime attempting to break out of the dimension he was housed in with Alexander, Lois Lane and Superman of Earth-2. Soon, the Doom Patrol began to regain the memories of their previous lives once more.
4 Fought Negative Woman During Blackest Night
Once more reunited with the Negative Spirit and with his memories intact, Larry found the Negative Spirit could now reside outside of his body for longer than sixty seconds. It was during this time that he and Robotman found themselves in the fight of the miniseries, the crossover event Blackest Night.
During this event, Valentina Vostok returned as a Black Lantern, attacking Negative Man. He attempts to use the Negative Spirit to counteract the Black Lantern energy, but this causes him to convulse after absorbing both entities. He manages to regain control and use the entities to destroy Valentina’s Black Lantern ring.
3 Larry Is The Negative Spirit
The mystery of how Larry survived the original Doom Patrol’s passing finally was revealed after the events of Blackest Night. During this time period, it was revealed that Larry had in fact become the Negative Spirit, the same one that housed itself in Valentina Vostok and later returned to Larry.
Larry’s body ended up being cloned by Niles Caulder, who had survived the incident. Each time one of the bodies cloned by Niles expires, Larry houses himself inside of another until it can be revived, giving Larry the memories of each host he has inhabited.
2 Confronted Jessica Cruz
One of the things that may truly shock fans about Negative Man is his connection to one of the newest heroes of the DC Universe, Jessica Cruz. Before she became an official member of the Green Lantern Corps, Jessica had found herself attached to the Ring of Volthoom, a powerful weapon steeped in corruption.
Larry had joined the Doom Patrol in going after the Ring to retrieve it from Jessica, coming into conflict with the Justice League in the process. However, it was at this time that Lex Luthor himself revealed to the Doom Patrol that Niles was responsible for all their accidents, ending the conflict.
1 Entered The Negative Space
In recent years, Larry has explored the extent of the Negative Spirit inside of him more fully than ever before. He discovered, after separating himself from the spirit, that its name was Keeg Bovo. After returning to Earth and reuniting with Robotman, Keeg invited the two to the Negative Space.
There, Larry was put on trial, where a council of Negative energy beings sentenced Larry and Keeg to be bonded once more. However, Robotman convinced the council to allow Larry to choose his fate. In the end, he opted to bond himself to Keeg and became a heroic member of Doom Patrol.