A Surprising DC Comics Villain Just Got a Successor

Another new Crisis, another twist for the Psycho-Pirate, whose key role in Crisis on Infinite Earths has made him a recurring member of the cast in all the crossover's sequels. In Crisis on Infinite Earths, Psycho-Pirate (Roger Hayden) was a key component in the Anti-Monitor's plan, helping to capture Barry Allen and power the anti-matter cannon. He was a part of Infinite Crisis, too, before being killed by Black Adam. Only a cosmic reboot (2011's The New 52) could bring him back to life, but now he's part of the upcoming Dark Crisis story.

Kind of. Roger Hayden, after helping Darkseid to capture Barry Allen, fled Darkseid's side. While the New God has been building up to Dark Crisis, Hayden made his way to Gotham, and stayed under the radar by using his powers of emotional manipulation to keep patients in Arkham Tower calm.

It didn't last. His powers were briefly lost, and he went on the run with Koyuki Nakano, the wife of Gotham's mayor, who found herself using the Medusa Mask in Hayden's place. Speculation by fans and the comics press is that Nakano will take over the role of Psycho-Pirate for Dark Crisis, especially with Darkseid hot on the tail of an injured Hayden. 

In the scheme of things, Psycho-Pirate is a fairly minor villain, who was elevated by his ties to Crisis on Infinite Earths. After the multiverse was destroyed in that event, Hayden -- then committed to Arkham Asylum -- was the only person who remembered that there had been a multiverse at all prior to the events of the Crisis.

Psycho-Pirate was created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson made his debut in Showcase #56. A jailed gangster (though it's worth noting that the character was later retconned to be a young man in prison for attacking his abusive psychiatrist father) was the cellmate to Charles Halstead, the first Psycho-Pirate. Halstead, attempting to have a legacy as his dying wish, tells Hayden about the existence of the Medusa Masks, featureless golden masks that give wearers the ability to project emotions onto others. Hayden finds them, merges the masks together as one and then uses their power to become a supervillain -- and becomes addicted to absorbing the emotions of others in the process.

The character was played by Bob Frazer in The CW's "Elseworlds" crossover, but did not make the cut for TV's "Crisis on Infinite Earths," due to scheduling and budget conflicts that arose from the massive event.