Jeremy Carver tells EW about the misfit superheroes' journey to get better.

The characters of Doom Patrol have been through a lot over the course of their first two seasons. In addition to weathering regular apocalyptic threats from the likes of Mr. Nobody and the oppressive Bureau of Normalcy, these misfit superheroes also have their own problems: Jane (Diane Guerrero) is trying to find a workable system for managing her multiple personalities and the childhood sexual abuse that generated them, Robotman (Brendan Fraser/Riley Shanahan) is desperate to connect to his estranged daughter, Cyborg (Joivan Wade) is coming to terms with his half-robot body and his complicated relationship with his father, and so on.

But in season 3, which premiered Thursday on HBO Max, the members of the Doom Patrol are trying to get out of their funk. Showrunner Jeremy Carver (formerly of Supernatural) tells EW that this process will be a little uneven.

"We're seeing a group of individuals, each in their own way, trying to climb out of the despair they've been in for many decades," Carver says. "Some find more success than others, some need to go even more rock-bottom before they can surface. But all of them will, by the end of the season, be at least pointed in a new direction."

Fall TV Preview - Doom Patrol
Garguax (Stephen Murphy) takes it easy with Robotman (Brendan Fraser/Riley Shanahan) in 'Doom Patrol' season 3
| Credit: Bob Mahoney/HBO Max

The team definitely doesn't have it easy, with a major tragedy striking in the very first episode of season 3. But one thing that helps them deal with this and their myriad other problems is the arrival of some new faces in town, such as the green-skinned alien Garguax (Stephen Murphy).

"The Doom Patrol meets Garguax at a time when they're dealing with a massive grief," Carver says. "He used to be the leader of an alien world and was quite a fearful presence back in the '50s, when he was an ally of the Brotherhood of Evil. Since then he has been living a very different existence and has been on one very particular mission, which has basically tested his faith in what he believes to be true. Will he continue to be loyal to an evil leader, or will he be loyal to himself? It's not unlike the Doom Patrol questioning where they stand in the aftermath of their own tragedy and loss."

The first two seasons of the show were based heavily on the Doom Patrol comics written by Grant Morrison in the '80s (true fans will remember that the show directly referenced this in one of the very first episodes via a line from Alan Tudyk's fourth-wall-breaking Mr. Nobody). But the presence of characters like Garguax and Brotherhood of Evil members like the Brain, Monsieur Mallah, and Madame Rouge (Michelle Gomez) indicate that season 3 is taking inspiration from a wider spectrum of Doom Patrol comics from over the years.

"We have taken these really sort of beloved characters from the comics, such as the Sisterhood of Dada and the Brotherhood of Evil, which I know folks were looking forward to, and we put a little bit of our own spin on them as we've done with other characters in the past," Carver says. "Hopefully everyone will enjoy the approach we're bringing to them and the commentary we're making on what a Brotherhood of Evil from the '50s might look like in today's world. We have a lot of fun matching up the old and the new."

The first three episodes of Doom Patrol season 3 are streaming on HBO Max now, with subsequent episodes following on a weekly basis.

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