Niles Caulder grew up interested in creating better life - Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus" particularly interested him. As a youth, he proved to be extremely capable in various scientific fields. He was contacted by a mysterious benefactor to create a life-prolonging chemical, which he was able to do. Unfortunately for Caulder, the benefactor turned out to be the immortal villain General Immortus, who received his prolonged life from a chemical but was now failing. In order to keep the captive scientist at bay, Immortus implanted a bomb into his upper torso that would detonate if he tried to leave. Utilizing his robot assistant RA-2 to perform surgery on him to remove the bomb, Caulder was able to leave. Unfortunately, the bomb detonated and he lost the use of his legs. Caulder repaid RA-2's act by blasting it in the head, as he did not want anything to know his body of work. A scientist working along side Caulder was murdered by Caulder, who was jealous of his work. This scientist would later come back as the disembodied Brain that would be a constant thorn in the side of Caulder's subsequent super hero teams. The accident inspired Caulder that a better life could come out of an accident. He then took this to its logical but cruel extreme.
The Chief was created by the writers Arnold Drake, Bob Haney and artist Bruno Premiani. He first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80. He is a wheelchair bound super genius who was created a few months before Professor X of the X-Men.
Caulder started out as a hero working against the villains of the DC Universe. He always seemed to be there to help good people after bad accidents. It wasn't till later on that it was discovered The Chief was behind many of those accidents. Up until his apparent death he kept up the facade of being a hero.
Once back from the dead Caulder didn't try to hide the fact that he was in it for himself. He still did good deeds when it benefited himself. As time went on he slowly lost the trust of his team and the super hero community in general.
Major Story Arcs
Caulder engineered the accident that left Clifford Steele as a disembodied brain and may have engineered the chemical accident that mutated Rita Farr and the freak radiation incident that left Larry Trainor possessed by a "negative entity". Following the accidents, he approached each of the victims and offered them a place in his team. He created a robotic chassis for Steele, naming him Robotman, and had sent Trainor bandages coated in special chemicals to prevent people from getting radiation sickness around him. The three people became active as a family of superheroes called the Doom Patrol. In addition to these three, it is also known that Caulder experimented on at least three other people that rejected his offer of superheroics. They are called Electric Blu, the Human Cannon and Negative Girl. The latter may be Valentina Vostok, who was a member of a later Doom Patrol. General Immortus later "killed" the Doom Patrol, bombing them when they refused to let a small Maine town die in their stead. Caulder survived and obtained a brain dead patient for the Negative Man entity to live in.
Some time later, Caulder reformed the Doom Patrol with Robotman, the latest host of the Negative Entity called Rebis, Joshua Clay and Scott Fischer. Dorothy Spinner was also a member. At the end of this version of the Patrol, Joshua Clay stumbled upon the Chief's plot to unleash a horde of nanomachines to recreate the world as a stranger place, believing that good would come of it. The Chief killed Clay. He came into conflict with the Doom Patrol, almost killing Robotman by damaging his body, but he was eventually stopped by the Candlemaker, a terrifying creature made of the fears of nuclear armegeddon given form by Dorothy Spinner. His severed head continued to be a member of the Patrol and was kept in the freezer. Jokingly called "the Head", it was fed milkshakes. Will Magnus made a body for the Chief, but the Chief decapitated himself to attempt to redeem himself. In the final issues of this run, the Chief merged with a being called Alice Wired-For-Sound and died entering the Tree of Life. These bizarre events seem to have been glossed over, although there have been flashbacks to the Head.
Years later, a woman claiming to be Caulder's widow named Arani Desai alias Celcius recreated the Doom Patrol. According to her, Niles had married her in India and hidden her away among Tibetan monks. Whether or not the two had actually been spouses has been a matter of debate in the comics. At the very least, Caulder knew her.
The Tenth Circle
Caulder was using his Doom Patrol to investigate a rash of kidnappings that turned out to be committed by the 10th Circle. After defeating Crucifer the team returns to the base to find Caulder taken prisoner by three vampires. He has been tortured and beaten. It takes the help of Batman and John Stewart to free the Chief. During this time it is discovered the Chief has private secret cells that he has been doing experiments on some prisoners.
One Year Later
Following the Infinite Crisis, the Chief returned with the Doom Patrol. During a storyline with the Teen Titans, it was revealed that Caulder had created the villains known as the Brotherhood of Evil in an attempt to create a superteam, as well as creating the previously mentioned Brain. In addition, it was revealed that he had cloned the deceased Rita Farr. Unable to procure enough of her DNA from the skull shards he was able to locate, he synthesized a large portion of her genetic structure and grew it in the nanomachine tank he had previously used for attempted global destruction. She was reborn as a silicone like creature. During this period, the Doom Patrol resided in Dayton Manor. The team later relocated to Oolong Island, where Caulder proved to be a thorn in the side of President Veronica Cale. Caulder continued manipulating the team, including a mentally unstable Mento, who had also taken up residence on the island.
During the Blackest Night, Celsius returned as a Black Lantern. During their encounter, she was able to destroy his legs. Before he passed out from the pain, he was able to send away the Black Lanterns for the Justice League to deal with using a portal that the Science Squad had used to summon the Four Horsemen.
War of the Supermen
Some time later, Caulder was able to transfer the powers of a Kryptonian captured during the War of the Supermen. He disarmed most of the world, depositing the nuclear arms at the former location of the Justice League of Antarctica before makings demands to the UN itself. His AI Millicent was able to disarm him by shutting down his nervous system using Robotman as a way to use strobe effects on him. The Science Squad deposited his inert body for study afterward.
Batman: Brave and the Bold
The Chief, along with the original Doom Patrol lineup makes an appearance in the episode "The Last Patrol", where he is voiced by Richard McGonagle.
The Chief appears briefly in the fourth episode of Titans entitled "Doom Patrol". The Chief is portrayed by Bruno Bichir.
The Chief is portrayed by Timothy Dalton. He provides his mansion as a safe place for the members of the Doom Patrol. He is the one who saved Cliff Steele and put his brain into the robotic body he is currently in. This version is possibly immortal, due to the fact that he appears the same age in both the 1960's and present day.