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Friday, February 23, 2018

TITANS Casts Jake Michaels as Robotman


The Doom Patrol is almost complete.

ComicBook.com has revealed that the upcoming DC Universe digital series Titans has cast Jake Michaels as Cliff Steele, better known to DC Comics fans as Robotman, member of the team of strange superheroes known as The Doom Patrol.  

Michaels joins Bruno Bichir as The Chief and April Bowlby as Elasti-Girl.  The Doom Patrol will make their debut in the series' fifth episode, "The Doom Patrol", written by Geoff Johns.

According to the article, Robotman is described as "A former race car driver, Cliff Steele was in a horrific accident that left his body uninhabitable.  Cliff’s brain was saved by the mysterious Dr. Niles Caulder and he lives on in a powerful robotic body."

Michaels has previously appeared in episodes of Designated Survivor, Killjoys, Condor, Saving Hope, Suits, 11.22.63, Beauty and the Beast, Lost Girl, Nikita, Na dobre i na złe, and Transporter: The Series.

Created in 1963 by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani, Robotman first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 as Clifford "Cliff" Steele, a race car driver who had an accident that destroyed his body (a later retcon had the accident intentionally caused by Niles Caulder).  Caulder subsequently placed Cliff's intact brain into a robotic body which had superhuman strength, speed and endurance. After the operation, Cliff suffered from frequent depression because he viewed himself as less than human.

Cliff was approached by Caulder, who offered him a place among fellow "freaks" attempting to use their powers for good.  As Robotman, he joined Caulder's team, the Doom Patrol.  Eventually, tragedy struck when the Doom Patrol's enemies, the Brotherhood of Evil, threatened a small New England fishing village.  The Patrol members opted to sacrifice themselves to save the innocents, and were killed in an explosion.

Although initially believed to have been killed by Madame Rouge, Cliff's brain had survived. Will Magnus, the robotics expert who created the Metal Men, recovered Cliff's brain and built him a new body.  Cliff then joined a new Doom Patrol headed by a woman claiming to be Caulder's wife, Arani.  Refusing to believe that Niles was dead, she formed this new team to search for him and took his place as leader, calling herself Celsius, due to her heat-and-cold-based powers.  This new Doom Patrol was eventually almost all killed in action, with the exceptions of Cliff, Tempest, Negative Woman, and Rhea Jones (who remained comatose).  Caulder had turned up alive by this time, and denied having been married to Arani, although he admitted having known her.

Cliff voluntarily committed himself to an asylum, having fallen into a state of depression due to his condition and the loss of his teammates.  In particular, he was angry about being in a metal body and unable to enjoy the feeling and senses that humans take for granted. Caulder sent Magnus to try to help Cliff, and he introduced Cliff to a person with "worse problems than [his]", a woman called Crazy Jane.  Forming a new incarnation of the Doom Patrol, Cliff became Jane's guardian, and eventually fell in love with her.  Later, his human brain was revealed to have been replaced with a Central Processing Unit (CPU), making him a robot in reality.

In the current DC Comics continuity known as "The New 52", Cliff Steele is an adventurer and daredevil who agrees to be injected with experimental nanomachines designed to improve and repair his body.  After he's involved in a fatal car crash during a high-speed race, the nanomachines respond by creating a robotic body in order to encase and protect his still living brain.  Though initially distraught over his condition, the nanomachines prevent Cliff from being able to kill himself.  After coming to terms with his new body, he becomes a freelance hero, later joining the latest incarnation of the Doom Patrol.

This will be the first time the character will appear in live-action, although Robotman has appeared in various animation projects, including Teen Titans (voiced by Peter Onorati), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Henry Rollins), and in the DC Nation Doom Patrol shorts (voiced by David Kaye).

Titans is expected to debut on the DC Universe digital service sometime in 2018.

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