- Am I supposed to be happy being the son of the mummy?
- -- Larry Trainor src
Larry Trainor, alias Negative Man was a test pilot for the US Air Force who flew a wide variety of jets, and was a friend and colleague of Hal Jordan.
When Larry had to fly the experimental X-19, a suborbital jet aircraft. Larry put the plane through its paces and successfully broke Earth's atmosphere. However, Niles Caulder (in his plan to create a team of super powered misfits) caused the jet's guidance systems to break down, sending Larry into a field of deadly radiation. Falling unconscious, Larry drifted through the stratospheric wave belts for several hours. Earth's gravity eventually pulled the X-19 back into the atmosphere, where it began spiraling back down to Earth. Larry awakened in time to prevent the X-19 from crashing into the ground.
Upon landing the jet, Trainor noticed a nearby search plane coming into view. It attempted to land near the X-19, but suffered from a malfunctioning landing strut. An intense desire to aid the beleaguered craft passed through Larry's mind when suddenly, a bizarre radioactive energy being flew outward from his body with his mind and consciousness residing in the being while his body left behind was a husk. As the energy he guided the search plane to safety.
Life as a Freak
Shortly after the strange incident, Larry checked into a hospital. The exposure to the deadly radiation left him hideously deformed, with glowing, translucent skin. Physicians placed him into quarantine inside of a lead-lined contamination cell. Niles Caulder finally approached Larry (in the guise of helpful stranger) and provided him special radiation-proof plastic bandages. In order to leave the quarantine and operate in human society again – Larry had to wear the bandages from head to toe at all times.
Trainor became bitter and despondent at the thought of living the remainder of his life as some grotesque mummy. Shunned by society, he kept to himself and took to living inside of a meager rooming house. During this time, he learned more about the strange energy powers – he referred to his astral self as the Negative Man.
Before long, a physician known only as Doctor Drew offered Larry a job as his assistant. Inwardly, Larry referred to Dr. Drew as "Doctor Death". Trainor learned about Doctor Drew's true identity and his covert attempt to take control of the world. He rebelled against the maniacal genius and briefly thwarted his plans for global domination. Death escaped and swore revenge against the Negative Man.
Some time later, Larry accepted a commission to fly a plane towards a dangerous, volcanic island. Doctor Death learned of the charter and arranged to sabotage Trainor's plane, stranding him on the island. He manipulated Larry to use his powers in an effort to destabilize the American government by driving several political figureheads irrevocably insane. Negative Man fought against Doctor Death's efforts, but Death captured him and secured Trainor inside of a lead-lined cell. Meanwhile, Niles Caulder, now calling himself the Chief (wanting to collect Trainor to finish his plan of a small collection of misfit heroes) discovered Larry’s predicament and helped to rescue him from Doctor Death's clutches. With Caulder’s aid, the Negative Man once again foiled Doctor Death's efforts to create widespread anarchy.
The Doom Patroller
Caulder now assembled his misfits calling them the Doom Patrol starting with Larry, a former Hollywood actress and an former race car driver all of them unbeknownst that “The Chief” arranged their accidents. In the Patrol Larry became best friends with Robotman and fell in love with Elasti-Girl but she eventually lost her heart to a self-aggrandizing billionaire named Steve Dayton who went so far as to adopt the super-hero identity Mento in order to impress her. After their marriage Mento joined the team. Steve and Rita also adopted orphan Gar Logan who was Beast Boy on the patrol who Larry was an uncle figure to. With the Doom Patrol Negative Man saved the world numerous times, fighting the strange and unusual like the Brotherhood of Evil.
The team supposedly perished in explosion in Codsville, Larry survived it but the fate of the other members of the Doom Patrol remained unknown to him. Larry’s original body was destroyed in the explosion and that the “Negative” which is Larry (Mind, Consciences and Soul) found himself without a physical body Larry took solace in a Russian cosmonaut, Colonel Valentina Vostok, who became Negative Woman until The Chief cloned Larry a new body he left Vostok and became his own man again.
Reforming of the Patrollers
Larry and the others finally recuperated and reconciled even forgiving the chief and the original doom patrol was back together. During the second Infinite Crisis the Doom Patrol joined other heroes in fighting Superboy-Prime, Negative Man and the other Doom Patrol members (including former member Beast Boy). It was revealed that when one of Larry’s host body’s expires Larry takes residence in a different genetically altered brain-dead donor body. Though through the transaction Larry obtains the memories and experiences of every host body he’s been in, and the whole experience can be maddening to Larry so he constantly reminds himself that he is Larry Trainor.
One Year Later
Year after the Infinite Crisis the team was stationed at Prague in Dayton Manor with The Chief appearing to be manipulating the team members once again claiming to wish to return them to normal, so "maybe one day they won't be freaks anymore". Though the new Doom Patrol was failing as it was brutally defeated by the Mad Hatter and Secret Six but after the Doom Patrol encounters the Teen Titans, the Chief tells them that Kid Devil should be a member of the Doom Patrol instead of the Titans, since his unique appearance and nature will always separate him from others. However, Beast Boy, Elasti-Girl and Mento all stood up to the Chief and forced him to step down as the Doom Patrol's leader.
Negative Man is currently a member of the Doom Patrol, based on Oolong Island. He has since learned to partially unleash the Negative Entity, granting him its powers without the time limit. During the Blackest Night, he found himself up against the Black Lantern Valentina Vostok. When their Negative entities met, it temporarily created an new entity, which destroyed the Black Lantern ring. Larry maintains an antagonistic friendship with Robotman, a close friendship with Rita, and a bizarre belief that pelicans are stalking him that may yet pay off.
- Unique Physiology: Larry Trainor was 'accidentally' sent into a field of cosmic radiation while testing an experimental jet in the stratosphere. When he crash landed back on earth his physiology had changed permanently and requires the Chief's bandages to keep him together.
- Radiation Production: Negative Man has the ability to generate a black, electrical energy being composed of an as of yet unidentifiable radioactive substance from within his own body. Larry's mind and consciousness resides in the being while his body is left behind as a husk. Originally, he could only leave his body for a total of sixty seconds. By now he has trained himself to last much longer before turning to his body at will.
- Energy Absorption: Negative Man can absorb thermal energy and convert it into an explosive discharge tied to his other thermal abilities.
- Flight: Negative Man can fly at speeds equal to or greater than jets and other airplanes.
- Phasing: Negative Man can alter his density to pass through solid objects. Phasing through biological material causes pain to the affected target. Lead is the only substance that he cannot phase through.
- Energy Projection: Negative Man can generate waves of intense heat, causing it to explode or tighten it into a concussive blast.
- Power Limitation: Larry's continued use of the Negative Man is hampered by a potentially fatal restriction. If Trainor is ever separated from the energy being for more than one minute, he would lapse into a coma and eventually die. Trainor is always careful to recall the entity back to his person before the sixty-second time limit expires.
- The name Negative Man could refer to either Larry Trainor himself, or the radioactive energy being he produces.
- The Negative being takes on the physical properties of its host body. When bonded to Larry Trainor, it assumes the gender attributes of an adult male. When it was bonded to Valentina Vostok, it took on the appearance of an adult female.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- Larry was affectionately called "Mummy face" by his friend and teammate Robotman.
- In his test aviation days, Larry Trainor became a colleague of famed west coast test pilot, Hal Jordan.
- Negative Man was secretly in love with fellow Doom Patrol member, Elasti-Girl.
- According to the timeline provided in Zero Hour #0, the Doom Patrol were one of the earliest super-hero teams active during the Silver Age era of comics. JLA: Year One #6 shows the Doom Patrol as experienced heroes working alongside the neophyte Justice League of America.
- The Private World of Negative Man series:
- My Greatest Adventure #80 (1st appearance)
- My Greatest Adventure #83 (1st time that Larry loses control of the N-Man entity)
- Doom Patrol (Volume 1) #107 (origin highlights)
- Doom Patrol (Volume 1) #109 (origin highlights)
- Doom Patrol (Volume 1) #111 (origin highlights)
- Doom Patrol (Volume 1) #121 (alleged death)
- Showcase (Volume 1) #94 (energy being transfers to Valentina Vostok)
- Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #2 (revival)
- Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #19 (merges with Rebus)
- Doom Patrol (Volume 4) #1 (returns to active status)
- The Official Doom Patrol Index #1
- The Official Doom Patrol Index #2
- Secret Origins (Volume 2) Annual #1
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe VII
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe XVI
- 252 Appearances of Lawrence Trainor (New Earth)
- 70 Images featuring Lawrence Trainor (New Earth)
- 8 Quotations by or about Lawrence Trainor (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Lawrence Trainor (New Earth)
- Negative Man at dccomics.com
- Negative Man at Wikipedia.org
- Negative Man article at Wikipedia
- Doom Patrol article at Wikipedia
- Negative Man biography page at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Negative Energy Being biography page at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Negative Woman biography page at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Rebus biography page at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Doom Patrol I team page at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Doom Patrol II team page at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
Doom Patrol member