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Steve Dayton

Alias: Mento, Crimelord

Related Links: Beast BoyDoom Patrol The Hybrid

Steve Dayton Quick Bio: Smitten with Elasti-Girl of the Doom Patrol,
millionaire inventor Steve Dayton fashioned a psionic helmet and became
the self-styled super-hero, Mento. Elasti-Girl and Mento wed – and adopted
Beast Boy as their son. Although the Mento helmet has pushed him to the brink
of insanity, Dayton has learned to tame his inner demons.

Teen Titans File Photo:


Archived File Photos (in chronological order):

Hero History


You Are Always On My Mind

The world’s fifth richest man, Steve Dayton had everything he could ever want, except for the hand of Rita “Elasti-Girl” Farr of the Doom Patrol. A scientist, business whiz and professor of psychology, Steve failed to impress her. He had one strategy left: enter her world of super-heroics.

ABOVE: The mind-bending debut of Mento in DOOM PATROL #91 [1964].
BELOW: Steve Dayton tries to win the heart of Rita Farr in DOOM PATROL #91 [1964].

Dayton found a way to artificially increase his brain’s latent psychokinetic powers by means of a helmet. He donned a costume and dubbed himself “Mento.” Although never an official Doom Patrol member, Mento had honorary status.

His strategy worked. Dayton and Farr married, and after an enormous legal battle against Nicholas Galtry, Gar Logan’s guardian, the couple adopted Gar, who also helped the Doom Patrol occasionally as Beast Boy.

Steve Dayton’s plans to romance Rita go wrong in
DOOM PATROL #104 [1966]. Don’t worry, Steve…
you end up marrying her in the same issue!

Avenging the Doom Patrol

Dayton continued to perfect his helmet and helped out the Doom Patrol, until their deaths at the hands of Madame Rouge and General Zahl. Dayton vowed vengeance and spent much time and money in search of his wife’s killers only to be captured by them.

Several months after Dayton’s disappearance, Gar Logan, now Changeling, asked Robotman to help him find Mento. The two old friends, plus Gar’s new friends, the Teen Titans, rescued Mento from General Zahl and Madame Rouge; both villains died in the ensuing battle.

Crazy Times

Dayton returned to New York and his company, which was working on “Promethium,” a self-renewing energy source. As time passed, Dayton discovered that he had terminal cancer. In desperation, Dayton tried to use his helmet to cure himself; however, he did not know that the helmet was also damaging his brain. Steve also turned to alcohol during this trying time.

As Mento, Dayton briefly fought beside the new Doom Patrol during the Crisis. After this, his mind becoming more and more unstable, Mento joined a group of occultists who had been brought together by John Constantine to fight a group called the Brujeria. The Brujeria, a cult of male witches who dwelled in South America, wanted to take advantage of the Crisis-generated chaos in order to gain control over Heaven and Earth. The evil witches were beaten, but only after the deaths of Sargon the Sorcerer and Zatara the Magician, Mento went completely insane.


ABOVE: Dayton surrenders to the madness of Mento in NEW TEEN TITANS (second series) #25 [1986].
BELOW: Mento is cured in NEW TEEN TITANS (second series) #34 [1987].


In this state, Mento began imagining himself to be the chief of a new Doom Patrol. Dayton confined himself to a wheelchair and began using a combination of his mental powers and Promethium to create this new Patrol, which he called the Hybrid. The demented Dayton blamed Gar for the original Patrol’s deaths, and used the Hybrid to attack Gar and the Titans.

After a series of battles, Raven cured Dayton of his dementia and his cancer. Steve and Gar have resumed their father and son relationship, but Steve had forbidden Gar from participating in any more of the Titans’ adventures until his grades improve. For a time, Gar took a break from super-heroics.

Wildebeests On The Brain

On the eve of the team’s anniversary celebration, current and former members of the Titans were hunted and captured by the Wildebeest Society. Dayton hired Deathstroke to track the ‘beests and liberate Changeling, who had also been abducted. The pair were soon joined by resourceful allies – including Nightwing, Troia, Pantha, Phantasm and Arella – enabling them to free their teammates and bring the Wildebeest Society crashing down.

With Titans Tower destroyed in a Wildebeest attack, the Titans took up temporary residence at Dayton Estates. This became their home and makeshift headquarters until the government funded the team, at which point they were furnished with a headquarters at Liberty Island.

New Titans member Pantha began to suspect that Steve Dayton was behind the machinery the Wildebeests used to experiment on her. As Pantha investigated, she learned that Dayton technology was involved in her creation. Pantha eventually confronted Dayton, but he denied any involvement. Pantha left the Titans before she was able to probe the matter further.

The Crimelord plots in DEATHSTROKE [1994].

A Mind For Crime

He sat behind a tall leather chair in a remote location in the criminal nation of Zandia. Beneath rings of cigar smoke and deep in shadow, he watched a series of monitors as he plotted against Deathstroke and the Titans. Speaking only to his intelligent computer system, Zarina, he amassed weapons of destruction and employed terrorists in his quest for global domination. He was The Crimelord. And his identity was closely guarded.

The mysterious criminal was eventually revealed as Steve Dayton. Having injected the mento chip into his own hypothalamus, Dayton achieved a new awareness, although it had driven him mad with power. He framed Deathstroke for the murder of a U.S. Senator in an aggressive plan to gain control of the world. Eventually, Slade was able to clear his name. Working with Sarge Steel, Checkmate and the Titans, he was able to prove that the assassination attempt was actually a plan of the Crimelord, who wanted to replace all the world leaders with clones under his control.

Once exposed, Dayton enacted his escape plan. By merging with his intelligent computer system Zarina, Dayton planned to merge his essence into the worldwide web, giving himself immortality and control of the world’s computer systems. But Dayton’s computer system crashed before entry, leaving him floating somewhere in the void of cyberspace.


Deathstroke learns Steve Dayton is The Crimelord in DEATHSTROKE #50 [1995].

A New Beginning

Sometime later , a cosmic event known as the Infinite Crisis would irrevocably change the history of the Doom Patrol – and Steve Dayton as well. When the Superboy from Earth Prime pounded on the vibrational barrier that once separated the multiverse, reality fractured and splintered. From its wake, a new Doom Patrol emerged in present day, seemingly wiping out the history of the first team. In this new reality, the wheelchair-bound Chief gathered Elasti-Girl, Robotman and Negative Man – who were soon joined by new members.

When the Infinite Crisis struck, the members of the Doom Patrol – as well as Beast Boy – began to remember their original histories. When Beast Boy reunited with his foster mother, Rita Farr, time began to realign itself. The myriad histories of the Doom Patrol began to merge into a whole, combined history. Miraculously, Rita Farr survived the time realignment. Rita was at last reunited with her husband, Steve Dayton, who mourned her death years ago.

Steve Dayton himself was given a second chance at life as well. With his latest Mento helmet, Dayton proclaims himself the “Master of Mentality” as a member of the latest incarnation of the Doom Patrol. The powerful helmet enhances Steve’s mind, but the increased mental activity also makes it difficult for Dayton to concentrate – which results in one of the most powerful scatter-brains in the world. The team itself is headquartered at the bizarre Dayton Manor in Prague.

The team eventually relocated to Oolong Island, which had become a haven for mad scientists and unorthodox thinkers. Mento returned to assist the team in containing a mysterious black hole. It was during this case that the Chief revealed Mento’s dark secret – that he had been using the Mento helmet to influence Rita Farr’s feelings. And when a mind-link with Rita revealed this information to her, she felt violated and betrayed.

 Notes


The Dayton/Pantha Connection: It was revealed that Steve Dayton had been going insane due to prolonged use of the Mento helmet. He became obsessed with experimentation. To this end, he continued his DNA experiments that he used to create the mutated super-group, the Hybrid. That same technology was used by the Wildebeests in their experiments – the same experiments that created Pantha.

Personal Notes: When Steve first comes into the Doom Patrol’s lives, he is an insufferable, rich guy who relentlessly chases Rita Farr. After the couple marries, he settles down a bit. When the Doom Patrol is killed, Steve becomes absorbed in grief, blaming himself for their deaths. As Mento and the Crimelord, Dayton is a lunatic. He is a violent, manipulative, unbalanced megalomaniac.

 Powers & Abilities


Steve Dayton’s original Mento Helmet had the powers of Illusion, Mental Blast, Mind Blast, and Telekinesis. Steve Dayton’s enhanced Mento helmet had the same powers, as well as force manipulation and telepathy. The improved helmet slowly destabilizes the wearer’s sanity.

 

Essential Reading


The Doom Patrol #91 [1964]: Steve Dayton, the world’s fifth richest man and a professor of research psychology, uses a special helmet to give himself psychokinetic powers which he uses as a new super-hero called Mento. After upstaging the Doom Patrol, he begins to romance Elasti-Girl. Meanwhile, a group of strangely powered androids appears and begins committing seemingly senseless acts of destruction across the country. The Chief traces them to a fantastic floating city which is the base of Garguax, an alien invader who is using Earth to test his super-weapons before returning to conquer his home planet. Mento infiltrates Garguax’s operation before the Doom Patrol can arrive, only to be captured and brainwashed into battling the Patrol. Freed of Garguax’s domination, Mento teams up with the Doom Patrol to destroy the androids and wreck the alien base. Garguax appears to perish with his creations. First appearance of Steve Dayton [Mento].
The Doom Patrol #102 [1966]: The Chief recruits Mento and Beast Boy to help the Doom Patrol and the Challengers of the Unknown. Beast Boy meets Mento for the first time.
The Doom Patrol #104 [1966]: After much soul-searching, Elasti-Girl finally agrees to marry Mento.
The Doom Patrol #110 [1967]: Steve Dayton finds his legal case against Galtry for Beast Boy’s guardianship crumbling, especially after Mandred breaks free of his imprisonment in Doom Patrol headquarters and learns Beast Boy’s true identity as Gar Logan. The case is finally decided in Dayton’s favor, however, when Elasti-Girl disguises herself as Beast Boy to make it seem that Gar and Beast Boy are two different individuals. Gar Logan is taken from the custody of Nicholas Galtry and adopted by Steve and Rita Dayton as of this story.
The Doom Patrol #120 [1968]: Mento, Elasti- Girl, Gar Logan, and Gar’s girlfriend Jillian Jackson become involved in a brawl at a discotheque, with humorous results.
The Doom Patrol #121 [1968]: Immobilizing the three heroes, Zahl issues an ultimatum: either they allow him to blow up the island and destroy them, or he will cause a similar blast to destroy a tiny fishing village of fourteen inhabitants. The Doom Patrol members heroically vote to sacrifice themselves, and Zahl detonates the island over Madame Rouge’s protests. The world mourns the loss of the Doom Patrol, and Steve Dayton vows to find and destroy the murderers of his wife.

New Teen Titans #13-15 [1981-1982]: Robin, Cyborg and Kid Flash meet up with Robotman, and the group rescues a drugged Steve Dayton from Madame Rouge’s underground city in Africa. The Titans reunite and are attacked by Steve Dayton in his Mento identity, who is under Madame Rouge’s control; Raven brings Dayton back to normal, and the heroes follow Madame Rouge and General Zahl to Zandia; Zahi’s forces defeat and capture the Titans while Changeling is taken prisoner by the New Brotherhood of Evil. Changeling agrees to work with the New Brotherhood of Evil, and the group rescues the Titans; General Zahl is killed by a bullet which ricochets off Robotman’s body, Madame Rouge is killed by Changeling, and the Brotherhood is allowed to go free.
New Teen Titans (second series) #24-25 [1986]: The deranged Mento blames Changeling for the death of the original Doom Patrol and wants him dead. Mento gathers recently deceased people to become his version of the Doom Patrol, called the Hybrid. First appearance of the Hybrid.
New Teen Titans (second series) #34 [1987]: The Titans battle the Hybrid, and, when it looks as if the Titans have been defeated, Mento arrives to gloat, but Raven breaks Mento’s control over the Hybrid; Raven, with the Titans and the Hybrid behind her, cleanses Steve Dayton’s mind of its helmet-induced insanity.
New Titans #71 [1990]: The Wildebeests hunt the Titans one by one; Steve Dayton calls on Deathstroke to help find them.
New Titans #115 [1994]: Under government control, Arsenal leads a new team of Titans, including Impulse, Damage, Changeling, Darkstar, Mirage, and Terra. Government funded and based in New Jersey. But after being corrupted by Raven, Changeling betrays the team. First appearance/mention of Crimelord.
Deathstroke: The Hunted #0, 41-45 [1994-1995]: THE HUNTED STORYLINE. Deathstroke is implicated in a presidential assassination attempt, making him a wanted man. Crimelord plots against Slade.
Deathstroke #46 [1995]: Sarge Steel offers Deathstroke a deal. Addie Kane plots with the Crimelord, who has captured Pat Trayce [Vigilante]. Rose mourns her mother’s death and Wintergreen comforts her.
Deathstroke #47 [1995]: Deathstroke is forced to work for Sarge Steel. Addie Kane and Crimelord plot against Slade. Sarge Steel meets up with Rose Wilson & Wintergreen. The Ravager continues to stalk Slade and his friends.
Deathstroke #48 [1995]: The Crimelord/Syndicate War, part 1; The Crimelord/Syndicate War begins as Deathstroke and the Titans join forces to stop a deadly power struggle – a war that will change the face of Earth’s criminal underworld! Nuclear doom looms overhead as the Crimelord prepares for his final strike at the alien Syndicate. The Titans, Hawkman and the Blood Pack join Deathstroke in a desperate race to stop the Crimelord from exercising this final option. Continued in New Titans #122 [Rose joins the Titans] and Darkstars #32.
Deathstroke #49 [1995]: The Crimelord/Syndicate War, part 4; New Titans appear; Crimelord revealed to be Steve Dayton.
Deathstroke #50 [1995]: New Titans appear to stop the Crimelord. Working with Sarge Steel and Checkmate, Slade is able to prove that the assassination attempt was actually a plan of the Crimelord, Steve Dayton. Dayton wants to replace all the world leaders with clones, under his control. Also, the now-insane Dayton wants to merge his essence to cyberspace. Deathstroke thwarts his plan and clears his name. Dayton is left floating somewhere in the void of cyberspace. Last appearance of Steve Dayton until Teen Titans (third series) #36 [2006].
Teen Titans (third series) #35-37 [2006]: One Year Later, it’s “The New Teen Titans!” A new year of exciting adventures begins with the “new” Teen Titans and the bizarre Doom Patrol. The team is forced to make a trip across the world and into the bizarre Dayton Manor, headquarters of the Doom Patrol! But the Brotherhood of Evil isn’t far behind. The rebooted Doom Patrol makes its first appearance after the events of Infinite Crisis. Original members Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, the Chief, Mento and Beast Boy are joined by former Titans Bumblebee (Karen Beecher, who was transformed to insect-size by strange energies) and Vox (Mal Duncan, who was maimed when an accident merged him with his dimension-hopping Gabriel Horn). Steve Dayton appears alive and well with a Mento helmet that enhances Steve’s mind, but the increased mental activity also makes it difficult for Dayton to concentrate – which results in one of the most powerful scatter-brains in the world. The Chief reveals that he retrieved Rita’s skull and bathed it in special proteins, enabling the size-changing heroine to regrow her entire body over time.
Doom Patrol #3 [2009]: Mento assists the Doom Patrol as they try to contain a mysterious black hole. The Chief reveals Mento’s dark secret – that he had been using the Mento helmet to influence Rita Farr’s feelings. And when a mind-link with Rita reveals this information, she feels violated and betrayed.

A 2011 commission from Matthew Clark.

 Mento’s Doom Patrol History


Article Reprinted in Best of Amazing Heroes #1, 1982

THAT POT-HEADED NUT

Drake found the Doom Patrol to be the ideal vehicle in which to do many things that had not been done previously in comics. “Our country was going through the 1960s and the revolution of youth was also liberating their elders,” he recalled. One of the things that he had wanted to do with a super-heroine was to establish her own sense of identity, her own need for a role. He did that with Rita Farr, Elasti-Girl.

Through several issues, Rita was torn by her desire to pursue a career in films or stay with the Doom Patrol. No sooner had she come to accept her role as both super-heroine and freak when she was faced with yet another role-choice: whether or not to become the wife of Steve Dayton, the world’s fifth richest man – and the superhero called Mento.

Mento was the Doom Patrol’s first ally, although it seemed at one point that he might have been a villain. Steve Dayton first appeared in Doom Patrol #91 (Nov., 1964), using telekinesis to dispose of a nitroglycerine bomb when the Doom Patrol could not. His power came from his helmet, which amplified his brainwaves. Rita was immediately drawn to the big-talking man – both out of curiosity and because Cliff and Larry would have torn him apart in another minute.

After a ride a speedy new sports car, Rita was able to gauge the apparent wealth of the grandson of one of America’s richest men. In a brief conversation with his butler, it was obvious that Steve worked at keeping his wealth. In apparent contrast, he was also a research scientist at Sills Medical College. He was a man who had seemed to have everything, but there was something else he wanted: Rita Farr.

By the end of that adventure (the DP’s first encounter with the alien android master, Garguax), when it seemed that Mento was a villain, Rita was still interested in him. Mento reappeared in Doom Patrol #97 (May, 1964) featuring the Brotherhood of Evil’s most ambitious plot, a scheme to turn everyone in the world into incredibly strong, diamond-skinned slaves. In that story, Larry Trainor tries to use Mento’s helmet but fails. Only Mento could activate the mechanism and Robotman concludes that Mento is ….. a freak – like the rest of us!” Since no one else ever used the helmet during Mento’s other appearances in the DP, that assumption may have been true, though it is more likely that Mento simply activated some sort of triggering mechanism.

However, the Chief subscribed to the “freak” hypothesis and on that ground, recognized Mento’s request to join the DP. Yet when the vote was taken, he was blackballed – by Rita! She explained that “he’d mean trouble for us! And the Doom Patrol comes first – for all of us!”

His third appearance was Doom Patrol #102, (Mar., 1966), featuring the Challengers of the Unknown and the DP’s green-skinned protégé, Beast Boy. The cover blurb, heralding Beast Boy and Mento’s first encounter, summed up their future relationship perfectly: beneath Beast Boy it said “That teen tornado, that junior juggernaut, that – ‘rotten kid-“‘ Mento interrupted. Similarly, Beast Boy added his own estimate beneath Mento’s blurb, “that mind-master, that psychic dynamo, that – ‘pot-headed nut.”‘

From then on, Mento appeared in nearly every issue, primarily because of his marriage to Rita in Doom Patrol #104 (June, 1966). In keeping with the unconventional tone of the book, the guy actually did get the girl. But not quite like he’d hoped. Rita’s devotion to the Doom Patrol and super-heroing did not diminish in the least after the wedding – much to Steve’s displeasure. So he began participating in the DP’s regular adventures – at least that way he could stay close to his wife!

Naturally enough, the Brotherhood of Evil did all that it could to prevent Steve and Rita’s union – and so did Larry and Cliff. For the occasion, Mento sported a new helmet and outfit (his first was rather unappealing, but this new one wasn’t really any better). Wedding guests included a representative contingency from the JLA, the Teen Titans, and Bob Hope’s “cool” Super-Hip.

Mento’s increased involvement must have driven his insurance agent to drink, as at least on one occasion (Doom Patrol #108, Dec., 1966) it appeared that the DP and Mento were indeed dead. However, the constant threat of death didn’t seem to bother Mento as much as the DP’s junior member, Beast Boy. And things got markedly worse when Steve and Rita adopted Gar Logan…

Beast Boy reflects on his Doom Patrol history in
LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE 80 PAGE GIANT [1998].

‘THAT ROTTEN KID’

With Beast Boy, Drake introduced a new twist to the school of kid super-heroes. In a back-up feature pencil by Bob Brown in Doom Patrol #99 (Nov., 1965), the Doom Patrol first encountered Gar Logan. As the Chief astutely noted, he was a typical teenager in all things save one, though it took Robotman to point it out to the Chief: Beast Boy was lime green.

His complexion was a side effect from the source of his powers. In Africa, his father conducted many experiments on the local animals, hoping to further the limits of scientific knowledge. But, as a toddler, Gar contracted Sakutia, a malaria-like disease that only a species of green monkey could survive. Using his latest invention on his son, Gar’s father devolved the boy, changing him into a green monkey, thus saving his life. But when he was returned to his human state, Gar’s skin remained green. And he soon learned that the ray had caused a second side effect. He could now change himself into any animal form, although his face stayed green even as an animal. (When Gar was reintroduced as The Changeling in the New Teen Titans, his power was changed subtly: his entire body would remain green, even in its animal form.)

Tragically, Gar’s parents died trying to escape from a flood and the boy ended up in the hands of a guardian named Galtry. Galtry, however, did not have Gar’s best interests at heart. Instead, he connived to get his hands on the vast fortune contained in the trust fund Gar’s father had left him. Galtry was a Dickensian figure whose stinginess and greed made life miserable for Gar. Gar realized he was being used and so became bitter and was portrayed as obnoxious, argumentative, and sarcastic. It was in the Doom Patrol that Gar hoped to find the family he so sorely needed.

Drake summed it up: “. . . Beast Boy’s constant banter could be excused.. . he had just cause to be angry.”

Beast Boy meets Mento in DOOM PATROL #102 [1966].

THE BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL RETURNS

Since then, the latest chapter in the Doom Patrol saga has been added by Mary Wolfman and George Pérez. When Wolfman and Pérez revamped the Teen Titans as the New Teen Titans, Beast Boy became a regular member (see Tom Burkert’s “Teen Titans” history in this volume) and began wearing a stylized variation of Rita and Larry’s Doom Patrol costumes. Having since publicly revealed that he is a shape-changer, he has abandoned the garish purple hood that he wore in his adventures with the DP.

Changeling, as Gar now calls himself while in costume, served as Wolfman’s stepping stone to resolve the fate of the killers of the Doom Patrol. Robotman, restored to his original robot body by scientists who worked for Steve Dayton, started making cameo appearances in New Teen Titans #10, as he kept in touch with Gar regarding his search for the missing Dayton and for Madame Rouge and Captain Zahl

 

In a three-part story (New Teen Titans #13-15, Nov. 1981-Jan. 1982), Steve Dayton donned yet another badly-designed costume to become Mento once again. But he had been captured by Rogue and Zahl and it was only after the Titans had rescued him and returned his psychic-power helmet to him that they discovered he had been brainwashed and become a puppet of the DP’s killers.

Through Raven’s empathic powers, Dayton was freed from Rouge and ZahI’s control and joined the Titans to stop the evil duo’s latest scheme, the complete takeover of the small Balkan nation of Zandia.

But that wasn’t all. The Brotherhood of Evil was back – with more members than before. And there, over the bubbling. of nutritive fluids, was the Brain, directing Monsieur Mallah and his new cohorts: Plasmus, Warp, Phobia, and Houngan. The Brain was out for revenge against Madame Rouge for betraying the brotherhood and for her attempt to kill him.

But he did not achieve it personally. Both Rouge and ZahI were killed, but indirectly – by Changeling and Robotman.

A 2009 commission from George Pérez.

 

 Pantha/Dayton Connection


Pantha’s back story is still shrouded in mystery. It is unknown if the creative team had a definite plan, or were making some of it up as they went along. When Pantha was first introduced in the Titans Hunt, she searched for answers to her past. By the time she left the Titans, she had some answers, but the questions had changed…

Pantha mystery one: Who am I?

Pantha is introduced in New Titans #74. The Wildebeests discover experiment X-24 [Pantha] has escaped. Deathstroke, Dayton, Pantha, Phantasm and the Wildebeests scuffle. Phantasm invites Pantha to join the hunt against the Wildebeests. She seems intent on two things: 1. Getting revenge on the Society. 2. Learning the truth behind her creation.

As the Hunt continues, the emphasis seems to be on WHO Pantha was before she was turned into a cat-human. This hinted that pre-Pantha may have been someone with connections to the Titans or the DC Universe.

Pantha mystery two: WHAT am I?

New Titans #98 provided more questions than answers. As Pantha searched further, she learned that Dayton technology was involved in her creation. She recognizes a manufacturers logo; it’s the Dayton Industries “D”. This triggers a flashback sequence during which she remembers seeing this very same logo on all the equipment in the Wildebeest lab where she was created.

Pantha continued to search for the truth of her origins and began to wonder: Was she a human turned into a cat or a biologically altered cat? This virtually ignored the mystery of who she was before her transformation.

Pantha discovers Steve Dayton may be responsible for her
transformation in NEW TITANS #98 [1993].

Pantha mystery three: The Dayton/Hybrid Connection

Created by the deranged Steve “Mento” Dayton, the Hybrid was meant to be his version of the Doom Patrol. But, whereas the Doom Patrol was made up of people who received their “conditions” accidentally, the Hybrid members got their powers from Dayton’s experiments with Promethium, a substance which Dayton Industries perfected during the time that Mento was searching for Madame Rouge and General Zahl. Most members of the Hybrid were also involved in accidents, but it is speculated that Mento mentally engineered these accidents with his helmet. [Detailed in New Teen Titans (second series) #24-25].

In New Titans #102, Pantha gains access to an Dayton’s computer files and pulls up Project Hybrid, “Dayton’s genetic tampering which merged people with animals.” The mystery of Pantha’s origins has shifted from “Who am I?” to “What am I and who is responsible?” Signs begin to point to Steve Dayton.

Pantha receives hints from the Technis in New Titans #106, revealing new leads in her search. In New Titans #110, Pantha tracks down the woman she believes is responsible for the actual experiment that created her. She is gone, having been ‘paid off’ by someone. Pantha confronts Steve Dayton. Dayton confirms that he sent the woman away and asserts that he won’t tolerate anyone investigating his work. When Pantha pushes the issue, Dayton uses an energy blast from his hand to repel her attack. From Dayton, we learn that the mysterious woman was his Chief Genetic Researcher on Project Hybrid, a project he cancelled after he saw how dangerous it was. Dayton insists that she must’ve taken her research to the Wildebeests, and they created Pantha, not him. Pantha wonders why, if he’s telling the truth, why would he work so hard to keep her and the woman apart ?

in New Titans #114, after reaching a series of dead ends concerning her origins, Pantha elected to leave the Titans. When Red Star learned that the team was to be funded by the U.S. government, he also elected to leave; he didn’t want to work for the government yet again. Having established a bond, where Pantha would go, Baby Wildebeest would follow. As a rag-tag dysfunctional family, Red Star, Pantha and Baby Wildebeest decided to travel off together, leaving the Titans behind.

Pantha starts her own investigation into Steve Dayton in NEW TITANS #110 [1994].

Mysteries Solved, Questions Remain

Steve Dayton created an identity as the mysterious Crimelord, plotting against the Titans and Deathstroke. In Deathstroke #50, Dayton wanted to replace all the world leaders with clones, under his control. Furthermore, the now-insane Dayton wanted to merge his essence to cyberspace. Deathstroke thwarted his plan and cleared his name. Dayton is now floating somewhere in the void of cyberspace.

Also revealed In Deathstroke #50, Steve Dayton had been going insane due to prolonged use of the Mento helmet. He became obsessed with experimentation. To this end, he continued his DNA experiments that he used to create the mutated super-group, the Hybrid. That same technology was used by the Wildebeests in their experiments – the same experiments that created Pantha. “I used the technology to create The Hybrid — it was used for the Wildebeests and Pantha.”

Still, many questions remain concerning Pantha. Who or what was she before her transformation? Did Dayton create Pantha, or did the Wildebeests? And what further answers could the female scientist provide? Whatever the creative team had in mind, we will probably never see in print.


 Crimelord Chronology


The Mystery of The Crimelord

He sat behind a tall leather chair in a remote location in the criminal nation of Zandia. Beneath rings of cigar smoke and deep in shadow, he watched a series of monitors as he plotted against Deathstroke and the Titans. Speaking only to his intelligent computer system, Zarina, he amassed weapons of destruction and employed terrorists in his quest for global domination. He was The Crimelord. And his identity was closely guarded.

Crimelord first appeared in NEW TITANS #0 as a hologram to his employed terrorist thugs, Coven and Slagg. The Titans were able to stop Coven and Slagg, raising the ire of the mysterious Crimelord. At the same time, Crimelord appeared in DEATHSTROKE: THE HUNTED #0. Here, his involvement in framing Slade for the murder of a U.S. Senator is detailed. Also, The Crimelord’s air of mystery is expanded. He is seen here in Zandia, deep in shadow and smoking cigars… plotting and scheming as he barks orders to his computer system known as Zarina.

Crimelord remained a thorn in Deathstroke’s side from DEATHSTROKE #41-50. As Deathstroke was hunted by various heroes for the death of the U.S. Senator, Crimelord added insult to injury by dispatching his own assassins on Slade. He also conspired with Slade’s ex-wife Addie, who had been driven mad by a blood transfusion from Slade months ago. In addition to kidnapping the new Vigilante Pat Trayce, Crimelord amassed a nuclear stockpile and started a global presence in the criminal underworld.

The Titans weren’t completely ignored, however. In NEW TITANS ANNUAL #11, Crimelord conspired to prevent Donna Troy from gaining custody of her son, Robert. And, in a flashback sequence, when Arsenal tried to prevent the his latest scheme, The Crimelord ordered him to be executed. He was saved by the timely arrival of Supergirl.

Steve Dayton is revealed as The Crimelord in DEATHSTROKE #49 [1995].

And The Crimelord Is….

Everything eventually came to a head in the 4-part The Crimelord/Syndicate War [in DEATHSTROKE #48, NEW TITANS #122, DARKSTARS #32, DEATHSTROKE #49]. It began as Deathstroke and the Titans joined forces to stop a deadly power struggle between Crimelord and the evil alien Syndicate. Nuclear doom loomed overhead as the Crimelord prepared for his final strike at the alien Syndicate. The Titans, Hawkman and the Blood Pack joined Deathstroke in a desperate race to stop the Crimelord from exercising this final option. As his latest plan fell in ruins, Crimelord initiated his next phase – and was revealed as Steve Dayton on the final page of DEATHSTROKE #49.

DEATHSTROKE #50 featured the culmination of the Crimelord saga. In that issue, the Titans appear to stop the Crimelord. Meanwhile, Crimelord revealed himself as Steve Dayton to Deathstroke. Having injected the mento chip into his own hypothalamus, Dayton achieved a new awareness, although it had driven him mad with power. He framed Deathstroke for the murder of a U.S. Senator in an aggressive plan to gain control of the world. Eventually, Slade was able to clear his name. Working with Sarge Steel, Checkmate and the Titans, he was able to prove that the assassination attempt was actually a plan of the Crimelord, who wanted to replace all the world leaders with clones, under his control.

Once exposed, Dayton enacted his escape plan. By merging with his intelligent computer system Zarina, Dayton planned to merge his essence into the worldwide web, giving himself immortality and control of the world’s computer systems. But Dayton’s computer system crashed before entry, leaving him floating somewhere in the void of cyberspace.

Aftermath

In Deathstroke #51, As Damage brought Rose Wilson to the hospital, her meta-gene powers kicked in. Rose then had an extensive precognitive vision where she saw her father’s (Deathstroke’s) future, caught in a grudge match with Hawkman. Only as the story progresses, we learn Slade isn’t actually Slade.

Hawkman deduces this and demands, “Who are you? Why are you pretending to be Slade Wilson?” “Slade” refused to answer, as he tried to enact his Cybervese Project: merging the real world into his virtual one. As Hawkman attacks “Slade”, he learns “Slade” can’t be harmed in the virtual world – “Ever since I escaped this world I’ve learned to control it!” he declares. As “Slade” senses Rose in his virtual world, it distracts him long enough for Hawkman to deliver a crushing blow… just as Rose awakens in the present.

It seems as if Steve Dayton possessed Slade’s body in the far future. All signs point to Dayton: the cyberspace connection, hatred for Slade, controlling the world, and his reaction upon learning Rose’s identity. However, this storyline was never addressed and the title was cancelled with issue #60 [1995].

Continuity Revisions

In a bold move to return to the “classic formula,” John Byrne introduced an “All New Doom Patrol” that completely reset Doom Patrol continuity, having them appear ‘for the first time’ in the pages of JLA #94 [2004]. The series failed to catch on and was canceled after 18 issues. The rebooted Doom Patrol was changed further in Teen Titans #32 [2005], as the Doom Patrol and Beast Boy began to remember their original histories. When Beast Boy reunited with his foster mother, Rita Farr, time began to realign itself. The myriad histories of the Doom Patrol began to merge into a whole, combined history. And Mento himself later made a dramatic return in TEEN TITANS #36 [2006]; After all, the last we’d seen him was floating in cyberspace as the Crimelord.

The rebooted Doom Patrol team made its debut in TEEN TITANS (third series) #35-37 [2006], when the Titans located Beast Boy – who had since returned to the Doom Patrol –  at the bizarre Dayton Manor in Prague. Steve Dayton mentions to Beast Boy to apologize to the Titans for “that Crimelord business.” Apparently, in this new reality, Steve Dayton became the Crimelord, although the ultimate outcome of his defeat was markedly different from the events of DEATHSTROKE #50.

Crimelord Chronology

New Titans #0 [1994]: first appearance of Crimelord
Deathstroke #0 [1994]
New Titans #115 [1994]
Deathstroke #41-48 [1994-1995]
New Titans Annual #11 [1995]
New Titans #122 [1995] : The Crimelord/Syndicate War
Darkstars #32 [1995] : The Crimelord/Syndicate War
Deathstroke #49 [1995] : The Crimelord/Syndicate War; Crimelord revealed as Steve Dayton
Deathstroke #50: [1995] final appearance of Crimelord/Steve Dayton
Deathstroke #51 [1995] : possible; has Steve Dayton possessed Slade Wilson in the far future?
Teen Titans (third series) #36 [2006]: Steve Dayton apologizes for “that Crimelord business”

 

 Doom Patrol: Publishing History


The Original Doom Patrol [1963-1973]

Notable Appearances, in chronological order: 
My Greatest Adventure #80-85 [1963]
Doom Patrol (first series) #86-124 [1964-1973]
Brave and Bold #65 [1966]

Roll Call: The Chief, Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl
Later joined by: Mento and Beast Boy

Calling them “victims of a cruel and fantastic fate,” a red-bearded man in neat business suit offered three individuals “the chance to experience adventures more incredible than any humans have ever known”  in the now-classic MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #80. A team of freaks and misfits, the strange group was composed of: Robot Man (Cliff Steele, a man’s brain saved from death and placed in a robot body); Negative Man (Larry Trainor, a bandaged man composed of pure energy); Elasti-Girl (Rita Farr, a beautiful woman who can grow as well as shrink in size); and the Chief (Niles Caulder, their mysterious wheelchair-bound leader). The team proved to be popular enough that after six issues, they took over MY GREATEST ADVENTURE, which changed its name to THE DOOM PATROL with #86 (Mar., 1964).  In all, the fabulous freaks starred in 42 issues of one of the most offbeat and bizarre series DC had ever published. Unlike DC’s other superhero series of the period, the Doom Patrol was ostracized by society. It was this theme – outcasts as heroes – that gave the Doom Patrol its unique appeal.

Veteran editor Murray Boltinoff asked writer Arnold Drake to develop a feature suited to the book, MY GREATEST ADVENTURE. Drake remembers developing the initial Doom Patrol concept with fellow writer, Bob Haney. Joining Drake was artist Bruno Premiani, who had done some work for DC and was ready for more when the Doom Patrol assignment came up. Premiani’s art was atypical for DC, giving the series a unique flair and oddball charm.

As the series progressed, more characters were added to the mix. Mento (Steve Dayton, a man whose mental prowess is enhanced by a powerful helmet) later joined in DOOM PATROL #91 [1964]. Mento was immediately smitten with Elasti-Girl and joined their adventures in an effort to woo her. Beast Boy (Garfield Logan, a green-skinned teenaged shape-shifter) met the team (and made his first appearance) in DOOM PATROL #99 [1965]. He became their junior member in DOOM PATROL #100 [1965]. Elasti-Girl and Mento later married [DOOM PATROL #104] and adopted Beast Boy in DOOM PATROL #110 [1967].

And what would the heroes be without a formidable group of villains? The Brotherhood of Evil provided just that, first appearing in DOOM PATROL #86 [1963]. The Brotherhood was a powerful international crime syndicate whose inner circle comprised the Brain, a disembodied human brain preserved in a special fluid; Monsieur Mallah, a gorilla given superhuman intelligence through the Brain’s surgical techniques; and Madame Rouge, an elastic villainess gifted with extraordinary disguise skills. The Brotherhood of Evil battled the original Doom Patrol numerous times before Rouge was finally driven insane after one of the Brain’s experimental surgical operations.

The series was always weird, off-kilter and just this side of bizarre. As such, the series ended with one of the most offbeat endings in comic-dom. In DOOM PATROL #121 [1968], the team sacrificed their lives for a small village of 14 people. Arnold Drake remembered why the series was allowed to end with the death of its heroes. “The primary reason was that the Doom Patrol was caught in a downtrend,” he explained. “Super-heroes were out and horror and mystery books were becoming popular. There was also a general drop in sales at National Periodical Publications, and the Doom Patrol got caught in it. When the book was faced with near-certain cancellation, I talked with Murray and we decided to try something new with the book. We’d let the readers decide.” At the end of the story, Boltinoff and Premiani challenged the book’s readers to decide the fate of the Doom Patrol. Bizarre indeed.

Over the years, one by one, the members returned from the grave. But at its time, the story was as shocking as it was memorable.


Paul Kupperberg’s Doom Patrol [1977-1988]

Notable Appearances, in chronological order: 
Showcase #94-96 [1977]
Superman Family #191-193 [1978-1979]
New Teen Titans #13-15 [1982] (Robotman & Mento)
DC Comics Presents #52 [1982]
Secret Origins Annual #1 [1987]
Doom Patrol (second series) #1-18 [1987-1988]
Doom Patrol Annual (second series) #1 [1988]
Doom Patrol/Suicide Squad Special #1 [1988]

Roll Call: Robotman, Celsius, Negative Woman and Tempest
Later joined by: The Chief, Negative Man, Lodestone, Karma and Scott Fisher

In 1977, DC decided to once again publish SHOWCASE, a title that in the 1960s had launched features like Green Lantern, the Atom, and the Metal Men. The first series to be featured in the revived book was the New Doom Patrol. The new series’ creators were scripter Paul Kupperberg and artist Joe Staton. This new Doom Patrol had a decidedly international flavor. An American black man named Tempest (Joshua Clay) was joined by Celsius ( Arani Desai-Caulder, an Indian woman who could control heat and cold – and who claimed to be the Chief’s wife), and Negative Woman ((Valentina Vostok, a Russian woman who could transform herself into radioactive energy). Rounding out the cast was the only survivor of the original Doom Patrol: Robotman. Cliff Steele, though his mechanical body had been shattered, had survived the explosion that killed his friends. Will Magnus, creator of the Metal Men, had provided him with a new robot body – one that looked as if it had been designed by John Byrne – and Cliff was ready to return to the society that called him “freak.”

The New Doom Patrol also guest-starred in SUPERMAN FAMILY #191-193 [1978- 1979], teaming up with Supergirl. And later teamed up with Superman in DC COMICS PRESENTS #52 [1982]. In 1987, DC decided to give the series another try. After refreshing readers with their origins in SECRET ORIGINS ANNUAL #1 [1987], Paul Kupperberg and artist Steve Lightle relaunched THE DOOM PATROL with essentially the same team Kupperberg introduced in SHOWCASE #94. They did bring along a new surprises – such as the return of both the Chief and Negative Man from the grave. Also along for the ride were some new younger members: Lodestone (Rhea Jones, a magnetic-powered heroine), Karma  (Wade Hawkins, a psychic delinquent) and Scott Fisher (a timid teen with heat-based powers). Both Fisher and Karma were killed – along with Celsius – before the 18th issue of the series.

As a whole, the super-heroic series failed to tap into the Doom Patrol’s offbeat charms. That would soon change….


Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol [1989-2000]

Notable Appearances, in chronological order: 
Doom Patrol (second series) #19-87 [1989-1995]
Doom Patrol Annual (second series) #2 [1994]

Roll Call: Robotman, The Chief, Rebis, Crazy Jane
Later joined by: Dorothy Spinner, Danny The Street, The Bandage People and Coagula

Things suddenly got strange. That’s one way of describing Grant Morrison’s post-modern take of DC’s most bizarre super-team. Morrison – joined by artist Richard Case – took over the reigns of THE DOOM PATROL with issue #19. Right away, the tone of the book took a jarring turn. New members joined that were more fitting of the freakish mold established in the first series: Crazy Jane (a woman with 64 different personalities, each with a different ability), Rebis (an asexual energy being comprised of Larry Trainor and Eleanor Poole), Dorothy Spinner (a girl with mental abilities and the face of a gorilla) and Danny the Street (a sentient land mass).

The team fought high-concept villains like  Red Jack (who believed he was both Jack the Ripper and God), The Brotherhood of Dada (who favored absurdity over reason) and The Scissormen (who threatened to cut people out of reality). Even old favorites were given new personalities. In Morrison’s final storyline, it was revealed that the Chief had caused the “accidents” which turned Cliff, Larry Trainor and Rita Farr into freaks with the intention of creating the Doom Patrol. After trying to release nanobots that would create a strange, new world, the Chief was decapitated by one of Dorothy Spinner’s imaginary creations.

Morrison left the book with issue #63, and Rachel Pollack took over writing the book the next issue. In keeping with the odd style set by Morrison, Niles Caulder, although decapitated, remained alive as a disembodied head. New members also joined the book: The ghostly Bandage People and Kate Goodwin (Coagula). Pollack continued writing the title until its cancellation with DOOM PATROL #87 [1995].


John Arcudi’s Doom Patrol [2001-2003]

Notable Appearances, in chronological order: 
Doom Patrol (third series) #1-22 [2001-2003]

Roll Call: Robotman, Negative Man II, Fever, Kid Slick and Freak

In December 2001, writer John Arcudi and artist Tan Eng Huat launched a new DOOM PATROL series. The approach was less surreal than the previous version, but had its own quirky charms. The only holdover from the last incarnation was Robotman – who was joined by new members: Negative Man II (Ted Bruder, the time-seer who would rather be known as Fast Forward, but earned the name Negative Man, due to his surly attitude); Fever (nice girl Shyleen Lao, who had fire-based powers); Freak (mysterious and reclusive Ava, who could transform herself in strange ways); and Kid Slick (slacker dude Vic Darge, who could create a defensive shell around his body). The team was gathered by eccentric millionaire Thayer Jost, who wanted to sponsor the team and bought the rights to the name, “Doom Patrol.”

The series was not without its freaky mind-bending adventures. As revealed later, the Robotman seen in the first 8 issues was an imaginary construct created by Dorothy Spinner, who lay in a coma after accidentally destroying Kate Goodwin (Coagula) and the real Robotman. The team located Cliff’s brain and built him a new body with the help of Russian engineer Dr. Kolodenko. Jost eventually pulled his funding (as DC pulled the plug on the series, which wasn’t selling as well as they’d hoped) – and the latest version of the Doom Patrol was canceled with DOOM PATROL #22 in 2003.


John Byrne’s Doom Patrol [2004-2006]

Notable Appearances, in chronological order: 
JLA #94-99 [2004]
Doom Patrol (fourth series) #1-18 [2004-2005]
Teen Titans (third series) #32 [2005]

Roll Call: The Chief, Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl
Later joined by: Nudge, Vortex and Grunt

John Byrne’s cover for The Doom Patrol Index.

A new DOOM PATROL series began in June 2004, written and drawn by long-time Doom Patrol fan, John Byrne. For the feel of the book, Byrne said that the series’ catchphrase is “Together Again for the First Time!”  In a bold move to return to the “classic formula,” this new incarnation completely reset Doom Patrol continuity, having them appear ‘for the first time’ in the pages of JLA #94 [2004]. The Justice League (and the readers) were introduced to the Chief, Elasti-Girl, Robotman and Negative Man – all operating in secret until now.

DOOM PATROL #1, launched in 2004, continued the vampire story arc from the pages of JLA. The team was soon joined by new members Grunt (a four-armed gorilla), Nudge (a teenage telepath) and Vortex (an dimensional-opening entity). Celebrating high-adventure and old-school super-heroics, the series failed to recapture the original magic (or enough readers, for that matter). Byrne’s DOOM PATROL series was canceled with DOOM PATROL #18 [2005].


Doom Patrol After Infinite Crisis [2006-present]

Notable Appearances, in chronological order: 
Teen Titans (third series) #32 [2005]
Teen Titans (third series) #35-37 [2006]
The Brave And The Bold #8 [2007]
Doom Patrol (fifth series) #1-22 [2009-present]

Roll Call: The Chief, Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, Mento and Beast Boy
Later joined by: Celsius, Negative Woman, Tempest, Lodestone, Karma, Scott Fisher, Rebis, Crazy Jane, Dorothy Spinner, Danny The Street, The Bandage People, Coagula, Negative Man II, Fever, Kid Slick, Freak, Nudge, Vortex, Grunt, Bumblebee and Vox

As cancellation of Byrne’s DOOM PATROL seemed imminent, DC Comics faced some other issues concerning the rebooted Doom Patrol: the dreaded continuity monster. A rebooted Doom Patrol caused some continuity glitches for some other well-known characters, like Beast Boy and Mento. In the NEW TEEN TITANS and subsequent TITANS series, many stories featuring Garfield Logan and Steve Dayton relied heavily on their history with the Doom Patrol – a history that no longer existed if the team was founded in “present day.” It also effected characters like The Brain, Mallah, Madame Rouge, the new Brotherhood of Evil, the Hybrid, Rouge’s daughter Gemini and all their various crossovers into other DC books. “Gar Logan will be the Donna Troy of this reboot!” according to John Byrne in a chat held March 9th in 2004.

As luck would have it, DC was in the middle of a reality-changing event called INFINITE CRISIS, which provided a much-needed “get out of continuity free” card for the Doom Patrol. The solution came in Teen Titans #32 [2005]. Basically, it all happened. The original Doom Patrol. Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol. John Byrne’s revised Doom Patrol. As the story explained, when the Superboy from Earth Prime pounded on the vibrational barrier that once separated the multiverse, reality fractured and splintered. From its wake, a new Doom Patrol emerged in present day, seemingly wiping out the history of the first team. In this new reality, the wheelchair-bound Chief gathered Elasti-Girl, Robotman and Negative Man – who were soon joined by new members Grunt (a four-armed gorilla), Nudge (a teenage telepath) and Vortex (an dimensional-opening entity).

When the Infinite Crisis struck, the members of the Doom Patrol – as well as Beast Boy – began to remember their original histories. When Beast Boy reunited with his foster mother, Rita Farr, time began to realign itself. The myriad histories of the Doom Patrol began to merge into a whole, combined history. As a result, The Doom Patrol’s history was restored. This allowed DC to restore Elasti-Girl to life. And another new Doom Patrol was born.

The rebooted Doom Patrol team made its debut in TEEN TITANS (third series) #35-37 [2006], when the Titans located Beast Boy – who had since returned to the Doom Patrol –  at the bizarre Dayton Manor in Prague. Original members Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, the Chief, Mento and Beast Boy were recently joined by former Titans Bumblebee (Karen Beecher, who was transformed to insect-size by strange energies) and Vox (Mal Duncan, who was maimed when an accident merged him with his dimension-hopping Gabriel Horn).

During the Titans tour of the surreal Dayton Manor, eagle-eyed readers could spot some old Doom Patrol  references: portraits of Dorothy Spinner and Celsius, a portal to Danny the World with Crazy Jane, The Painting that Ate Paris, a statue of Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man and a talking lemon tree. In addition, Steve Dayton tells Beast Boy to apologize to the Titans for “that Crimelord business” and the Chief makes reference to the team’s “death” at the small fishing village in Maine. It seemed to be DC’s way of acknowleding each version of the team did in fact exist in this new, merged reality.



Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Series, DC Who’s Who Binder Series, The Official Teen Titans Index [published by ICG in 1985], The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [ West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com


End of titanstower.com transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author