Mento with helmet as seen in Teen Titans (vol. 3) #37 (August 2006), artist Tony Daniel
|First appearance||Doom Patrol #91
|Created by||Arnold Drake (writer)
Bruno Premiani (artist)
|Alter ego||Steve Dayton|
|Team affiliations||Doom Patrol
Seven Soldiers of Victory
Fictional character biography
Steve Dayton, one of the world's richest men, builds a helmet to enhance his mental abilities and calls himself Mento. This is an attempt on Dayton's part to impress Elasti-Girl (a.k.a. Rita Farr) of the Doom Patrol. Although his arrogant manner annoys the male field members of the team, he is successful, and in Doom Patrol #104 (June 1966), Mento and Elasti-Girl are married. They soon adopt Beast Boy (a.k.a. Garfield Logan). After Elasti-Girl's death, Mento becomes involved in the hunt for her killers, General Zahl and Madame Rouge.
In Swamp Thing #49-50, Steve is recruited by John Constantine for a small gathering of powerful beings, in order to assist in a battle taking place in hell. The demonic forces are facing an entity that could easily overwhelm and destroy them, even with the aid of Heavenly beings. Using Mento to get a 'read' on the situation, John assists the battle with magical power. Despite the defeat of the entity, Sargon the Sorcerer and Zatara burn to death and Mento is left insane. (This was before Swamp Thing and John Constantine switched into Vertigo continuity and the event has subsequently been referenced in several regular DC universe comic books.) Shortly thereafter, Dayton, now in a wheelchair, resumes his Mento identity and lashes out at Garfield Logan, blaming him for the deaths of the original Doom Patrol. He then proceeds to create his own team, the Hybrid, to challenge the Teen Titans. After multiple encounters, the members of the Hybrid defy Dayton and join the Titans in curing him. Raven cures him of his madness and he seems to discard the helmet.
Much later, Dayton hires Deathstroke the Terminator to find the Titans during the Titan Hunt. Afterwards, he becomes Crimelord and tries to frame Deathstroke for murder, but Dayton's dual identity and plans are revealed and Deathstroke is cleared of all charges. Crimelord's plans also involved nuclear bombs placed across the country, but this is neutralized by a large gathering of superheroes, mainly current and former Teen Titans members.
One Year Later
Steve Dayton is revealed to have returned with the rest of the Doom Patrol. Though a member of the Patrol, he furiously writes novels (remarking that he intends to entitle the series My Greatest Adventure), supposedly spurred on by a creative streak created by the helmet. He also seems to have developed an addiction again to his helmet, as he claims that Rita is only in love with Mento and not Steve Dayton. He claims to remember his days as The Crimelord, calling them "a glitch in the helmet".
Retaining his age though clean shaven again, Dayton's Mento helmet is now red, and he wears a black costume with a yellow lightning bolt across it; this coloration of helmet and costume resembles his original look from the original incarnation of the Patrol.
Seeing the truth about Dr. Niles Caulder (a.k.a. The Chief), who is trying to convince Kid Devil to join the Doom Patrol by telling him his own teammates, the Titans, will always despise him as a freak, Dayton shakes off his addiction and finally removes the helmet. Thinking clearly again for the first time in years, he takes the control of the Doom Patrol from The Chief, claiming respect for the other members of the squad, and threatening The Chief if he ever reclaimed his leading role from him.
Mento is later shown, fully in possession of his mental faculties, as an occasional helper of the Justice League, filling with his cybernetically augmented mental abilities the role once held by the late Martian Manhunter. In such a role, he diagnoses Jericho's dissociative identity disorder, spurring the League to seek professional help for him.
In the current (2010) run of the Doom Patrol, Mento is revealed to have left the Patrol, despite still being in contact with Caulder. Currently estranged from his wife, as his marriage failed when Rita found out how Dayton routinely used his mind-reading powers on her, he's called back from Caulder to stop an alien hive mind by using Rita's enlarged form as a proxy. Upon becoming aware of the newest violation Rita decides to break every remaining tie with him, blaming Caulder too for her mistreatment.
Powers and abilities
Steve Dayton wears a helmet of his own invention that amplifies his own latent psychic powers. While wearing the helmet, he has the powers of telepathy, psychokinesis, intangibility, and limited mind control. The helmet has the negative side effect of increasing Dayton's paranoia and dementia. Raven is eventually able to cure him of these side effects.
In other media
- Mento appears in the Teen Titans two-part episode Homecoming, voiced by Xander Berkeley. He is depicted as being the Doom Patrol's stubborn leader and obsessed with stopping the Brotherhood of Evil. As in the comics, he possesses the incredibly powerful psionic abilities of telepathy, telekinesis, and clairvoyance. He has issues with Beast Boy's inability to follow orders even when the boy's actions are justifiable; the implication is that this is the reason Beast Boy had left the Doom Patrol and become a Teen Titan. Although it is never clarified whether or not Steve is Beast Boy's adoptive fatherly figure in the series, he does refer to him as "son" and at one time says, "That's my boy".
- Mento appears in issue 7 of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold comics.