An aging wheelchair bound mad scientist known as the Chief (Niles Caulder), created a super powered team of outcasts by arranging “accidents” on people with fantastic lives and ruining them by making them power-housed freaks, all so they’d have nothing to lose and go on suicide missions to prematurely save the world. Caulder’s first plan was to recreate the Robotman like the Mystery man from the 1940s via implanting a humanbrain in to a robot body, so he first caused a lab explosion destroying the body of a colleague and planning to put his brain in the robot but the colleague's brain was saved by his pet gorilla. Caulder refined his plan and struck three people...
Cliff Steele, an international sportsman and daredevil who Caulder had burned to a cinder by causing Cliff’s racecar to crash. Chief used his scientific genius to transfer Steele’s brain into the robot body.
Rita Farr was a Hollywood starlet, and Olympic levelswimmer. During 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, due to her mutation, she then fought alongside the Doom Patrol as Elasti-Girl.
Larry Trainor was once a U.S. Air Forcetest pilot – Caulder caused his jet's guidance systems to break down so he would fly an experimental suborbital aircraft into a stratospheric belt of radiation. Now existing 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 and return to his lifeless body and he calls this form the Negative Man.
The Chief motivated this Doom Patrol (them unaware that he caused their accidents). Bitter from being isolated from the world they use their powers for the greater good.
Negative Man, who was also known as Larry Trainor, was a test pilot for the U.S. Air Force, and he was a friend and colleague of Hal Jordan. Due to exposure to radiation, he had the ability to generate a "negative spirit", a radiation soul-like entity from his own body, which carried his consciousness in him while leaving his body as a husk. It could only be gone for sixty seconds. He could also project Heat Waves. He could fly and was intangible, so he could phase through solid objects.