Things are about to get weird on HBO Max.
The next contender in the streaming wars announced today it will premiere the second season of Doom Patrol on June 25th. Starring Brendan Fraser, April Bowlby, Matt Bomer, Diane Guerrero Joivan Wade, and Timothy Dalton, the series tells the tale of a band of misfits with inconvenient superpowers — each attuned to their personal struggles. Somehow, they must learn to rely on each other when a bizarre enemy attacks their way of life.
Well, at least that was the first season. Following the defeat of Mr. Nobody, the members of the Doom Patrol now find themselves mini-sized and stranded on Cliff’s (Fraser) toy race car track. Here they begin to deal with their feelings of betrayal by Niles Caulder (Dalton), while confronting their own personal baggage. And as each member faces the challenge of growing beyond their own past traumatic experiences, they must come together to embrace and protect the newest member of the family: Niles’ daughter, Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro), whose powers remain a mysterious but also threat to bringing on the end of the world.
As part of a unique level of corporate synergy, Doom Patrol will simulcast on both HBO Max and DC Universe. Of course, close watchers of the streaming business wonder if this may be the beginning of a Crisis event for WarnerMedia’s more niche streamer. While it offers a staggering amount of archival video and comic book content and a number of worthwhile unscripted shows for a fairly slim price — half of HBO Max’s monthly rate — it lacks the subscriber base of a major streamer. Additionally, out of the programs streamed on the service, only Doom Patrol and Harley Quinn have made waves outside the expected audience. Then there’s the fact other aspects of the WarnerMedia empire are rifling through its original content with the simulcasts of Doom Patrol on HBO Max and Stargirl on The CW. The network also intends to air the cancelled Swamp Thing in late summer or early fall to cover a gap in programming.
Curiously, this suggests the content itself is well regarded within the corporation even if the delivery system is not. That said, rumors indicate Titans, a success within DC Universe’s metrics, may develop a spinoff once production begins on its third season. But with HBO Max using DC Comics titles for their own prestige series, Titans and its potential spinoff may be the last scripted series exclusive to the smaller streamer.
Other HBO Max content coming in June includes the BBC’s Torchwood series, the original British version of The Office, and library titles like 2001: a space odyssey, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Citizen Kane, Friday the 13th, A Hard Day’s Night, and the Lethal Weapon series. Curiously, the service will also stream Disney’s Alien and Die Hard films as well as Universal’s Jaws — titles both expected to appear on the companies own streaming services at some point. In terms of the Disney product, perhaps they feel Alien and Die Hard are too extreme even for Hulu.
HBO Max launches at the end of the month.