Danny the Street

Danny the Street is a fictional character appearing in comics of the DC Universe. Danny is a living and sentient piece of urban geography who can magically and seamlessly place themself in any urban landscape at will, without any disruption to their surroundings. They can freely interact with any other sapient being through various forms of visual printing within their proximity.

Danny the Street
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDoom Patrol #35 (August 1990)
Created byGrant Morrison
Richard Case
In-story information
SpeciesSentient street
Team affiliationsDoom Patrol
Teen Titans
Notable aliasesDanny the World, Danny the Brick, Danny the Island, Danny the Alley, Danny the Ambulance
AbilitiesTeleportation, Molecular Reconstruction

The character was created by Grant Morrison and Richard Case and first appeared in Doom Patrol #35 (August 1990).[1] Morrison's character was described as a transvestite male — a street with macho establishments like a gun shop, a hardware store and an Army/Navy store, but elaborately decorated with frills, flowers and fairy lights. Danny communicated through text on signs, in a "camp" lingo studded with Polari phrases.[2] His name is a pun on drag queen Danny La Rue, as la rue is French for 'the street'.[3] This has been discussed as part of Morrison's intention to "deconstruct notions of heroic masculinity" in Doom Patrol.[4]

Danny the Street appeared on the first two seasons of the Doom Patrol television series for DC Universe and HBO Max. In the television series, Danny is portrayed as genderqueer, using "they/them" pronouns. Critics have remarked on the positive portrayal of a non-binary character in a superhero show as emotionally fulfilling for viewers who identify as queer.[5]

Fictional character biographyEdit

Danny is a stretch of roadway who has long served as a home and haven for the strange, outcast and dispossessed.[6] Danny possesses superpowers, including the ability to teleport by integrating into a city's geography; roads and buildings simply make room for them. Danny does this mostly at night, when no one is looking. Danny travels the globe, and sometimes beyond, happily seeking out people and communities in need of shelter, safety and community. Thus, it is possible to turn a corner on the way to work, and find oneself walking down Danny's roadway. Danny once teleported into the City Under The Pentagon[7] and can teleport into the wilderness when needed.[8]

Danny's flamboyant personality and propensity for cross-dressing is evidenced when they line their street with typically masculine stores (e.g. gun shops and sporting goods stores) decorated with frilly pink curtains and lace. Danny speaks by altering their form. For example, Danny communicates with signs in their windows, messages on typewriters, and with letters formed from manhole vapor or broken glass shards. Danny speaks English, heavily flavored with Polari, a largely antiquated form of slang spoken among certain British subcultures, including some of the LGBTQ community. Bona to vada ("Good to see you") is Danny's favorite way of greeting friends. Danny's personality is based, at least partially, on Irish drag performer Danny La Rue. Danny is kind, compassionate, quick to joke and slow to anger. If pushed past their limits, however, they can even the score by manipulating their environment.[9]

Danny first came in contact with the Doom Patrol when they and their residents were attacked by Darren Jones and the Men From N.O.W.H.E.R.E.[1][10] Jones' obsession with normalcy and with enforcing his "1950s sit-com" worldview, made Danny an obvious target. The struggle took Danny to downtown New York City, where the Doom Patrol investigated the disturbance. They worked hard to protect Danny and their residents, but it was ultimately the members of Danny the Street's Perpetual Cabaret who defeated Jones. In addition to the Doom Patrol and the Perpetual Cabaret, Danny housed Flex Mentallo, protecting the hero during the mental breakdown that followed his first and only failure.

EvolutionEdit

Eventually, Danny left the DC Universe, and inhabited an alternate Earth. Pledging to protect and nurture the needy of all dimensions, they became Danny the World. Danny's friend, former Doom Patrol member Crazy Jane, later became a resident of Danny the World.[11]

In the pages of Teen Titans, during the One Year Later time-shift event in the DC Universe, a portal to Danny was seen in Dayton Manor; Crazy Jane was also seen through the portal.[12]

Danny was leveled in Doom Patrol Vol 5 #7 by Mister Somebody Enterprises. Crazy Jane managed to escape the destruction and fled to Oolong Island, carrying with her a brick taken from one of Danny's buildings which contained Danny's sentience - effectively making them Danny the Brick.[13]

The New 52Edit

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Danny is re-introduced in Teen Titans #3 (January 2012).[14] Danny becomes a full member of the team and as a teenager themself, spies for Red Robin.[15]

During the cross-over event "The Culling", Danny is presumed dead by the group. They find that Danny did not die and is on a mysterious island with them in Teen Titans #10, but they later die during the strain of returning the rest of the group to civilization. It was suggested Danny survived as "Danny the Alley".

DC RebirthEdit

Danny shows up in DC Rebirth in Gerard Way's iteration of the Doom Patrol. Danny is revealed to have reverted to Danny the Brick and is now only able to make words appear on their surface. Danny the Brick tours the universe, carried by Crazy Jane. Danny the Brick[16] and Crazy Jane then meet a man named "D" who uses Danny to kill a god. After this, Danny is able to become Danny the World; however, Danny does not pick up outcasts but instead creates their own citizens.

Danny makes their comic book character Casey "Space Case" Brink from Danny Comics become real to see what she would be like on earth. Danny later contacts Casey because the Vectra are hunting them, an evil alien race that wants to use them to make meat for fast food restaurants, and wants her to reassemble the Doom Patrol.[17] They contact her by becoming Danny the Ambulance. Casey and the Doom Patrol save Danny the World and defeat the Vectra, and Danny becomes a member of the new team.[18]

While Danny is acting as Danny the Ambulance, they still run the ever-growing Danny the World.

DevelopmentEdit

In a 2020 interview, Morrison said that they understand why Danny is a popular character on the Doom Patrol television series, "because Danny the Street was always popular. Back in the day when he was created in the late 1980s, we didn't have terms like "genderqueer" or "non-binary", they just didn't exist. There were no names, and I think that it's really good now that characters like that can show up and be slotted into the world we live in. Suddenly, Danny's genderqueer, and it makes more sense. It has something to say to the society that we're living in now — where people in the margins have been able to get into the center of it more. I'm pleased with characters like that, which seemed really bizarre and were, in a lot of ways, seen as unacceptable back in the day, and we couldn't even describe what we were doing. Those characters have come into a flourishing progression because of that."[19]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Danny the Street can teleport. They are a living pocket dimension that can incorporate more and more space as they gain more residents. They can create any conceivable thing (living or inanimate) as long as they have the strength.

In other mediaEdit

  • In Titans episode "Doom Patrol", the Doom Patrol mansion is located on "Danny Street".
  • Danny the Street first appeared in the DC Universe live-action television series Doom Patrol's eighth episode, "Danny Patrol". Danny is described as a "sentient, genderqueer, teleporting street" who is on the run from the Bureau of Normalcy. In the episode "Frances Patrol", Danny leaves Cyborg and Crazy Jane a clue that leads them to Flex Mentallo. In the episode "Penultimate Patrol", Danny agrees to help the Doom Patrol locate the villain Mr. Nobody despite being afraid of him. In the episode "Ezekiel Patrol", Danny the Street is later captured by Mr. Nobody and manages to teleport the Doom Patrol to Doom Manor so that they can rescue Danny and the Chief's daughter from Mr. Nobody. After Ezekiel the Cockroach and Whiskers the Mouse exploded, Danny was reduced to a brick with the inscription "Danny Brick Co."[20] In season two, Dorothy Spinner first split apart and then repaired Danny's brick.[21] She later turned them into a tire when Danny shares their sentiment.
  • In the video game Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure typing "Danny The Street" into Maxwell's notebook will summon a living street, symbolizing Danny.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Doom Patrol Vol. 2 #35 (Aug. 1990)
  2. ^ Singer, Marc (2012). Grant Morrison: Combining the Worlds of Contemporary Comics. University Press of Mississippi. p. 78. ISBN 9781617031373. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  3. ^ Callahan, Timothy (2007). Grant Morrison: The Early Years. Lulu.com. p. 258. ISBN 978-0-615-14087-2.
  4. ^ Roddy, Kate (2015). ""Screw symbolism and let's go home": Morrison and Bathos". In Greene, Darragh; Roddy, Kate (eds.). Grant Morrison and the Superhero Renaissance: Critical Essays. McFarland & Co. p. 51. ISBN 9780786478101. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  5. ^ Buschetelli, Dexter (April 9, 2019). "Five Thoughts on Doom Patrol's "Danny Patrol"". Multiversity Comics. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  6. ^ Wood, Matthew. "Doom Patrol: Danny The Street Is More Important Than Ever in a Non-Binary World". CBR.com. Valnet, Inc. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  7. ^ Doom Patrol Vol 2 issue 43
  8. ^ Doom Patrol Vol 2 issue 61 and others
  9. ^ Doom Patrol Vol 2 issue 36 and others
  10. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 197. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  11. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008). "Doom Patrol". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The Vertigo Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 61–63. ISBN 0-7566-4122-5. OCLC 213309015.
  12. ^ Teen Titans (3rd Series) #32, 35-37 (See here for more.) Archived 2007-12-18 at the Wayback Machine, Accessed December 20, 2007
  13. ^ Doom Patrol #8
  14. ^ Teen Titans #4: A Writer Makes Fun of His Artist in Print: see Booth's comment: "That was done to draw attention to Danny the Street. Who just teleported Bart and Solstice there from Antarctica. They showed up at the end of issue 3, and will appear again in issue 7 (I’m drawing them right now)." Accessed 3 January 2012.
  15. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 343. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  16. ^ Mitchell, Joel (4 August 2020). "Doom Patrol: Danny's Transformation Could Pave The Way For ANOTHER Character". Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  17. ^ Doom Patrol #1
  18. ^ Doom Patrol #5
  19. ^ Ricci, Kimberly (August 11, 2020). "Grant Morrison On Retooling 'Brave New World' For TV And Why 'Doom Patrol's Danny The Street Can Flourish". Uproxx. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  20. ^ Morrison, Matt (July 4, 2020). "Doom Patrol: Danny The Street's Season 2 Transformation Explained". ScreenRant. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  21. ^ Morrison, Matt. "Doom Patrol: Danny The Street's Season 2 Transformation Explained". ScreenRant.com. Valnet. Retrieved 2020-11-19.