DC's 'Doom Patrol': Who is The Chief, and why is he the leader of this ragtag band of obscure misfits?
When you hear the word 'leader', if you tend to picture a charismatic, selfless individual who'd go any length to guide a team, well, then you haven't met The Chief
Though The Chief may be one of the least known members of an already obscure team of misfits in the DC universe, he's the most important member of the 'Doom Patrol' team, being the team's father figure, and founding member. An enigmatic character, he's responsible for creating or modifying almost all the members we know and love in this weird band of misfits. With the release of 'Titans' on Netflix, the 'Doom Patrol' team unexpectedly crossed over into the series, and fans got to see The Chief (Bruno Bichir) and his strange team for the first time in action.
The Chief has paraplegia and is one of the few "superheroes" without any powers, but his genius-level intellect is formidable by itself. The Chief is a polymath, and is gifted in many fields including surgery, biochemistry, robotics, and engineering, and was responsible for transplanting future teammate Cliff Steele's living brain into his new Robotman body when Steele had heavily injured his body in a race.
The Chief is also responsible for creating Negative Man, who's radioactive levels were so high, The Chief devised a way to insulate his toxicity with the help of special bandages he developed specifically for him. He also helped Rita Farr (Elastic-girl) when she was affected by toxic gases, which made her body expand and constrict uncontrollably, by giving her a home among the "freaks".
In the Titans-Doom Patrol cross-over episode, we see it is The Chief who was responsible for making Garfield Logan aka Beast boy, into the green-lean, fighting machine he is today. Though it sounds like Niles Caulder aka The Chief is an amazing human being, the comics tell another story.
While he has developed numerous inventions and scientific advancements for the betterment of those that inhabit the superhero world, Dr. Niles Caulder Ph.D., is also known as one of the most narcissistic individuals in the DC Universe.
Even though he has helped out almost all of his teammates by providing them a place to stay and develop their abilities to their truest potential, he only does so out of his natural tendency to be a control freak. In the comics, we learn it is Dr. Caulder who is actually responsible for the horrible accidents and incidents our heroes barely lived through. His motive, ironically, was to make them better human beings.
While we're not sure the character in the upcoming 'Doom Patrol' series will have these narcissistic tendencies as The Chief of old, we've seen The Chief try to force Raven through one of his procedures in the crossover. But because he hurts Beast Boy and Raven, Raven unleashes all her dark, demonic forces and cripples him, making him paraplegic again (it was not mentioned how the chief gained control of his limbs). That's enough to show us the old Niles Caulder is still running strong in the live-action as well.
Though we won't see Bruno Bichir reprise the role in the new series, we will see the charming Timothy Dalton taking up the role of this genius. DC's 'Doom Patrol' will air February 15 exclusively on www.dcuniverse.com, and you can check out the first looks of these accidental superheroes in the trailer below!