Slash Fiction Edit
Not surprisingly Pied Piper has generated a body of third party work dealing with his homosexuality, this erotic fiction is unlicensed by DC but remain popular on irc.net
Fictional character biographyEdit
Hartley Rathaway was born deaf, but was eventually cured thanks to research funded by his wealthy father (later it was revealed that he was cured by Dr. Will Magnus). He became obsessed with sound, and pursued little else in life; experimenting with sonic technology, Rathaway eventually invented a technique of hypnotism through music. Growing bored of his lifestyle, he turned to crime as the Pied Piper and frequently clashed with Barry Allen, the second Flash.
After Allen's death during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Hartley retired from crime to become a socialist champion of the poor and underprivileged. He also came out as one of DC’s first openly gay characters, and joked that this was ironic, as he was one of the few villains to have ever "gone straight". Rathaway remained a good friend of the Flash, Wally West, and his wife Linda, who he helps with scientific problems.
Some time later, Piper was arrested for the murder of his parents. Wally was sure Piper couldn't have committed such an act, but Piper himself seemed to believe himself guilty. Wally eventually discovered that the true murderer was Mirror Master. Unaware of Wally's discovery, Piper broke out of Iron Heights and struck a deal of some sort with former rogue and FBI agent, the Trickster. During this time, Flash asked the Spectre to erase everyone's memories of his secret identity, due to his wife suffering a miscarriage from an attack by Zoom.
It was later revealed that Barry Allen had Zatanna tamper with the supervillain Top's mind, turning him into a hero (the Top had gone on a murderous rampage and Allen believed that this was the only way to stop him from causing more harm). As a hero, the Top went insane over the guilt of his earlier deeds. After Allen had died, Wally received a letter from him asking to restore Top's mind if he ever returned. After Wally had Zatanna restore the Top's mind, the Top revealed that when he had been a hero he had attempted to reprogram many of the other Rogues into heroes as well, including the Pied Piper.
When the 'good' Rogues went after the remaining 'bad', Top returned to undo his brainwashing on the redeemed Rogues. When the Piper battled the Flash, West unmasked himself, triggering a flood of memories of their friendship and causing the Piper to pass out as his mind repaired itself. When he awoke, Piper appeared to be his old self again and came to Linda’s aid. Piper remains the only Rogue to no longer be a villain save for Magenta. He later had all his charges for murder cleared.
One Year LaterEdit
Piper was recently seen in the pages of both The Flash (Vol. 3), and Countdown teaming with a new group of Rogues led by Inertia. The team of Rogues has him working with his parents' murderer, Mirror Master. Piper reveals to have rejoined the Rogues with a plan of infiltrating them, but when Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and Weather Wizard successfully murder Bart Allen, he and Trickster are forced on the run together. They are pursued by heroes and villains alike - in the form of the Suicide Squad, the Question and Batwoman, Poison Ivy and Deathstroke, and eventually Piper's former friend and the newly returned previous Flash, Wally West. Wally confines the two at the Green Arrow/Black Canary wedding, despite the warnings that Deathstroke is planning an all-out assault at the occasion. The two manage to escape the wedding assault, inadvertently picking up Double Down as a passenger. The trio stop at a diner, only to be attacked by the Suicide Squad. Double Down is captured, but Piper and Trickster, using an invisibility field decide to follow the Squad and free the other captured villains. After encountering and freeing Two-Face, Piper and Trickster are again attacked by Deadshot, who pursues them relentlessly until he succeeds in murdering Trickster. With Trickster's death, the cuffs activate a 24-hour self-destruct, which Piper is able to delay with his flute. When the train they are on is submitted to a border check, Piper flees into the desert. Delirious from the heat, he begins to imagine Trickster's corpse is talking to him. After severing the hand from the rest of the corpse, Piper is brought to Apokolips by Desaad. Desaad unlocks the shackles, and claims that Piper can channel the Anti-Life Equation and control the planet. Before the Piper can do so, Brother Eye finishes assimilating Apokolips.
Desaad finally gets into Brother Eye's control and convinces Piper to play his flute in order to activate the Anti-Life Equation. Piper agrees to play, but upon hearing that Desaad was the mastermind behind his recent misfortune, in an almost successful attempt to break his spirit and taking control over him, he kills Desaad with a tune. He plays one final time for Brother Eye, a swan song, The Show Must Go On by Queen, that blows up the merged entity Brother Eye/Apokolips, with him still trapped inside, apparently left to die. However, he is later seen alive in the streets of Gotham City, saying that if he was allowed to live for some reason, this time he will play on the side of angels.
Pied Piper returns in the "Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge" mini-series. He invades the police precinct, and picks up Trickster's will, which is actually a fake that contains information on the other Rogues, written in invisible ink.
A genius of sound-based sonic technology, Rathaway has crafted his own sophisticated flute capable of hypnotizing anyone within range of its sound. He can make anyone do what ever he wants of them, and can even make himself 'invisible' to other's perception. Initially this technique only worked on humans, but during his incarceration in Iron Heights, he has perfected it to work on rats as well, adding another similarity to his legendary namesake. Later, he learned to manipulate technology. According to Desaad, Rathaway's power is based on the manipulation of the Anti-Life Equation. Rathaway also employs a number of devices that can generate or amplify sound for destructive purposes.
- The Pied Piper has appeared in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance" as a background character.
- An alternate version of the Pied Piper appeared in the television series Wonder Woman in the episode of the same name. In the episode a villain by the name of Hamlin Rule (played by actor Martin Mull) used a flute to hypnotize and persuade women to do his bidding.
- He is also reportedly featured in David S. Goyer's script for an upcoming Green Arrow film project entitled "Super Max".
Notes and ReferencesEdit
- Pied Piper profile
- Gay League Profile
- Counting Down to Countdown V: Mary Marvel, Trickster, Pied Piper
- Crimson Lightning - An online index to the comic book adventures of the Flash.