Psycho-Pirate: Wikis


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Roger Hayden as the Psycho-Pirate.
Art by Chas Truog.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance (Halstead)
All-Star Comics #23
Showcase #56 (May-June 1965)
Created by (Halstead)
Gardner Fox
Joe Gallagher
Gardner Fox
Murphy Anderson
In-story information
Alter ego - Charles Halstead
- Roger Hayden
Team affiliations (Hayden)
Secret Society of Super Villains
Abilities (Hayden)
  • Emotional vampirism
  • Control over emotions through use of Medusa Mask
  • Ability to create life-like duplicates

The Psycho-Pirate is the name of two DC Comics supervillains, dating back to the Golden Age of Comics.


Fictional character biography

Charles Halstead

Charles Halstead is a minor character who first appears in All-Star Comics #23, created by Gardner Fox and Joe Gallagher. He was originally a linotyper for the Daily Courier who became jealous of his boss's success, later he becomes a criminal mastermind under the name Psycho-Pirate. He plans crimes based on emotions, hoping to ruin his boss. The Justice Society of America captures and puts him in jail. He continues to research the mysticism of emotions until his death sometime in the 1960s.

Roger Hayden

Roger Hayden, first appeared as the second Psycho-Pirate in Showcase #56, created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson.

The first appearance of Psycho-Pirate. Cover to Showcase #56. Art by Murphy Anderson.

Roger Hayden is a jailed gangster (later retconned into a young twenty-year-old who was sentenced to a year in prison for attacking his emotionally abusive psychiatrist father) who is a cellmate to Halstead. Halstead's dying wish to have a legacy prompts him to tell Hayden of a secret which he has divined in his jail years, the existence of the Medusa Masks. These golden masks bestow upon the wearer the power to project emotions onto others. Hayden finds these masks, merges them into a single faceplate and uses its powers to become a supervillain. It becomes increasingly apparent that he is addicted to absorbing others' emotions, though it causes him pain, possibly brought by the combination of all masks into one. He is eventually imprisoned after a battle with Doctor Fate and Hourman.

Hayden returns to prominence when he insidiously begins influencing prominent Gotham City citizens Bruce Wayne and Alan Scott, the former a wealthy businessman and now commissioner of Gotham's police force, the latter the President of television station WXYZ. Initially, Scott is the most affected as he, in his Green Lantern persona, begins exercising his frustrations upon humanity for the failures of his private life, such as the impending bankruptcy of his station. After creating a disturbance at Gotham International Airport, he is subdued by his Justice Society comrades, who assists both Scott and teammate Flash who has also been under Hayden's control. The Society has to next battle a civil war within their membership instigated by Wayne, still under Hayden's control and determined to rid Gotham of all superheroes.

Hayden later joins the Secret Society of Super Villains, having been recruited by the Ultra-Humanite to defeat Hayden's old foe Hourman. While he is successful thanks to a device Ultra devises that amplifies and projects Hayden's face and hence his control, ultimately both the Justice Society and the Justice League defeat Hayden and his teammates after their betrayal of fellow Secret Society members. The villains are deposited into an interdimensional rift known as Limbo for lack of a better term.

From there, Ultra gains mental contact with his younger self from the 1940s, and the two Ultras are able to pull the Secret Society, including Hayden, back to that era where they confront and are defeated by the All-Star Squadron and the time lost Infinity Inc.

Crisis and Madness

In the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series, the Monitor recruits Hayden but he is abducted by the Anti-Monitor. In exchange for an entire world to play with, Psycho-Pirate becomes an accomplice to the Anti-Monitor, manipulating a captive Barry Allen. After the resolution of the Crisis, Psycho-Pirate is one of the few to have full memories of the event. Driven mad by these memories, the Psycho-Pirate is shown in last few panels of Crisis in a straitjacket, as the scene pans out from his eyes to a full view of Earth from space.

Hayden appears in the 1987 Outsiders special. He impersonates the villain Baron Bedlam in order to gain power in the fictional Eastern European country of Markovia. Since the Outsiders hero Geo-Force is a Markovian prince, his team becomes involved, assisted by another superhero team Infinity Inc.. Despite Geo-Force's knowledge of his childhood castle, Hayden quickly subdues him and the other heroes involved. The story is continued in a similar Infinity Inc. special.

Hayden shows up again in Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man, imprisoned in Arkham Asylum. He ends up releasing characters destroyed during the Crisis back into the world. Many of these characters come to realize they are just characters in a comic book. After an intervention by Animal Man, Hayden, seemingly happy, fades away into nothingness (due to the strain from releasing all the forgotten characters), removing him from reality and placing him back in Limbo. James Highwater, one of the Asylum staff, is left to wear the Medusa Mask and keep the forgotten worlds contained. The other staff members come to accept Highwater as a patient, not realizing anything is wrong.

Psycho-Pirate does not appear again until 1995, when he becomes part of the Underworld Unleashed crossover event. Like many other villains, Psycho-Pirate sells his soul to the demon Neron in exchange for more power. The process results in a costume change as well. Hayden now wears a black leather jacket. His mask morphs into an eyepatch and the metal of the mask has largely replaced one half of his brain. Sane, and making no allusion of the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths and the existence of the Multiverse, Psycho-Pirate goes on to fight the Jared Stevens version of Doctor Fate, for now just called Fate, several times before being arrested and sent to jail.

After his appearance in the Fate series, Psycho-Pirate makes two brief appearances during the Joker's Last Laugh crossover event. He is first seen locked up in the maximum security prison called the "Slab". He is once again insane and rambling of the existence of the Multiverse and is seen in his original costume. All but one eye of his face is covered and his eyebrows have been shaved off so as to reduce his ability to express emotion. The Joker iniates a breakout and infection of the inmates; they now follow his orders and commit dangerous pranks. Hayden is seen shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre.

Infinite Crisis

Psycho-Pirate reappears in the initial story arc of JSA Classified (issues #1-#4, 2005). This arc deals with the origin of Power Girl and her search for a definitive answer to where she came from. While attempting to figure out her origins, she encounters several unusual hallucinations which are revealed to be the work of the Psycho-Pirate, manifesting the power to create tangible illusions. Among the hallucinations he utilizes to torture Power Girl are the Crime Syndicate of Amerika, Garn Daanuth (brother to her once-supposed grandfather Arion), members of the Titans from the Titans of Tomorrow storyarc, Nightwing and Flamebird from the bottle city of Kandor, various Legion members and others.

Finally, in the final issue of the storyarc, Psycho-Pirate reveals that he and Power Girl are refugees from Earth-Two. Along with other individuals (such as Donna Troy, her evil alter ego Dark Angel, and several others), they were missed in the restructuring of the Multiverse into a Universe. Hence, Power Girl's original origin is her one true origin.

Psycho-Pirate is killed by Black Adam. Art by Phil Jimenez.

It is eventually revealed that the whole purpose of Psycho-Pirate's scheme is to weaken Power Girl mentally so that she could be captured as part of Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s plot involving characters originally from different universes. Psycho-Pirate flees and vows to make Power Girl his love slave once Luthor is finished with her.

When Nightwing, Superboy, and Wonder Girl attack Luthor's base, they free all the captive heroes, including Power Girl and Black Adam, who are then confronted by the Psycho-Pirate. The Pirate tries to instill feelings of fear in Black Adam, but he resists, saying "No more silly faces," and then proceeds to gouge out the Psycho-Pirate's eyes and pushes the Medusa Mask through his head, killing him. When Power Girl asks if that was necessary, Adam replies, "Absolutely".

Psycho-Pirate is mentioned in Justice League of America #1 as selling emotional states, such as "happy" and "ecstatic," much like a drug dealer. Among his reported clients are Signalman and Silver Ghost. Psycho-Pirate's Medusa Mask is also featured in the 2008 Raven miniseries. In the story's conclusion, Raven destroyed the mask, but its power still affected scientists who studied its schematics on a computer.

Blackest Night

The Blackest Night storyline, Psycho-Pirate has been identified as one of the deceased entombed below the Hall of Justice.[1] Psycho-Pirate's corpse is revived as a Black Lantern during the event.[2] He attacks Smallville, using his powers to manipulate the inhabitants, and sway Conner Kent into attacking Superman.[3]

Conner attacks Superman and aids the Black Lantern Superman from Earth 2. However the effect of the mask wears off and Conner once more regains his senses. Clark and Conner decide to separate with Connor confronting Psycho Pirate. This time he manages to withstand his manipulation and steal the Medusa Mask (which seems to have been reconstructed via the black lantern ring). Using the artifact he inspires hope, will and compassion ending the riots in Smallville. Psycho Pirate is last seen retreating into a dark alley, followed by Conner. Dialogue indicates that Conner used the Medusa Mask on Psycho Pirate just before he used it on Kal-L. In both cases the Medusa Mask caused the black rings to malfunction, turning both Psycho Pirate and Kal-L back into inanimate corpses. [4]

Powers and abilities

Charles Halstead has no superhuman powers, he is however a brilliant criminal mind with an excellent grasp of human psychology and emotions.

With the Medusa Mask, Roger Hayden is able to project emotions into people. Often, it seems to intensify emotions a person already feels, no matter how small. Hayden later shows the power to manifest DC Multiverse characters that had been destroyed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. This power expands to any multiverse character, including the still living. Psycho-Pirate has also shown some sort of regeneration of body control as he is able to reform after being crushed by Power Girl, and also disguises himself as a Legion flight ring.

During his 90s revamp, Psycho-Pirate was an "emotion vampire", able to drain emotions from people.

In other media


  • Psycho-Pirate appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Inside the Outsiders" voiced by Armin Shimerman. In here, he is a sadist who kidnaps the group of teenage heroes known as the Outsiders (Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho) and feeds off their rage caused by twisted nightmares. Batman goes inside their minds to save them, but Psycho-Pirate fakes his victory, and almost causes him to feed him rage by pretending to kill the Outsiders. Batman realizes this, and thinks positive thoughts, starving the villain, and defeating him.


  • In Justice League Adventures Issue #20, Hayden is a former psychiatrist (suspended for malpractice) whose wife and son died during an alien attack in Metropolis that the Justice League was involved in. Martian Manhunter managed to stop his rampage by making him feel guilt for his wife and son's deaths. Hayden is later seen in a straitjacket after this, the Medusa Mask having driven him completely insane. However, the "horrors" that the doctors say he is experiencing in his mind turn out to be him telling his wife and son that he loves them (Hayden was emotionally distant from his wife and son, prompting them to go to Metropolis some time before the attack).


  1. ^ Blackest Night #1 (July 2009)
  2. ^ Blackest Night #3 (September 2009)
  3. ^ Blackest Night: Superman #2
  4. ^ Blackest Night: Superman #3

External links

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