"Elseworlds": Who Is Psycho Pirate?

"Elseworlds" continued tonight, bringing the heroes to Gotham in their quest to figure out and stop whatever force is rewriting reality and resulting in the awkward identity swap for Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and, as in last night's episode, that means some new faces pulled from DC Comics canon. Tonight that included a supervillain -- Psycho-Pirate.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of Arrow, "Elseworlds Part 2," below.

After being confronted by Oliver and Barry, John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) releases the inmates at Arkham Asylum to essentially buy himself some time to escape. Among those inmates is a man who expresses joy at the inmates "finally" running the asylum before procuring a golden mask. That man? Roger Hayden, better known as Psycho-Pirate.

In comics, the Roger Hayden version of Psycho-Pirate as 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.

While Psycho-Pirate has various encounters with heroes as a supervillain, his involvement in Crisis on Infinite Earths is of particular interest -- especially as it's already been revealed on The Flash that Psycho Pirate has some involvement in that future event on the series. In the comics event, Psycho-Pirate is recruited by the Monitor and sent to help Firestorm recruit Killer Frost for the Monitor's team. However, he's abducted by the Anti-Monitor and, in exchange for an entire Earth to be his toy Psycho-Pirate becomes the Anti-Monitor's willing accomplice and uses his powers to control the heroes of Earth-4, Earth-S, and Earth-X so that they attack teams sent to rescue them. Once Crisis resolves, Psycho-Pirate remains one of the very few characters who have complete memories of the event and the worlds lost. He's ultimately driven mad by the memories -- something that the 2049 newspaper in The Flash Season 5 premiere referenced.

“Research has focused on Roger Hayden, a.k.a. Psycho-Pirate, who claims to remember the night’s events,” the article reads in its current state. “He said upon his arrest, ‘Worlds lived, worlds died. Nothing will ever be the same.'”

0comments

That last bit, "Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the DC Universe will ever be the same," was the original marketing tagline for Crisis on Infinite Earths in the comics. Considering that Psycho-Pirate (Bob Frazer) and Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) both appear in "Elseworlds", it will be interesting to see just how the villain's presence in things will play out for the heroes and worlds of the Arrowverse.

"Elseworlds" concludes on Supergirl Tuesday, December 11th at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.