- Look at them! Each in his own little bottle world. Each working for me, unaware. Dreaming me to total power. Dr. Destiny... Bah! Dream on. Imagine the brain as a mansion with... oh, let's say a million rooms. A million locked doors and a million keyholes. And yet, how few of those rooms we ever enter. Until now. My psycho-chemicals have begun to open all of the locked doors in my head. I'm tapping the 90% of the brain we never use and it's giving me such... wonderful ideas. I've finally done it. The Justice League are mine. Their thoughts belong to the Key. And with their help, I shall open the doors onto a new universe! Oh, and make a note of an interesting side effect of my expanding consciousness. I can't stop talking to myself...
- — The Key src
Originally a chemist with Intergang, the man who would be known as the Key develops mind-expanding "psycho-chemicals" that activate his ten senses and help him plan crimes mere humans can never hope to understand. Armed with these plans, a series of henchmen known as the "Key-Men", and a "key blaster", the Key has several failed run-ins with the JLA.
The Key returns, after spending years in hibernation. The psycho-chemicals he has been ingesting have altered his appearance into a pale, cadaverous form, and heightened his mental abilities. He manages to infiltrate the JLA headquarters, and traps the team in a fantasy realm of their own creation, intending to siphon off the energies of their inevitable victory in order to increase his power. He almost succeeds if not for the intervention of Connor Hawke, who beams up to the JLA headquarters while the Key is present due to a pre-arranged meeting to discuss him becoming a member of the League. He eventually returns to fight the Batman, attempting to provoke the Dark Knight into murdering him so he could escape life itself, but the plan proves unsuccessful.
Now with telepathic powers thanks to a cybernetic implant, he tries to destroy the League. After a long battle with Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Manitou Dawn, he is beaten and sent to "the dream realm", a place for telepaths, where he can think in peace. He somehow escapes, as he is later seen fighting in the Battle of Metropolis.
He appears as leader of a group of villains seeking to avoid being sent to the prison planet. He was last seen being a prisoner on the JLA Watchtower in the holding cells; unable to escape.
- Unique Physiology: The psycho-chemicals he has been ingesting have altered his appearance into a pale, cadaverous form.
- Genius Level Intellect: His intellect has since been enhanced by the "Psycho-chemicals" he administered to himself.
- Psycho-Chemicals: His chemicals give him more special senses and increases his intellect. The continuous use of the Psycho-chemicals sometimes has side-effects, as turning Key into a dwarf.
- Key's "Keyboard": Key used this device in his first years against the JLA. This is a large circuitry panel with locks, where by turning the keys in a certain direction, the controlled people perform a certain task. The keyboard could also trigger explosives and traps remotely.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- 40 Appearances of Key (New Earth)
- 11 Images featuring Key (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Key (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Key (New Earth)
This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Justice League Villains."
Injustice League member
Secret Society of Super-Villains member