Brotherhood of Dada

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The Brotherhood of Dada is a group of supervillains in the DC universe. Enemies of the Doom Patrol, the Brotherhood is devoted to all things absurd and bizarre, taking their name from the Dada art movement. Though they would be considered villains by most definitions, the group does not recognize concepts of good and evil (hence the decision to rename themselves from the Brotherhood of Evil), but simply aloof; they are perhaps best described as anarchic rogues. The group first appeared in the September 1989 issue of Doom Patrol, # 26 of the second series. The Brotherhood of Dada was created by Grant Morrison.[1]

History[edit]

Mister Morden, first name unknown, longed to reform the Brotherhood of Evil. He underwent a series of experiments that turned him into Mr. Nobody, gaining the ability to sap the sanity of other beings. He then traveled far and wide, ultimately gathering together Sleepwalk, who had vast strength only when sleepwalking; Frenzy, a large, garishly-dressed dyslexic Jamaican man who could transform into a whirling cyclone; Fog, who could absorb humans into his being when in his gaseous form; and the Quiz, a Japanese woman who literally had "every superpower you haven't thought of yet" and who wore a hazmat suit at all times due to her pathological fear of dirt.[2]

The Brotherhood stole a magical painting and used it to transport Paris into another reality composed of realms based on philosophical concepts and schools of art. Their plan was foiled by the Doom Patrol, but they chose to remain in the strange alternate realm.[1]

Later, Mr. Nobody escaped from the painting with the help of four members of his new Brotherhood: Agent "!", who could blend into any crowd; Alias the Blur, the ghost of a mirror that can eat time; Number None, everything that goes wrong in a person's day; and the Love Glove, whose power depends on what glove he wears. They stole the bicycle of Albert Hofmann, and used its lysergic resonance to power Mr Nobody's presidential campaign. However, the US Government sent another super-powered agent after them. Despite the best efforts of the Doom Patrol, the Brotherhood members were killed and the Painting That Ate Paris destroyed, presumably killing the members who had elected to remain there.[1] The only member left is the Toy, who was late for the meeting. However, this was not the end of the Painting, as a girl was later seen picking a piece of it and using it as a slingshot to hurl a rock to break a government window, as the fragment started regrowing. It was later revealed the fragment had grown to mural size and installed in Dayton Manor in Prague.

In Infinite Crisis, a member of H.I.V.E. mentioned seeing Punch and Jewelee at a "Save the Brotherhood of Dada" rally.[3]

Members[edit]

First Brotherhood[edit]

Brotherhood of Dada
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Doom Patrol, # 26
Created by Grant Morrison
In-story information
Member(s) The Fog, The Quiz, Frenzy, Sleepwalk, Mr. Nobody

The Fog[edit]

Byron Shelley gained the ability to turn into a psychedelic death cloud capable of absorbing people. The people he absorbed could still communicate, and the voices started to drive him mad. After he absorbed Doom Patrol member Crazy Jane, she and her multiple personalities traumatized the people inside him. He was apparently named after Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Frenzy[edit]

Lloyd Malcolm Jefferson was an illiterate man whose mother had abandoned him. He wore a garish outfit covered with symbols, a top hat with a green flower, and two bicycle wheels on his back. He could turn into a living cyclone.

Sleepwalk[edit]

Holly McKenzie was a British girl who had tremendous power, but only when she was asleep. To avoid waking, she took sleeping pills and wore headphones that played Barry Manilow. She had the outlines of two faces painted around her eyes.

The Quiz[edit]

A Japanese woman with a fear of dirt, The Quiz had every power you hadn't thought of. To make her lose a power, you had to think it. Because of her fear of dirt, she wore a long gown/gas mask that was decorated with question marks similar to the Riddler's outfit. The powers she exhibited were: flight, mimicking appearances, turning people to glass, turning back time, dematerialization, making things large, turning people into toilets filled with flowers, and the power to make escape-proof spirit jars.

Second Brotherhood[edit]

Brotherhood of Dada
Publication information
Publisher Vertigo Comics
First appearance Doom Patrol # 49
In-story information
Member(s) Agent "!", Alias the Blur, Number None, Love Glove, Mr. Nobody

Agent "!"[edit]

Known otherwise only as "Malcolm," a homeless man who dressed in a garish outfit decorated with exclamation marks (possibly referencing his predecessor, the Quiz) drawn back to reveal his chest is actually a gilded cage containing a miniature jet with bird-like feet. Despite his odd appearance, he "comes as no surprise," which allows him and anyone around him to be unnoticed or any attacks made by them to be seemingly out of nowhere. He mentions his desire to find the element of surprise, which may mean that his powers of "stealth" are not what he wants; Malcolm finds the element at last when dying during the final battle between the Brotherhood and the government.

Alias the Blur[edit]

Ilse Krauss, an actress, falls in love with her own reflection. As she gets older, the reflection changes, and Ilse's madness drives her to believe that her reflective lover had been kidnapped and replaced; in retaliation, she scars the mirror with battery acid, before shooting herself. Ilse is left in a coma on life support in a Bremen hospital. The dead, destroyed mirror ends up in a junkyard before eventually it is awoken by the dream-vibrations of Mister Nobody; Alias the Blur awakens, a fractured monster-ghost with the ability to eat time. Alias the Blur follows Mister Nobody on the campaign trail to win the presidency before the battle with John Dandy, when it was freed of its tortured existence and Ilse finally died.

Number None[edit]

Number None, also known as the Secret Identity, is neither a specific person or thing. Number None is anything or anyone that can get in your way. As Mister Nobody put it, "Everybody and everything, at some time or another, is Number None." It first appears as a door that Agent ! walks into, signaling its joining of the New New New Brotherhood of Dada. It is never officially killed, because it is unclear if it can be.

The Love Glove[edit]

Bobby Carmichael is obsessed with the Sixties, and spends much of his time hanging around in record shops or going out to clubs until one night, when he experiences a wet dream about the "Glove Tree", a mysterious tree with gloves instead of leaves. Upon waking from the dream, he finds his arms gone, but in place of his right hand is a hovering red glove with a gritty texture 'attached' to his shoulder by a collection of valentine shapes. It is the Love Glove from which he takes his name, and he can use it like a normal arm, but can also extend the distance beyond arm's length. The glove grants Bobby the ability to revisit the Glove Tree through a day-glo space vortex, and use any of the left-handed gloves on it. Some of the other gloves used are the Shove Glove, which possesses enormous strength, and the Techno Glove, which grants him mechanical knowledge and expertise.

The Toy[edit]

The Toy is the only member of the Brotherhood of Dada left alive, unless you count Number None, although Number None can, by definition, be anyone or anything and is more of a concept than an actual person. She was late (as always) to the rally where her teammates were killed. Her origin and powers are unknown, but she has a distinctive look: the lower half of her face is locked behind something similar to Hannibal Lecter's mask, only combined with a Mister Potato Head. A set of plastic lips have been affixed to the mask, and a set of toothbrushes have been grafted on as ears. She wears a shirt that says Play with Me under a vest with pronounced shoulderpads.

The Toy reappears in Doom Patrol #10, once again late to a meeting with Thayer Jost. She is then killed in the following issue, which brings about the return of Mr. Nobody.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jimenez, Phil (2008), "Brotherhood of Dada", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 62, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5 
  2. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008), "Doom Patrol", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 61–63, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015 
  3. ^ Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files