Doom Patrol: How Casey Brinke's Origins Differ From the Comics – Collider

The Casey Brinke of the show is everything that the Doom Patrol is not.
We live in an age of entertainment that is constantly trying to bring superheroes to life. Casey Brinke (Madeline Zima) is no exception — but there's an added layer of complication to the story of her adaptation for the screen. Casey Brinke was always a comic book character come to life…though the significance of that shifts depending on whether you're watching the Doom Patrol TV series or reading the relatively recent comics written by Gerard Way and drawn by Nick Derington. The show has always done a beautiful job of being its own story while also drawing from the source material of the comics in a way that pays homage to those stories instead of simply retelling them, and we now take a closer look at how it's done the same for Casey Brinke: the hero known as Space Case.
Casey Brinke is not the first comic book character made flesh to have appeared in the Doom Patrol — Flex Mentallo (Devan Long) was one too. While the Flex Mentallo of the TV series appears to be a simple metahuman of flesh and blood (and so, so much muscle), the series has retained Flex's close connection to Danny the Street, something that Flex shares with Casey.
In the Doom Patrol comics, one of the many stores on Danny the Street was a comic book shop. Comics fascinated Danny, and in their early days, they kept the residents of their street entertained with tales of Casey Brinke. Originally appearing in war comics, Casey was a favorite character of Danny's, and as the decades went by, she changed with the times — moving from the era of war comics headlong into the era of superhero comics, with all the reboots, new electric superpowers and changes to her origins that came with all of that. At this point, Danny gave little care to her history — Casey was simply a good character and an inspiration for many good stories.
While exploring the universe with Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero) however, the pair ran into some trouble, the side effect of which was to give Danny a major upgrade to their powers: allowing them to create life from scratch. When Danny returned to Earth, they decided to become Danny the World, populating themselves with a whole host of created people. The very first person that Danny brought to life, however, was someone they'd, in a sense, already created and had spent many decades with Casey Brinke.
However, soon after her birth, Casey and Danny were separated. Casey had a head full of strange memories that didn't quite fit with the real world that was around her, nor were her memories entirely complete. However, in the comics that Danny created, Space Case's alter ego had been an intergalactic driver and caregiver. Despite not being able to remember this, Casey was drawn to EMT work, and Danny took the form of an ambulance to find her.
Before Danny could explain themselves to Casey, a race of aliens known as the Vectra targeted Danny for Danny's ability to create life. They tortured Danny to get at the world inside the ambulance, and unable to think straight, Danny brought Casey's father to life: Torminox (Tyler Mane), as well as an evil twin of Space Case known as Doodle Bug. After several adventures across time and space, Casey became Danny the Ambulance's driver, the pair working in unison to be able to go anywhere — and anywhen — in the universe.
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As anyone who's seen the show knows, Danny's story is a little more straightforward on the show. They went from being a street to being a brick, then a world-traveling ambulance as a nod to Danny's most recent form in the comics. Casey Brinke, however, was not created by Danny, but by an unknown creative team out in the real world. Torminox is still Casey's father in the comics, but the Vectra are fictional beings within the comic as well. New villain Doctor Janus (Timeca Seretti) appears to have somehow brought the Vectra and Torminox to life, however, seeking to steal the life-giving amulet that Dorothy Spinner (Abi Monterey) was in possession of.
Threatened by the Vectra, a desperate Dorothy turned to the familiar: her favorite superhero, Casey Brinke. Using her ability to make her imagination real, Dorothy pulled Casey straight out of the cover of the nearest Space Case comic book. Casey Brinke shares a few things with her comic book counterpart. They both have a complicated relationship with their father, Torminox. Much like the relationship between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, Casey is trying to get through to the man inside. However, the Casey of the comics has adjusted somewhat to life as a human — on the show, Casey is unfamiliar enough with the real world to have never even eaten before (as a side note, the gyro she eats is a nod to the gyro that was featured in Doom Patrol #1 under DC's Young Animal imprint — her first appearance). She is unfamiliar with the concept of death as a permanent ending and comes across fairly disoriented…unless it's about saving the day. She is also an inspiration to Dorothy and appears to have in part been created not just to protect Dorothy, but to help Dorothy process her own complicated feelings about her father.
By the end of the episode, Casey and Dorothy drive away together with Danny to find the Doom Patrol. Like her DC comic book counterpart, it's Casey who takes Danny's wheel. The Casey Brinke of the show is cheerful, peppy, optimistic, and enthusiastic about being a superhero: in short, everything the Doom Patrol is not, and her meeting the team is certainly going to be an interesting experience.


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