June 15, 2012

Teen Titans: Steve Dayton/Mento

The Father Who Wasn't There
A look back at Steve Dayton, Beast Boy's adoptive father

The 1980s Teen Titans have always been my favorite series. Writer Marv Wolfman's intricate storylines and tight continuity were only rivaled by Chris Claremont in Uncanny X-Men. With the Titans, Wolfman revived a concept and made it a runaway hit with it's team of young stars and former sidekicks. Wolfman also delved into DC Comics history by bringing on Gar Logan known as Beast Boy or Changeling into the lineup. Beast Boy was adopted by Elasti-Girl (Rita Farr) and Mento (Steve Dayton).

It made for an interesting family by all means! Dayton would later come to almost kill Logan on many occasions though. Dayton was one of the richest men in the world. Trying to impress Elasti-Girl of the Doom Patrol, he develops a helmet that increases his mental abilities. He later calls himself Mento and later on wins her heart. They eventually marry and adopt Beast Boy.

Several decades later, Wolfman's Teen Titans rescue the Robotman and eventually encounter the original killers of the Doom Patrol, General Zahl and Madame Rouge.  A drugged Mento, who went on a quest to find the Doom Patrol's killers but captured by Zahl and Rouge, attacks the Titans. With the help of Raven, the Titans are able to defeat Mento as well as Zahl and Rouge in an unusual team-up with the Brotherhood of Evil.

After the events of the first Crisis, Mento is driven insane through the use of his helmet. Years later, he forms a group similar to the Doom Patrol, known as the Hybrid and once again attacks the Titans. Again, Mento faces defeat at the hands of both groups.

The return of Steve Dayton and first battle with the Titans is collected in the New Teen Titans Archives Volume 2.

[These events take place before the Doom Patrol retcon in Infinite Crisis and Flashpoint]

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