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The Mento Helmet Consipiracy Theory


Gar's stepfather Steve Dayton, AKA Mento, used a helmet he designed to give himself mental abilities.  He did this to try to impress and woo actress Rita Farr, known at the time as Elasti-Girl.
 
Later on, after the murderers of the Doom Patrol were found, Dayton only used his helmet sporadically.  However, with later times, Dayton also began to experience periods of dementia and madness, apparently connected to his use of the Mento helmet.  At one point, Vernon Questor, Dayton’s business manager, informed Gar that repeated use of the helmet was killing Dayton.  He was later cured by Raven.  Dayton experienced other periods of madness, until his final one where he became Crimelord. 
 
Was Dayton’s helmet tampered with at some point?
 
There are two possibilities:
 
1.  General Zahl did something to the Mento helmet. 
 
When the Titans rescued Dayton from General Zahl (an old Doom Patrol enemy), Dayton kept insisting he have his Mento costume (this was the blue and yellow outfit).  As soon as Dayton put it on, he attacked the Titans (stopping when Raven used her powers on him).  However, Zahl only had access to one of Dayton’s helmets, not the plans or the early model helmets.  Later periods of madness were with different versions.  At one point, Gar tried to use an early Mento helmet, which seriously affected his shapeshifting powers.
 
2.The Chief (Niles Caulder) tampered with either the helmet or the plans.
 
With all the time that Dayton spent around the Doom Patrol, the Chief had access to the Mento helmet, and possibly the plans as well.  The inclusion of a rogue circuit at some point might have carried over across various models of the helmet without Dayton knowing exactly what it was for.
 
But why Caulder?  He’s a nice guy that brought together the Doom Patrol, right?
 
Later on, in the 3rd Doom Patrol series, it was revealed that Caulder had actually been responsible for the accident that gave Elasti-Girl her powers, caused the incident that merged Larry Trainor with the Negative being to become the Negative Man, and did more than just transfer Cliff Steele’s brain into the Robotman body.  They were all part of an experiment of Caulder’s to monitor human response to their situations. 
 
It is entirely possible that Caulder saw an easy opportunity to add another person to his trial group.
 
Another factor behind the idea that the Chief is responsible goes back to Dayton’s behavior during one of his episodes.  At one point, Dayton confined himself to a wheelchair, as the Chief had been, acted like he was the Chief, and experimented on people (eventually creating the Hybrid).  For clearer details on the various events concerning Mento, see http://www.titanstower.com/source/whoswho/dayton.html

The question now exists:  With the Doom Patrol reboot, will Steve Dayton/Mento remain a part of Titans (and Gar's) history, or will he be "erased" and "rebooted" along with the rest of the Doom Patrol.



 

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