An aging, wheelchair-bound mad scientist known as the Chief (Niles Caulder) endeavored to create a super-powered team of outcasts by arranging "accidents" on people with successful lives. He ruined their lives by making them power-housed freaks so they’d have nothing to lose, influencing them to go on suicide missions to save the world. Caulder's first plan was to recreate the Robotman like the Mystery Man from the 1940s via implanting a human brain in a robot body. He first caused a lab explosion destroying the body of a colleague. Planning to put his brain in the robot, his plan was foiled when his colleague's brain was saved by his pet gorilla. Caulder refined his plan and selected three people:
- Cliff Steele, an international sportsman and daredevil whom Caulder had fatally burned by causing Cliff’s race car to crash. Chief used his scientific genius to transfer Steele’s brain into the robot body.
- Rita Farr was a Hollywood starlet and Olympic level swimmer until Caulder got his hands on her. During the filming of one of her movies, Caulder exposed Rita to strange vapors that granted her the ability to alter her size at will. Her career in ruins, she now fights alongside the Doom Patrol as Elasti-Girl.
- Larry Trainor was once a US Air Force test pilot until Caulder caused Trainor's experimental suborbital aircraft's guidance system to break down, sending Trainor into a stratospheric belt of radiation. Now Trainor exists as a living mummy, forced to wear special bandages to contain the radiation that has disfigured his body. As a side effect of the incident, Trainor can become a being of pure energy by leaving his body as a black electrical-like silhouette form, a form he calls the Negative Man.
The Chief motivated this Doom Patrol (who was unaware that he caused their accidents). Bitter from being isolated from the world, they use their powers for the greater good.
Throughout their career, the team would face a variety of bizarre villains. Rita married Steve Dayton, and they adopted Beast Boy (Garfield Logan) as their son. The Chief would try to rehabilitate Madame Rouge, but he fails and as a result, pushes her further into villainy. Robotman bemoaned his existence as a tin man, and Larry harbored a secret love for Rita. General Immortus was revealed as the proximate cause of the Chief's inability to walk.
Madame Rouge embarks upon an ambitious plot to avenge herself against the Doom Patrol. Initially, she sends the Doom Patrol a message by destroying her old colleagues, The Brotherhood of Evil. Rouge and her henchmen then bomb the lair of the Brain and Monsieur Mallah, seemingly killing them both.
Rouge teams up with a former Nazi U-boat commander, Captain Zahl. Zahl and Rouge pilot their submarine to the island. There, Zahl confronts Niles Caulder, blaming him for Zahl's disability; Zahl attempts to kill him, but Rouge wants the Doom Patrol left alive so they can continue to suffer unending humiliation. Zahl launches several weapons designed to counter each of the Doom Patrol members' special abilities. He then tells them that he has planted a bomb in a small fishing village in Maine named Codsville, population: 14. He has a second bomb ready to destroy the Doom Patrol's island. He leaves it to the Doom Patrol to decide which bomb he shall detonate – confident that they will elect to save their own lives rather than that of fourteen strangers. Surprisingly, the Doom Patrol decide to sacrifice themselves rather than risk the deaths of the people of Codsville. Zahl pushes the plunger and the island explodes, killing the Doom Patrol.
Much later, a second team calling themselves Doom Patrol was put together by a woman named Celsius, who claimed to be Caulder's widow. This team was originally established to deal with the threat of a rampaging General Immortus, although they would go on to a great number of other missions.
She enlisted two unfamiliar heroes Tempest and the new Negative Woman to her cause and they established themselves in the old Headquarters. Robotman, who had survived the explosion and been rebuilt by Doc Magnus, agreed to join as well after the team proved their sincerity.
They reveal that General Immortus is seeking a new immortality formula developed by Niles Caulder. Immortus attacks, eventually disabling them with a powerful noxious gas.
Immortus tries to take the immortality serum formula from the mind of Celsius. Using his Psycho-Probe he learns of her history with Niles Caulder. While working for the Red Cross in India, Caluder treated Arani, fell in love, but was unable to take her with him to the United States. Leaving her with a religious sect, she eventually discovered her powers.
Eventually, Caulder returned to India. Immortus had, his identity unknown to Caulder, supplied him with unlimited funds to research and develop the serum. Caulder, wary of unleashing such a serum on the world until his mysterious benefactor is revealed, makes it a wedding gift to Arani.
Superman prevents a New Jersey power plant from overloading and causing a statewide blackout. After rescuing the plant workers, he notices the cause of the overload: a black energy shape in the form of a woman. The shape flies off before Superman can catch it.
Adding to the chaos, the black energy being also appears in Metropolis and begins wreaking havoc. Clark changes into Superman and begins chasing the entity all throughout the city. While doing so, he encounters the new Doom Patrol who explains to him that the energy being is actually their ally, Valentina Vostok. Robotman tells him that Vostok has absorbed the Negative being that was once a part of his late colleague Larry Trainor. Unfortunately, fusing with the entity has driven Negative Woman berserk.
Superman and the Doom Patrol attempt to contain Negative Woman. Valentina Vostok's condition stabilizes, but she laments the fact that she must wear specially treated bandages or else risk losing control of herself once again.
Celsius became convinced that her long-lost husband was still alive, and she began actively searching for new heroes to expand their ranks. They gained three new members, Lodestone, Karma and Scott Fischer. This incarnation located themselves in Kansas City where they were met with harsh criticism from the local populace.
Together they fought the evils of Metallo, Shrapnel, General Immortus and Garguax. Karma would eventually leave the team because he was on the run from the law. They did eventually discover that Niles Caulder was indeed alive, although he denied that he had been married to Celsius.
This team completely fell apart during the hostile Invasion! crisis. They teamed up with Aquaman and the Sea Devils for an underwater battle against the Alien Alliance in the Arctic Circle. Celsius died sacrificing herself in an attempt to destroy the Gil'Dishpan mothership. Negative Woman lost her connection to the Negative Spirit when blasted by a weapon created by Garguax. After the war, when the treacherous Dominators launched the Gene Bomb on Earth, complications from his powers and his leukemia killed Scott Fischer... and Lodestone fell into a coma.
Back in action once more, the Chief took this as an opportunity to completely rebuild his team to their former greatness. After spending some time in a psychiatric ward, Robotman is inspired to return by Will Magnus. Larry Trainor regains his previous connection with the Negative Man, and he becomes Rebis after involuntarily combining with a female doctor named Eleanor Poole. Crazy Jane becomes their newest member, a patient at the hospital Robotman stayed with who possesses a different superpower with each of her multiple personalities. They identified themselves as the world's most qualified individuals to handle the weirdest crimes and disasters, things that nobody else could. This incarnation of the team would go on to save the universe from a number of bizarre and unusual threats on a regular basis.
Their first great challenge was the Scissormen from Heinrich Hoffman's Der Sttruwwelpeter (Stock-Headed Peter). Beings from another world that was slowly seeping into, and taking over our own universe by literally cutting people out of reality. They came from Orqwith, a philosophical notion... a fictional city that had somehow managed to gain substance and cross over into reality. Before the menacing race of thought-people could enslave humanity, the Patrol infiltrated their top city, and Rebis confronted them with a paradox built into their system to destroy them. They were confronted with their own non-existence by questioning why there was something instead of nothing, and Orqwith crumbled down around them, stripped of its power. It was the first great victory for this new team.
Dorothy Spinner was invited to join the team, and Joshua Clay agreed to stay on in a purely medical capacity. Rhea Jones, still in a coma, was captured by the villainous Red Jack, a serial killer with supernatural powers who believed himself to be God. Red Jack was taking her for his bride. Red Jack was kept alive by the pain of a million butterflies pinned to the walls. The team pursued the madman into a mystical realm where he nearly decimated them with his abilities, until Rhea awoke from her slumber long enough to plunge a knife into his back and kill him.
Mister Morden, their old enemy from the original Brotherhood of Evil became Mister Nobody when scientific experiments drove him insane and imbued him with strange powers. He formed the Brotherhood of Dada taking the themes of his older team and turning them into a more nonsensical, nihilistic group to fit his new "lifestyle." His new team, consisting of Sleepwalk, Frenzy, the Fog and the Quiz , stole a supernatural Painting said to swallow whoever gazed upon it, and used it to engulf the city of Paris. This baited the Doom Patrol into entering the Painting where they were quickly defeated by the Brotherhood in their first encounter. However, the Patrol teamed up to stop a great monster imprisoned along with them: The Fifth Horseman. The Fifth Horseman fed on ideas and was intent on consuming all of reality and then finally to kill itself. It was defeated by Nobody and Crazy Jane, who influenced the creature's mind and made it experience pure Dada... the complete antithesis to all ideas, which converted it into a small wooden hobby horse and made it useless and inert. The Patrol was unsure whether or not they should still imprison the Brotherhood after their help... but as the life of the painting collapsed around them, they had to leave and the villains went down with the ship.
The team also faced threats such as the fake men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., the real men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., and the menace beneath the Pentagon. They met allies such as Danny the street, a sentient street that could insert itself into different places around the globe, and Flex-mentallo. The real men from nowhere were created by the agency using the silver tongs of the telephone avatar beneath the Pentagon.
Eventually, this incarnation of the team was destroyed when the candle-maker, summoned by Dorothy Spinner went out of control and killed most of the teammates. The team was also betrayed by Niles Caulder. It wouldn't be until years later that they would finally experience a true revival during the Infinite Crisis.
The next incarnation of the team saw Robotman leading a group of younger heroes working for the wealthy industrialist Thayer Jost. In reality, the "Robotman" leading this team was a doppleganger dreamt up by Dorothy Spinner as she lay in a coma. The actual Cliff Steele found her and pulled the plug on her life support machine before her dreams threatened all of reality.
During a battle with Superboy-Prime, Speedy fires a special Phantom Zone arrow (that she acquired from Arsenal) at Superboy. As the missile strikes him, Superboy is thrust into the Phantom Zone. However, his super-strength is sufficient for him to break free. This causes reality to change again, where the Doom Patrol remember their previous adventures, Elasti-Girl's death, and Beast Boy's time on the team. At this time, Superboy-Prime goes further into insanity and begins slaughtering heroes.
Steve Dayton, still mentally unstable, begins to use the Mento helmet once more; however, he remembers his time as the Crimelord. The Chief appears to be manipulating the Doom Patrol members once again; he claims to wish to return them to normal, so "maybe one day [they] won't be freaks anymore." After the Doom Patrol encounters the 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, with Mento taking over that role.
While fighting the Titans and the Doom Patrol, the Brain claimed that he had been the Chief's lab assistant, that his body had been destroyed in an explosion Caulder caused, and that he was to have been the original Robotman.
The Doom Patrol now work out of a base on Oolong Island.
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.