Rita Farr (Elasti-Girl/Elasti-Woman)

Still catching up with Titans, we meet the last member of Doom Patrol that we’ll meet again in the team’s spin-off series. When dinner’s ready, Gar goes to call the missing “family” member, Rita Farr, still in bed watching old movies… and looking like a giant puddle of pink goo. Minutes after, she appears in all her glory, portrayed by the stunning April Bowlby. She needed time “to put herself together”, and this is to be interpreted literally, as she seems to be suffering from the same structural problems of her more recent incarnations. Rita has also been referenced to in The Flash, as in Season 1 Barry and Iris go on a date in a cinema with one of the movies being The Rita Farr Story… the same story you’re about to read here.

Rita Farr started her starlet career as an athlete, an Olympic swimmer who even won a gold medal. She became popular after her victory, and from that moment people lined up to have an exclusive with her, or to offer her some contract. From athlete to actress the road turned out to be natural and short for her, and Rita took it with all her enthusiasm and energy. She moved to Hollywood, and she obtained some good roles that showed the world that she was a very skilled actress besides a sports champion. She specialized in pop movies, with a particular predilection for horror ones (she was the directors’ favorite also because she did all her stunts in person), and she became a new star, becoming friends with other professionals from the genre, Sigourney Weaver in particular. Her fame grew, and it appeared that nothing could have stopped her ascension… until something inevitably did it. As she was working on a new movie, in unspecified region in Africa, Rita was led to the wrong direction during filming, and she ended up in a valley filled with small geysers erupting some weird gas. Rita fainted upon breathing the volcanic gases, and when she woke up it was plain that something was wrong: her whole body had changed, and she could now change her own size, from microscopical to gigantic, and even modify the size and shape of her limbs. Unfortunately, she had absolutely no control over this weird ability, and as she suddenly turned into a giantess and came back to normal during work, the director interrupted filming. Back home, in Los Angeles, Rita Farr realized that nobody wanted to work with her anymore, and that everybody considered her a freak, a monster to be avoided and forgotten. Quite understandably, the once rising star fell into a deep depression, and she wouldn’t have come out of it if it wasn’t for an unexpected helping hand.

As she was brooding over her ruined career, Rita Farr was approached by a man on a wheelchair who introduced himself just as The Chief, and who offered help in controlling her new abilities. Not only that, Chief gave her a new purpose in life also, as while he helped her control her powers, he also made her acknowledge how much her personal tragedy had changed and strengthened her, and prompted her to use her skills to help others… not “even if” they considered her a monster, but “because” they did, so that she could be of inspiration and turn people’s minds on who’s a freak and who’s a hero. Convinced by the man, Rita accepted to be part of the first incarnation of the Doom Patrol, and joined others that like her had survived terrible accidents and had survived like freaks: Cliff “Robotman” Steele and Larry “Negative Man” Trainor. Together, they made quite a weird team, but they defeated foes that nobody else would have been able to face, and by doing so protected thousands of people from an impending doom. During her time with the Doom Patrol, Rita became known as Elasti-Girl, and was the public face of the team (even because she was the only one to actually have a face to show). She became the love interest of her teammate Negative Man, but she didn’t reciprocate him: she rather fell in love with another hero, the telepath Steve “Mento” Dayton, who had been courting her for quite a while. The two got married, and became the first married couple in Doom Patrol. Together with him, Elasti-Girl saved a young orphan named Garfield Logan, who had been targeted by assassins hired by his legal tutor, Nicholas Galtry, who wanted to put his hands on the boy’s money. After the adventure, Rita and Steve decided to adopted Gar, and he later became a part of Doom Patrol in turn as Beast Boy. Rita Farr may have lost a shining career, but apparently she had found a real family in its place.

Rita Farr is a woman who’s known the up and down of celebrity, first a role model then a monster to point at, and from her experience she developed a determined yet frail personality, caring and loving, but scarred by the wounds of her lost life. As Elasti-Girl, or Elasti-Woman later, she’s able to change her size from microscopical to gigantic, and even to stretch, enlarge or modify even single limbs of her body; for a time, she was also able to shrink or grow other people or objects as long as she kept physical contact with them; after The Chief cloned her, Rita lost all “weaknesses” like bones and internal organs, resulting in a protoplasmic body that loses integrity any time Rita is not conscious, but that is much more malleable and elastic. Much colder and detached than she used to be, Elasti-Woman is the most “normal looking” member of the Doom Patrol, but the scars you see are not always the gravest, and she makes no exception…

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Thomas Constantine

Still at last week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow, we find John Constantine meeting another figure from his past in the pub in 1977 Liverpool, one that this time he’s not too happy to see: his father. In Dancing Queen, Constantine tries to repay (in advance) years of abuses and violence by attacking a young Tommy, portrayed by Chris Walters, but there are rules to time travel to prevent paradoxes (even if the series is literally cramped with them), and ends up being beaten in turn. From what we can learn from John’s words, Thomas Constantine will grow up to be the abusive father we all love to hate from the comics, more than enough to justify such a grudge from his own son. Let’s see together.

Thomas Constantine was born in Liverpool in 1914, son of a working class man, a working class man himself in his immediate future. His father, Bill Constantine, died serving his country and His Majesty in World War I, and Thomas was raised by his mother Alice. It wasn’t exactly a solitary life, as he had quite a numerous family, with six brothers and one sister, all like him slaves to their social class and destined to heavy work and a small salary. Alice died when she was still relatively young, so Thomas learnt quite soon to take care of himself. Before dying a soldier, his father had been a stevedore at the docks, and Thomas followed his footsteps, obtaining the same job. A hard worker and a heavy drinker, he soon became a living stereotype, but he somehow changed the moment he met Mary Ann Quinn, a woman he fell in love with and who soon after became his wife. Mary Ann had a positive effect on Thomas, and the two of them were moderately happy for the first years of their marriage. Things got even better when they had a daughter, Cheryl. Then they got worse. Much worse. One day, as he was completely drunk at the docks, he started a brawl with some other workers, and unwillingly caused an accident: when he woke up, he had lost an arm. From that day, his life appeared to him as totally meaningless: as he couldn’t work anymore, all he did was drinking, and he vented his frustration on his family and on whoever else had the misfortune of crossing his path. Mary Ann got pregnant other times after Cheryl, but Thomas forced her to abort each time: he couldn’t take care of other kids, he didn’t have money to raise them with. Even if he had more than enough to get drunk all day and night, apparently.

In 1953, Mary Ann got pregnant with twins, and this time she was more than determined to keep them, despite Thomas’ usual objection. Even this time, though, it was the husband who got the last words, and Mary Ann underwent another abortion… but only one baby died, while the other kept growing inside her. Time for legal abortion had passed, and Mary Ann delivered a boy, John… her body, however, had been weakened by the previous abortions, and she died of fatigue immediately after the birth. Thomas was overridden by guilt, but he simply couldn’t recognize himself as the responsible of the death of the woman of his life. Because of this, he found a better and easier solution in blaming John, seeing him as the actual murderer of his own mother. Thomas started drinking even more, if it was possible, and he often beat John, venting on him decades of frustration, rage and humiliations. Since he was out drinking more often than not, it was Cheryl the one who acted as a parental figure for her little brother, and she spent most of her time trying to protect him from their dad. Finally, after getting particularly drunk, in 1961, Thomas was arrested for stealing women’s underwear, and was put in prison for some time. John, who was 17, exploited the occasion to flee, and left his home never to come back, while Cheryl went to live nearby to keep an eye on her old man. Thomas came back to his house, and there he stayed, alone and embittered, until 1990, when he became the target of the Family Man, a serial killer that John Constantine had tried to stop, and who in revenge wanted to hit his hunter’s family… not knowing that by killing Thomas he was actually doing a favor to John. Not being surprised the least, John saw his father one another time after his death, during one of his trips to Hell, that was now the permanent residence of his abusive father.

Thomas Constantine is the perfect product of his time and social class, of course, but also of his own bad choices and his impossible character. Violent, abusive and full of rage, he’s a heavy drinker who tries to forget the humiliation of being himself drowning his sorrow in alcohol, obtaining only an even shorter temper and a number of drunken exploits he’ll maybe remember and regret after. With no love to give, even to his family, and nothing at all to give to the world, Thomas decided to leave a mark at least in his kids’ memories by haunting their nightmares, but this is a choice he’ll have to pay for, eventually…

Lawrence “Larry” Trainor (Negative Man)

Back to Titans, we find another one who’ll be among the main characters of the spin-off Doom Patrol, the weird guy looking like the Invisible Man that Rachel spots as he’s cooking for all the family: Larry Trainor, portrayed by Dwain Murphy. Better known as the Negative Man, Larry is one of the founding members of the team, and even if we don’t get even the slightest glimpse of his powers, they’re definitely trippy. In the spin-off he’ll be portrayed by Matthew Zuk, while Matt Bomer will voice him and portray Trainor before the accident… the one we’re going to see together right here.

Lawrence Trainor was born in Midway City, and since he was a kid he wanted to become a pilot. Unlike many other children dreaming of airplanes, Larry managed to realize his dream, and he joined the US Air Force as a test pilot, distinguishing himself for being quite a natural even with experimental jets, and becoming friends with other aces like Hal Jordan. Thanks to his many successes and to his recognized talent, Larry was the pilot selected to test the X-19, an experimental suborbital jet. The flight went perfectly, and the jet successfully broke the atmosphere… but then the commands were stuck, and Larry couldn’t do anything but watch helplessly as the jet brought him much higher than it was supposed to, crossing a field of deadly radiations. The X-19 stayed in the stratosphere for hours, until Earth‘s gravity inevitably pulled it back to the ground: unconscious, Trainor came back to his senses just in time to prevent the jet from crashing, and operated a miracle emergency landing. From his cockpit, he saw a search plane looking for him, but apparently the pilot had some difficulty in landing: he thought for a moment to help him, and suddenly his mind was inside a negatively charged energy being, separated from his now unconscious body. As the energy being, Larry managed to guide his colleague to a safe landing, and then came back to his body, letting the other bring him to a hospital. Once there, the doctors found him horribly disfigured from the incident, deformed and with a glowing skin: he was also radioactive, and couldn’t stay close to other people without poisoning them. The military hospital kept him in a lead-lined room in complete isolation, until a man in a wheelchair who presented himself only as The Chief came with the solution: he had devised special bandages made of a material that could block the radiations, thus allowing Larry to come back to a regular social life… if a man who now looked like a living mummy could have one, of course.

Larry Trainor realized that society wasn’t ready nor willing to treat him normally despite his grotesque appearance, and he became an outcast, regarded by everyone as a freak. He started leaving in a rooming house, isolating himself from everyone… and making experiments with the weird energy being he was able to control and to summon at will, that he started calling the Negative Man. As the Negative Man, Larry was able to abandon his body and travel even through solid matter, but for not more than one minute per time, otherwise his body grew too weak and risked to die. Larry knew that the government was keeping an eye on him, but he was pleasantly surprised when he was contacted by some Dr. Drew who wanted him as his assistant. Unemployed and alone, Larry accepted the offer… only to discover that Drew was a maniac known as Dr. Death, who wanted to use his new powers to unbalance the Western world. Trainor managed to stop him a first time, but as he was exploring a dangerous volcanic island for the Air Force he was trapped by Dr. Death, who managed to lock him into a lead-lined room and to force him to use the Negative Man to lead some politicians insane, aiming to world anarchy. This time, the Negative Man wouldn’t have been able to defeat Death alone, but he was saved by The Chief, the same man who had given him his bandages. This time, Chief had come not only to save him (again), but to offer him a place within his new team, that he called the Doom Patrol: apart from the Negative Man, it would have included himself, a former racer now cyborg and an ex actress now giantess, Robotman and Elasti-Girl respectively. The Doom Patrol would have showed the world that even the ones seen by “normal” people as freaks and monsters could be heroes, and would have allowed the advancement of the entire humankind just with their living example. Grateful to Chief, and eager to do something with his life, Larry Trainor accepted the offer, starting an adventure that would have led him to become one of the weirdest, if not greatest heroes ever lived.

As all his new teammates, Larry Trainor is a man who had everything he could possibly want, and now has nothing of it: once a brave and sometimes boastful ace pilot, he’s now a brooding and nostalgic freak, who mourns his lost life, but sometimes shows signs of his old personality, especially in his buddy relationship with Robotman. As the Negative Man, he’s able to manifest an astral form that can move at superhuman speed, phase through solid objects, fly, emit radiations and heat waves, and even cause small explosions when in contact with positive matter; his energy form can be separated from his body for a limited time (originally no more than one minute, then he trained himself to extend the duration), otherwise the “physical Larry” falls into a coma and dies; he’s also one of the best pilots alive. Despite being an adventurer who aims to guide the world into accepting freaks like him, the Negative Man has yet to accept himself, and his frustrated dream of a romantic relationship with his teammate Elasti-Girl or the constant reminder of his previous life definitely don’t help him in this. Maybe, with time, he’ll learn to be “less negative”…

Mary Ann Quinn

Jumping to Legends of Tomorrow, we find other parental figures, this time from the past of one of the new entries. In Dancing Queen, the brooding John Constantine goes to a pub in Liverpool, in 1977, where he observes with clear love the bartender… but their relationship is not the one Zari imagines, as she’s John’s mother, Mary Ann (spelled Mary Anne), portrayed by Natalie Moon. Her role is secondary to say the best in the comics as well, as her destiny is exactly the one John states it is in the show. Let’s take a look.

Mary Ann Quinn had always quite a rough life, and nothing was given to her during her brief existence. She was born in Liverpool, on October 3, 1923, and she grew up in a city soon after put on its knees by World War II. It’s unclear what she did during that time, or if even she joined the war effort with her work, but as most girls her age (and especially from her social class) tried to lend a hand in some way among the bombs and the famine, she most likely tried to make herself useful in some capacity. When the war ended, everything needed to be rebuilt, and more work and more effort was needed. It was during these days that she met Thomas Constantine, a hard worker and a honest man that she eventually married. Their union was just one among many others at first: Thomas worked in a factory and provided to her, while she stayed home and looked after their first daughter, Cheryl. Then, everything crumbled down like a house of cards.

Thomas had never been exactly a gentleman to begin with, but his marriage with Mary Ann was perfectly normal at first. Then, one day, he lost an arm in an industrial accident, and was forced to retire before time. This incident turned Thomas into an angry and violent man, who vented all his frustration on his wife at home. Mary Ann got pregnant several other times after Cheryl, but Thomas, who had started to drink heavily and had lost all interest in having kids (but not in sleeping with his wife without taking some precautions, apparently), forced her to have multiple abortions. Needless to say, their relationship inevitably decayed, and suddenly Mary Ann found herself prisoner of an unhappy marriage… and with a remarkably weakened uterus, due to the many abortions. Finally, the woman found the strength to oppose her husband, and decided to keep her last pregnancy: she was expecting twins, and she didn’t want to kill them too. Her womb, however, wasn’t strong enough to carry two kids: she lost one before birth (referred to as The Golden Boy, one who’d been destined to be the greatest wizard of all times), and she gave birth to the other one, John, at the cost of her life, with her organism giving up due to the effort. It’s likely her soul went straight to Heaven, since her son never saw her in his trips to Hell. John lived with the regret of never knowing her face, until he was sent back in time by Shade the Changing Man to meet her in person. A poor consolation, considering the life John had to live with Thomas without his mother to protect him…

Mary Ann Constantine, nee Quinn, is a woman of her time, trapped in a terrifying marriage without love, forced to let her man dispose of her body the way he prefers, submitted to a number of humiliations and violence. Mary Ann fell victim of alcoholism to stand her own life, but this way she just further debilitates a body already weakened by far too many abortions. A husk who lost her ability to love, Mary Ann feels to have just one last chance to prove herself as a woman and a mother…

Clifford “Cliff” Steele (Robotman)

The first member of Doom Patrol we meet in the episode of the same name of Titans is the grumpy and clanky Robotman, portrayed by Jake Michaels. In the episode, he appears to have a big brother-little brother relationship with Garfield, and albeit suspicious at first, he also takes a liking in Rachel too. Robotman will come back in the Doom Patrol series, this time portrayed by Riley Shanahan and voiced by Brendan Fraser, who will also portray his human alter ego Clifford Steele in flashbacks (we already got a glimpse of Fraser in a picture showing the ex racer in his human form). Now, let’s take a look at this metal man with a heart of gold.

Clifford “Cliff” Steele was born in Brooklyn, New York City, and he grew up with his brother Randy. While Randy grew up to be more of a family guy, Cliff became obsessed since his youth with extreme sports, becoming a daredevil. He loved spelunking and deep diving, he lived six months with an untouched tribe in the African deserts and climbed the Himalayas, he rafted down the Amazon River and bunjee-jumping came easier than walking to him. It was only a matter of time before he found another passion: professional car racing. He became a raising star at NASCAR, as his quick reflexes joined with his lack of perception of danger made him a terrific driver. He signed up for the Indianapolis 500, in Speedway, Indiana, sure to have his greatest victory yet already in his pocket… but it turned out he had made a step longer than his leg, this time. While racing to the finish, Cliff failed to spot in time an oil slick on the circuit, and he lost control of his car, that toppled over and exploded. In a matter of seconds, his entire body was consumed by flames, and most of his bones broke on the impact. This would have easily been the end for Cliff, if it wasn’t for a brilliant surgeon, some Dr. Niles Caulder, who volunteered to help save the champion, in exchange of his intervention remaining totally anonymous. Cliff’s body couldn’t be saved, but his brain was still vital and healthy. Through experimental surgery and futuristic bio-engineering, Caulder managed to place Cliff’s living brain into a robotic body of his own invention, thus saving at least the racer’s conscience… but condemning him to a life in which he wouldn’t have been able to feel a thing through the cold metal that his body was now. As he woke up, Cliff wasn’t exactly happy with his new body: he fell into a deep depression, that eventually, with people’s obvious unease around him, became full rage.

Going in a rampage through the city, Cliff Steele didn’t ask for anything else than a chance to die for good… until he was reached by that same Dr. Caulder who had saved him, who presented himself simply as The Chief. Chief managed to calm Cliff down, and offered him the chance to do something with his new life, joining a team of misfits he was putting together to battle evil and thus show the world that what normal people deemed cripples and freaks could actually be heroes. Literally with nothing to lose, and with a desperate need to give his most recent experiences a meaning, Steele accepted the offer, and he joined the first formation of the Doom Patrol with the name Robotman. Along with him, there was a now disembodied pilot known as the Negative Man, and an ex Hollywood starlet who had become Elasti-Girl. Together, the trio of unlikely heroes lived up to the Chief’s expectations, and protected a world that feared and despised them from menaces just as weird as they were, such as The Brain (a disembodied brain become a sentient computer) and his super-intelligent ape Monsieur Mallah, the shapeshifting Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, the immortal Nazi General Immortus, and the mirror team of evil misfits known as the Brotherhood of Evil. Robotman never came to terms with his new existence as much as he wanted to, but he found a new family in the team. The Doom Patrol even grew to include other members, such as Elasti-Girl’s new husband Mento and her adoptive son Beast-Boy, and for a time even former enemy Madame Rouge, who however was pushed deeper into villainy and became the team’s executioner. Quite tragically, Robotman was the only survivor after the team’s heroic sacrifice, as his brain was salvaged by Doc Magnus, who built another, more advanced robotic body for him. The one who wanted to die the most, ended up being the one who buried all his friends…

Cliff Steele used to be a man who sucked the morrow out of life’s bones, but he’s now the shadow of what he used to be, a man with a strong sense of community and family and a stronger sense of responsibility, but who’s often depressed because of his new semi-artificial life. As Robotman, his several robotic bodies grant him different abilities: his first one, created by The Chief, gives him superhuman strength, durability and stamina, the ability to detach limbs to be used separately from the rest of the body, and magnetism that allows him to scale vertical metallic surfaces; from there, many updates, either from Doc Magnus or LexCorp, granted him different powers, such as increasing his body temperature to the point of melting metal with a touch, enhanced sight and hearing, even flight, up to the most recent body composed of nano-machines that’s capable of self-repairing, size alteration, shapeshifting and of a number of other feats. The longest surviving member of the Doom Patrol, and occasionally its leader, Robotman is a reference figure for the team, the one pillar that’ll never crumble… but also a cyborg who constantly feels himself less than human, a colossus who can’t feel even the slightest human warmth and who misses every day more his former human life.

Jarrett Parker

Let’s look back to Arrow, that this week delivered another episode following Oliver‘s misadventures in prison. In Level Two, wanting to meet The Demon, Oliver assaults some guards in order to be brought to the maximum security wing, but here he’s welcomed by a psychiatrist, Jarrett Parker, portrayed by Jason E. Kelley. Parker has different ideas for his new patient, and starts a shock therapy to make him reconsider his entire life of a vigilante… apparently succeeding in it. In the comics, Dr. Parker is indeed a psychiatrist, but he’s a totally secondary character, who only appears in a couple of issues featuring the other major hero from the CW squad. Let’s see together.

Jarrett Parker lived and worked in Huntington, New York, where he opened a psychiatry office along with a friend and colleague, Dr. Owen Slade. Unlike Slade, who treated with great attention and respect all his patients, Parker was very judgmental with many of them, resulting in some becoming frustrated with his therapy… something that didn’t bother Parker the least. One of Parker’s patients, though, was someone who shouldn’t have been treated lightly: Chester Runk, aka Chunk, a monstrously obese young man with a genius I.Q. but a frail control over his emotions. Dr. Parker believed he had seen through Chunk’s psychic state, and he constantly treated him like a boy, indulging in frustrating paternalism. Unfortunately for him, Chunk had been victim of a lab accident that had transformed him into a living black hole to another dimension, simply known as Void, and his precarious emotional state led him to send there everyone annoyed or hurt him. It didn’t take much to Chunk to decide that his therapist would have followed others who had insulted him before: in a matter of seconds, Jarrett Parker was absorbed by Chunk and found himself in the Void, where he met all the other victims of his patient. Some of them where regular people like him, striving to find a way to survive in the new, hostile environment; others were full criminals, who soon found in cannibalism an acceptable way to do it.

With numbers being the only chance of survival, Parker joined forces with the other “regular guys”, and helped creating a community in the Void. While Eric Gunderson, a military veteran who had made the mistake of cutting off Chunk at an intersection, taught everyone how to hunt and find water, Parker organized the community, assigning roles and tasks… and collecting material for what he regarded as the ultimate sociological experiment, wanting to write a paper about it as soon as he came back home. A chance to do so came when Chunk absorbed yet another victim, this time the hero The Flash, who had tried to stop him as he “fed” on diamonds in a jewelry (he needed dense mass to maintain stability). The Flash immediately showed his usefulness as he drove away the cannibals, who had attacked a trio composed of Parker, Gunderson and Karin Preus (a girl who had rejected Chunk’s affections), and he swore to lead everyone home. Much to Parker’s annoyance, though, The Flash tried to speak and reason with Chunk, to bond with him, something that he had clearly failed to do when he was his patient. Oddly enough, the hero managed where he had failed, and at this point Parker intervened, trying to use his version of counseling again, with the only result of annoying Chunk yet again. When the cannibals came back, Chunk kept his word, and while he brought Flash, Gunderson, Preus and the others back to New York, he also sent the criminals to yet another, unknown dimension… and Dr. Parker with them, guilty of being a total jerk to the end.

As cultured and intelligent as Dr. Jarrett Parker is, he’s arrogant and completely unsympathetic, a cold and calculating man who treats his patients as guinea pigs and who doesn’t care of their feelings… even if this should be his first attention. Ambitious and with a gigantic self-esteem, Parker sees every situation, even the gravest and most dangerous one, as an opportunity for implementing his career and his fame, as if everything always happened to someone else. He’ll see for himself that this kind of detachment is not always justified…

Mark & Marie Logan

The second character appearing in Titans episode Doom Patrol is actually a couple, and they were among the few not announced to be making some kind of appearance. As Garfield leads Rachel into his house, the girl quickly spots a picture of the boy with his parents, but he doesn’t say much about them, apart from the fact that they died. They are Mark and Marie Logan, and in the comics just as in the show, they exist pretty much just to be killed off and let the young hero become who he’s destined to be through the path of the orphan. Originally, however, they have a role that the show decided to give to the Chief instead: let’s see together.

There’s quite a mystery surrounding Mark and Marie Logan, as their true jobs and purposes have never been clearly explained up to now. They most likely lived in New York City, but even this is dubious: they were surely American, and this is as much as we know. Apparently, they were known as scientists, a biologist Mark and a medical doctor Marie, and they indeed knew a lot about their respective fields, but their interests went far beyond that, and even their research was only incidentally related to their primary line of work. They were married, and they shared their personal and professional lives, actually being much more enthralled by the latter. Even when they had a son, Garfield, they kept neglecting him in order to dedicate almost their entire time to their work, something that inevitably had a negative impact on the emotional and relational life of their son. Not much has ever been confirmed about this, but it looks like Mark and Marie, as much as they loved Garfield, also abused him in some form, albeit this could be very well a reference to the aforementioned negligence. If their family life wasn’t exactly great, though, their professional one made progresses, and by uniting their expertise they came up with quite an unusual research: they wanted to synthesize a serum able to reverse the evolutionary progress of living beings, in order to “resurrect” extinct species. They somehow found funds, and soon the Logan family was headed to Lamumba, Africa.

Mark, Marie and Garfield settled in the upper region of the country, and while Marie worked at the local Mayo Clinic, Mark continued their research on the serum, both of them being founded by Mndawe Foundation. Everything was perfect and the family had found a new balance, until Garfield fell ill with Sakutia, a rare virus with only seven reported cases in the world… lethal in all of them. Mark had met Sakutia during his researches, and he knew that a peculiar monkey species from Lamumba, the green capped monkey, was immune. As a desperate resource, as he had to act within 48 hours from the first symptoms, Mark injected Garfield with an experimental version of his serum, forcing him to turn back to the state of ape for 24 hours, waiting for the virus to die before he could turn back to his human state. Miraculously, the cure worked, and Garfield was healed… but he had some side effects, such as his skin and hair being turned permanently green. Some days later, Marie found out about another unexpected side effect: walking in the forest, she was attacked by a snake, and much to her shock Garfield intervened in her defense… by turning into a mongoose. Apparently, the boy still suffered from the genetic instability induced by the virus, but with the serum in his system, he was able to turn into any animal he could think of. Mark and Marie would have gladly studied their son’s new condition, but the rain season came to Lamumba, and the country was hit by severe floods. As the Logans were trying to escape by boat, the strong stream led the trio to a cliff, where Mark and Marie convinced Garfield to transform into a bird and save himself… and so he did, letting his parents die in the fall. Even by sacrificing their lives for their son, they managed to create quite a trauma and a lifelong sense of guilt in him.

Mark and Marie Logan are quite a living contradiction: loving parents ready to sacrifice their lives for their son, they also neglect him and dedicate all their time to their work. Proficient scientists the both of them, they managed to read the genetic code of many species and unveil the mechanics of evolution, achieving impressive results. Unfortunately, they just didn’t put as much an effort in being good parents, and this affected their Garfield in a lot of different ways…