Medical Research * Biochemistry
Robotics * Geriatrics * Neurosurgery
The Doom Patrol
An incredibly brilliant but unorthodox young scientific researcher, Niles Caulder accepted the aid of a mystery benefactor in financing his biological experiments. His curiosity led him to investigate this unknown philanthropist, only to discover himself to be a pawn of General Immortus, a criminal master-mind striving to recreate an immortality elixir that had kept him alive for centuries. To guarantee Caulder's loyalty, Immortus had a bomb inserted in the scientist's chest which only Immortus could safely remove while Caulder lived. Caulder, however, tricked the General into shooting him, then, having pre-programmed his robot assistant, he had the mechanical surgeon operate to remove the bomb after he was clinically "dead." The operation was only a partial success. Niles Caulder lived, but lost the use of his legs, becoming confined to a wheelchair. Destroying his lab and all his notes to prevent Immortus from discovering the secret he sought, Caulder seemingly vanished, and even the ancient overlord of crime could not find him.
Only after Niles Caulder's death would Immortus learn that, during his researches, the scientist had served as a Red Cross volunteer in India, where he met and later married a young woman named Arani, who became the first and only beneficiary of the immortality serum. After going into hiding to escape Immortus, Caulder never returned to his new bride, fearing reprisals from his enemy. He surfaced only twice more before settling permanently in the brownstone combination laboratory/living quarters in Midway City that was to become the headquarters of the Doom Patrol. First, he created a special radiation-proof fabric which was used to allow Larry Trainor, Negative Man, to walk the streets after he became permanently radioactive. Then, he became the first surgeon to transplant a human brain into a mechanical body when he saved Cliff Steele's life by transforming him into Robotman. Finally, using the code-name "The Chief" to protect his real identity, he brought together Rita Farr, Larry Trainor, and Cliff Steele, and formed the team of adventurers whom the media dubbed "The Doom Patrol."
General Immortus quickly deduced the Chief's true identity and became one of the Doom Patrol's most persistent foes, but the general public remained unaware of the background of the red-bearded genius in the wheelchair until much later in the team's career. The Chief, together with Negative Man and Elasti-Girl, died at the hands of Madame Rouge and Captain Zahl in Doom Patrol #121.