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Quote1.png The Psycho-Pirate is a man who could make gods go mad. A man who could make the mad gods sane again. Quote2.png
Amanda Waller src

Roger Hayden is the Psycho-Pirate, a dangerous villain who can control emotions with the Medusa Mask. He remembers all previous versions of reality.[1]

Origins

Long ago, there was a Crisis and the Psycho-Pirate became "unstuck" from the universe. From this he became aware of the true nature of reality, seeing it reincarnate itself time and again as new Crises, Flashpoints and Death Metals changed the universe around him. Everyone else believed that each new Earth was how things had always been, only the Psycho-Pirate knew how universes were built, destroyed, forgotten and rebuilt.[2]

In the iteration of reality created by Dr. Manhattan’s tampering with the timeline, Roger Hayden was a member of the Twenty, a group of citizens from Metropolis infected with a psionic virus by Brainiac. As a result, Hayden developed powerful psychic talents, principally the ability to alter and control the emotions of others.[3]

Psi War

Hayden and several other psychics were soon abducted and imprisoned by the H.I.V.E. Queen, another member of the Twenty and zealous devotee of Brainiac. The Queen harvested the psionic energy from her victims to power H.I.V.E.'s operation to mentally enslave the human race in preparation for Brainiac's return to Earth. Hayden eventually managed to escape and sought out the Medusa Mask, a fabled artifact that could grant him protection from the Queen. Equipping the Medusa Mask vastly enhanced Hayden's already considerable psychic power, and he adopted the identity of the Psycho-Pirate.[4]

Psycho-Pirate is born

Psycho-Pirate easily bested the H.I.V.E. Queen and Hector Hammond, who were waging war against Superman and each other for control of Metropolis. Psycho-Pirate sought instead to free the citizens of Metropolis from their mental shackles and create a city governed by pure, unbridled emotion. He used his power to incite a city-wide riot, driving the Metropolitans mad, but was ultimately thwarted by the combined powers of the Queen, Hammond, and a psionically-endowed Lois Lane, allowing Superman to pry the Medusa Mask from Psycho-Pirate and destroy it. Psycho-Pirate disappeared shortly thereafter before he could be apprehended.[5]

He Helps Us

Sometime during his criminal career, Psycho-Pirate started a cult consisting of drug addicts, traumatized individuals, people with mental disorders, and some who were just angry. He promised to fill them with relief and take away their pain in exchange for the chance to mold their minds. Batman disguises himself and enters the church that Psycho-Pirate is operating out of. He reveals himself and quickly takes down Psycho-Pirate’s followers with a sonic batarang. Psycho-Pirate launches a psychic attack that enhances Batman’s pain, but Batman is able to push through it and easily defeats Psycho-Pirate. As his followers awaken, they realize that Psycho-Pirate was using them and follow Batman away from the church.[6]

I Am Gotham

Unleashed upon Gotham

Sometime later, a cowed and psychologically fragile Roger Hayden came into the custody of Amanda Waller, who enlisted the services of Hugo Strange to bring him to heel.[7] Waller had been tasked with restoring order to Gotham City, and she believed Psycho-Pirate would provide the means to do so. Strange betrayed Waller, however, and began pursuing his own mysterious agenda with the Psycho-Pirate at his side. At Strange's behest, Psycho-Pirate used his power to infect Gotham City's newest heroes--Gotham and Gotham Girl--with extreme levels of anger and fear respectively.[8] Strange ultimately offered Psycho-Pirate to Bane in exchange for a large quantity of Venom--a key ingredient to Strange's Monster Men formula.[9][10]

I Am Suicide

At Bane's side

Psycho-Pirate was brought to Santa Prisca to support Bane after the latter swore off Venom. The Pirate used his power of emotional manipulation to provide Bane happiness and a sense of bravery as he wrestled with his dark, painful past. Their partnership was short-lived, however. Realizing that only Psycho-Pirate could undo the psychological damage wrought upon Gotham Girl, Batman organized a team of specialists to invade Santa Prisca and extract the Pirate.[11] Among the enlisted operatives was the Ventriloquist, whose fractured mind proved beyond Psycho-Pirate's capacity to control. The Pirate was subdued by Wesker and returned to Gotham.[12] He was considered insane because of his stories of the Multiverse and was locked up in Arkham Asylum.[13]

Death Metal

During the events of Death Metal, Psycho-Pirate was imprisoned on Themyscira with the other surviving supervillains. The Chronicler, a representative of The Hands, entered the Multiverse from The Source beyond in order to record the history of the Multiverse before it was destroyed. The Chronicler was drawn to the Psycho-Pirate, as he alone remembered the true history of reality since before the first crisis. He absorbed Psycho-Pirate’s memories and told him that this would be the last crisis and the end of his reality.[1]

Infinite Frontier

However, this turned out to be untrue. Wonder Woman was able to convince the Hands to not only spare the Multiverse, but allow it to grow into a new Omniverse beyond the limits of the current 52 realities.[14]

Once again alone in a remade universe, Psycho-Pirate travelled the world looking for someone like him who understood the true ephemeral nature of reality. People would seek him out and he would ask them each three questions to gauge their understanding, but nobody ever answered them correctly. They all believed that they were real and their memories were true, when in fact none of them had existed months ago. When they failed the test he would reveal the truth and they would die of fear. He was summoned to Earth Omega by Darkseid, who offered to remake him so he could show others the truth. Psycho-Pirate accepted, being granted a fraction of Darkseid’s cosmic power.[2]

Barry Allen travelled to Earth Omega to investigate it and found the dead bodies of the Quintessence. He was attacked by Psycho-Pirate, who told him that another crisis is coming, and Barry will help them find the one Darkseid needs.[15] Psycho-Pirate trapped Wally in an illusion that he and Jay Garrick were racing to save the Multiverse, but in reality Barry was spinning a giant turbine[16] so Darkseid could use the energy he generated to split open the Multiverse and access the power beyond.

Two Carrier Arks carrying Roy Harper and heroes originally from Earth-Two crashed to the surface and Psycho-Pirate attacked, unleashing Injustice Incarnate and the Shadow Demons on them.[13] President Superman managed to destroy the turbine and free Barry, who disappeared despite Psycho-Pirate’s attempt to make him stop. Darkseid’s plan was foiled and Psycho-Pirate fled before he could be punished for his failure, claiming he was "needed in another event".[17]

The Tower

Soon after escaping Darkseid, Roger flees to Keystone City where he finds his old friend Dr. Tobias Wear. While Roger simply wants to run and hide, Tobias talks him into participating in “the greatest hustle of all time”, with the promise that if all goes right he’ll be completely untouchable.[18] In the aftermath of the A-Day attack on Arkham Asylum, the decision is made to leave the old building behind in favor of Arkham Tower. The new tower is run by Tobias and offers an experimental treatment plan that shows promising results.[19] The treatment is publicly marketed as therapy mixed with a new medicine, however the positive results actually come from Roger using his powers on the patients staying there.[18]

The new drug, in reality a placebo, is pedaled onto the streets via janitorial and maintenance crews. After the disappearance of a co-worker, one of these crew members attacks Tobias, forcing Roger to step in and make the assailant happy.[20] 18 days after the tower opened, Roger begins to crumble under strain of keeping everybody’s emotions in line. A day later he passes out, allowing all the patients to regain their violent tendencies and starting a riot. Tobias awakens Roger and he is able to put everybody in the building to sleep, erasing their memories of the incident soon after.[18]

Nightwing eventually discovers that Roger has been posing as Tobias's partner, Dr. Ocean.[21] Roger uses his powers to make Nightwing happy and calm, momentarily subduing the hero. Tobias then calls him to say that Mayor Nakano’s funding will go through in about an hour. After Tobias gives one more press conference they’ll be able to take the money and leave. All is going well until the Party Crashers gang enters the tower. This quick distraction allows Nightwing to regain control and as Roger realizes that the gang is there to get revenge on Tobias his hold over the patients of the tower breaks.[22]

After passing out, Roger is carried down an elevator shaft by Nightwing, as they hide from the patient Siphon. The two move down until Nightwing sees Huntress doing battle with Mister Freeze. As Nightwing joins Huntress in battle, Roger awakens and runs the other direction. He discovers that Tobias was killed and encounters Mayor Nakano’s wife, Koyuki Nakano. The two of them sit in a closet and Roger expresses his remorse over not being able to protect himself, his friend, and all the other patients in Arkham Tower.[23] As Koyuki explains why she's in the Tower, he explains Tobias's plan to her. Their conversation gets cut short when the rioting patient Ana Vulsion discovers them.[24]

Ana shoots Roger in the shoulder, strips him of the Medusa Mask, and takes him and Koyuki to Scarecrow. Batman, and his allies, arrive just as Scarecrow is starting his attack. Roger is able to confuse Scarecrow long enough for Batgirl to knock the mask out of his hands. Roger collapses again.[25] Sometime after waking up, Roger attempts to go back into hiding. Walking the streets of Gotham one night, he's approached by Batman who gives him an alternative choice.[26]

Powers


Other Characteristics

Equipment


Related

Footnotes


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