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Television

The new ‘My Adventures with Superman’ “It” couple

Look out Lois and Clark, there’s a new “it” couple of My Adventures with Superman.

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the work being covered here wouldn’t exist.

My Adventures with Superman follows the story of a young Clark Kent who grows into his role as the Man of Steel. The series also centers around the close friendship that develops between Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, and Kent. That includes the growing romantic feelings between the latter two. As Lois and Clark figure out their relationship issues in this week’s episode, we are introduced to a couple the two young love birds should strive to be like.

Spoilers ahead for My Adventures with Superman episode six, “My Adventures with Mad Science.”

We learn that the gorilla who kidnapped Jimmy at the end of episode five is Monsieur Mallah. With the DC Comic villain involved, his partner in crime the Brain isn’t too far away. These characters have appeared on TV before such as in Teen Titans Go! and Doom Patrol. Though these versions are a different interpretation with them involved in a romantic partnership, which draws from the comics. Let’s learn more about this odd pairing.

Who are the Brain and Monsieur Mallah in the comics?

doom patrol 86 monsieur mallah and the brain

The supervillain the Brain was created by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani. His first appearance was in The Doom Patrol #86 (1964). While the Brain was still a full-fledged human, he worked as a scientist performing experiments on animals trying to grant them intelligence. One of his colleagues, Niles Caulder who would become the leader of the Doom Patrol, grew jealous of his work, and orchestrated an “accident”. The Brain’s body was destroyed in an explosion leaving only his brain, hence his name. He is kept within a metal case that provides the nourishment he needs to survive.

Monsieur Mallah first appeared in the same issue of The Doom Patrol, and is one of the animals the Brain experimented on. He was originally a captured gorilla from Gorilla City who gains genius level intelligence. The Brain spends 10 years training and educating Mallah before making the gorilla his personal assistant. In the previously mentioned explosion, Mallah rescues his colleague transferring him into a computer network that sustains him.

Together, the Brain and Mallah form the group, the Brotherhood of Evil. This team of villains aspire to take over the world and extract revenge on Niles Caulder. This pits the group against the Doom Patrol on many occasions, but they have also tangled with the Teen Titans and the Justice League.

Despite his appearance, the Brain is a formidable foe. He has genius level intellect and has borderline telepathic abilities where he can coerce anyone into doing his dirty work. When not in his protective coverings, he can utilize telekinetic powers as a defense mechanism. Mallah is the enforcer of the duo. He has enhanced strength, durability, speed, agility, reflexes, and intelligence. Also, he is usually heavily equipped with a machine gun and other firearms.

What happened to the Brain and Monsieur Mallah in Grant Morrison and Richard Case’s run of Doom Patrol?

doom patrol 34 morrison monsieur mallah and the brain

Over the years in the comics, the Brain and Monsieur Mallah become an inseparable pair. They have a very close relationship due to owing their lives to one another and the adventures they shared. The two would take an even bigger step in the early 90s.

Writer Grant Morrison and artist Richard Case became the creative team of Doom Patrol in the late 80s. In issue #34 of their run, Mallah places the Brain into Robotman’s mechanical body. As the Brain becomes acquainted with his new body, he confesses his true feelings towards the gorilla. Mallah reciprocates and they share a kiss. Alas, this romance would end in tragedy. Robotman’s body gained sentience and vowed it would never be under control of another again. As our doomed couple lock lips, the body activates its self-destruct mechanism and explodes.

The event wouldn’t be the end for the pair. They would reemerge again but with no reference to how they survived the explosion or how the Brain returned to his original body.

Who are the Brain and Monsieur Mallah in My Adventures with Superman?

Monsieur mallah and the brain my adventures with superman

This version of the Brain and Monsieur Mallah, played by Jesse Inocalla and André Sogliuzzo, is a far cry from the metaphorical mustache twirling supervillains from the comics. The show’s creators lean more into the scientific backgrounds where the duo conduct research for Project Cadmus. In fact, the episode goes out of its way to mention how they were looking into projects to benefit humanity rather than make weapons like their overlords wanted.

My Adventures with Superman did keep the two as a romantic odd couple. Not just in their appearances but also their personalities. Monsieur Mallah is the more welcoming and social one while the Brain is a little rough around the edges and more hostile towards strangers. Think Bill and Frank from The Last of Us television series. Despite their differences, they make their relationship work through open and honest dialog. A contrast to the developing young love between Lois Lane and Clark Kent and all its secrecy.

It’s so endearing to see the wholesome and genuine love that they share for each other. They even built their own family of genetically engineered mutants. Sure, they might engage in questionable research at times, but there is no denying their mutual devotion to each other. What a poignant final scene with Monsieur Mallah and the Brain as they literally take a big step into the unknown together.

New episodes of My Adventures of Superman air Thursdays at midnight on Adult Swim.

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