Doom Patrol: Mr. Nobody’s Powers and Comic Book Backstory

Despite being a major villain in the Doom Patrolcomics for years and the chief antagonist/narrator of their new series on DC Universe, little is known about Mr. Nobody, save only to the most devout of comic book fans. Despite being as mad as the Joker and as brilliant as Lex Luthor, Mr. Nobody has never made much of an impression upon the world of DC Comics.

Played by Alan Tudyk, Mr. Nobody’s origins are explained in the opening scenes of Doom Patrol’s pilot episode. Introducing himself as Mr. Morden, a “nameless henchman” and “a real nobody,” we see how a Nazi mad scientist’s experiment drove him crazy and transformed him into something else. Something that no longer calls itself Mr. Morden, which resembles a living shadow that has the power to alter reality around it. Mr. Nobody is also aware that he’s in a TV series and acts as Doom Patrol‘s narrator, when he isn’t terrorizing innocent people and the heroes.


Related: DC Universe’s Doom Patrol Teaser Trailer Introduces Alan Tudyk’s Mr. Nobody

Mr. Nobody’s Comic Book Origin Story

This origin story is taken directly from the classic Doom Patrol series. Eric Morden first appeared in Doom Patrol #86 in October 1964, where he was a hapless henchman who sought to join the Brotherhood of Evil. Morden earned himself an audition after managing to steal Rog – a giant robot designed by Dr. Niles Caulder for lunar exploration. Tasked with defeating the Doom Patrol to earn a place among the ranks of the Brotherhood of Evil, Morden sent Rog on a rampage at the Statue of Liberty, only to be sent desperately fleeing the scene of the crime when Rog was defeated.

Mr. Morden would not appear again until Doom Patrol #26 in September 1989. It was here that writer Grant Morrison explained Morden’s sudden disappearance after his first and only appearance in the original Doom Patrol series. The Brain, leader of the Brotherhood of Evil, was displeased with Morden’s failure and promised to kill him if he ever saw him again. This resulted in Morden hiding in Paraguay for many years, where he encountered an escaped Nazi scientist who promised to make him a new man so that he could come out of hiding. Thus did Mr. Morden become Mr. Nobody in the comics.

Mr. Nobody’s Powers In DC Comics

Rendered as a surreal shadow, with an empty space where his heart should be, Mr. Nobody was driven incurably insane as he realized the utter absurdity of the universe. Thus inspired, he formed his own supervillain team made up of equally strange and insane criminals – the Brotherhood of Dada. The process that changed Mr. Nobody gave him the power to project his insanity into other people. He also developed an inexplicable ability to find lost objects – those things that now belonged to nobody.

The two versions of Mr. Nobody share an origin story, an off-putting appearance and an insane mind, yet their power sets seem completely different. Of course we only have the word of the Mr. Nobody in the Doom Patrol show that he’s causing the chaos that we see on-screen as reality breaks down at the end of the pilot. It’s entirely possible his power to drain the sanity of the people around him extends into the audience and is making us see what he wants us to see. It’s a frightening idea but one perfectly in theme with metatextual nature of the original comics and one that will surely keep people watching DC Universe to see more of this fascinating villain in action as the season continues.

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About The Author

Matt Morrison (1835 Articles Published)

Matt Morrison has been writing about comics since before the word “blogging” was coined. He got his start writing for the legendary DC Comics digital fanzine Fanzing, before receiving his own column, The Mount. Since then he has gone on to write for over a dozen websites, including 411 Mania, Comics Nexus and The Cult of Nobody. He holds both an MS in Information Science from the University of North Texas and a BFA from the University of Texas at Arlington. Known as a font of comic book history trivia, he has delivered lectures on the history of American Comic Books, Japanese Manga, Doctor Who, and Cosplay at over a dozen conventions and served as an Expert In-Residence for a course on Graphic Novels for Librarians at the University of North Texas. In addition to his work for Screen Rant, Matt is currently the Editor In Chief of and writes reviews for No Flying, No Tights – a graphic literature and anime review site aimed at teachers and librarians. He also maintains a personal blog – My Geeky Geeky Ways – which hosts his extensive episode guide for the television series making up The Arrowverse as well as his comedic Let’s Play videos. What little spare time he has is devoted towards acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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