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Pied Piper (DC)

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The Pied Piper is a villain from the Flash comics and media. Pied Piper is a deaf musical prodigy who uses sonic technology as a weapon. This allows him to cause vibrational damage and hypnotize people. Originally he was a super-criminal who fought the Flash, becoming a member of the Rogues. Later he reformed and assisted the Flash as a vigilante. It has been revealed that Piper self-identifies as homosexual. Pied Piper was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, first appearing in Flash #106. (1959)

History

Hartley Rathaway, alias Pied Piper was born deaf to incredibly rich parents. After his hearing was medically restored, he was amazed by music and sound. He developed a vast knowledge of phonics, and using this knowledge, fought the Flash as the Pied Piper.

Piper once suffered a nervous breakdown after the Flash apprehended him, so he was sent to Breedmore Mental Hospital to be treated. He apparently improved to the point where they let him use his technical knowledge to fix the hospital's public address system. However, he used this to release hypersonic waves into the hospital, allowing him to escape. However, he was apprehended by someone resembling Reverse-Flash in a matter of minutes.

Redeem

Piper reformed, however, and, living in New York, put his efforts into helping the homeless. He would go around to stores and restaurants to get food to give homeless citizens every night. One of his many efforts to help the homeless was with Freespace, a squatter's rights group who took over abandoned buildings.

When Wally West decided to move to Keystone City, Piper helped him out. His parents lived in Keystone, and had always tolerated his adventures as an outlaw until one of his more recent doings. However, he had recently received a letter from his mother inviting him back. He took her up on the offer, only to find that his family was being held hostage by some men who had been hired by the Turtle to recover an account book his father had hoped to use to settle some money problems. However, Piper defeated the Turtle's men and redeemed himself in the eyes of his parents. He decided to stay in Keystone to help them recover.

Piper, who has since publicly announced his homosexuality, became a great friend of Wally West's, and often contributed to the Flash's escapades with his technical expertise or acting as an informant.

Piper played a key role in helping to stop Kobra's Project Morpheus. He aided Linda Park in tracking his power sources and providing sonic weapons.

Piper was framed for the murder of his own parents, who were actually killed by the Mirror Master. This clearly put a great strain on the two Rogues' relationship.

Countdown

With the loss of his family and the disappearance of Wally and Linda, Piper fell back in with the Rogues. When Inertia gathered them together in a plot to rob the new Flash of his speed, Piper was among their ranks. However, the others were hesitant about including him, considering his past collaboration with the Flash. As a show of faith, he hypnotized a wealthy businessman into wiring his fortune to the Mirror Master and jumping into the ocean. However, he had not entirely abandoned his former ways - the businessman was well-known for taking advantage of the elderly, and after Mirror Master had confirmed the amount in his account, he had it transferred to a charity for homeless children. The Trickster, figuring out Piper's true motives, blackmailed Rathaway into transferring the money to him instead.

Piper attempted to turn the Rogues against Inertia once he realized that he had used them for his own purpose. However, he was unable to distract them from killing the Flash. Knowing that he would be considered just as guilty as the rest of the Rogues, he and the Trickster decided to work together to stay out of sight. Wanting to pay his respects to the fallen speedster, Piper brought a reluctant Trickster to the Flash's funeral. However, after a speech by Wonder Girl stressing the importance of capturing the Rogues, the two fled and decided and go their separate ways. Outside, they were shot by Multiplex and Deadshot.

Ultimately Trickster and Piper were arrested and handcuffed together. However, the two escape. Both Piper and Trickster are then pursued relentlessly by both heroes and villains alike. Eventually the two encountered Piper's former friend of 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, and hears of Double Down's news of both less and well-known villains being disappeared. The three are then 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. Once arriving to their destination (Belle Reve) they encountered and freed Two-Face, and then learning from him about the fates of Earth's villain being exile from the planet. Though Two-Face decided to remain in Belle Reve due to a coin-toss, Trickster and Piper escaped and 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.

Final Crisis

Piper invaded Keystone City's police precinct, and picks up Trickster's will, which is actually a fake that contains information on the other Rogues, written in invisible ink. He then surprises the Rogues, Zoom, and Kid Zoom. Immobilizing them before he is stabbed from behind in the shoulder by Libra. Although wounded, Piper is able to contribute in the killing of Inertia, by holding him in place for the Rogues with his flute. Piper is later mentioned to have turned himself in to the Central City Police Department.

Flashpoint

WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW

In an effort to save his mother's life from Professor Zoom, Barry Allen unknowingly changes reality, creating a new world in which his friends' lives are drastically different.

In this universe, Pied Piper is a superhero, he had his vocal cords ripped out by Citizen Cold, but he was luckily provided with cybernetic replacement. Rathaway was also a childhood friend of Wally West. When he visits his friend he finds Wally has been murdered. Rathaway then follows the evidence of to discover Citizen Cold's secret identity. Rathaway tries to rescue his friends aunt Iris West from the Rogues but was apparently killed by a explosive ice sculpture. He was later revealed to have survived, and tells Iris about the murder of her nephew. Rathaway threatens Citizen Cold to surrender or he will reveal his identity to the world, but he refuses and Iris freezes him in place with his own Freeze Gun.

Powers and Abilities

The Pied Piper created many weapons that harnessed the power of sound.

Television

He appeared in the live action Wonder Woman show. Unlike in the comics his alter ego is Martin Mull and can control women to do his bidding via his flute.

He also made a cameo in the show Justice League Unlimited in a bar where a bunch of Flash villains hang out.

Arrow & Flash Universe

WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW
It's time to pay the Piper!
~ Pied Piper

The Pied Piper appeared in TV series, The Flash, and was portrayed by Andy Minetus.

Hartley was a child prodigy and son to Rachel and Osgood Rathaway. For a long time he was beloved by his parents and set to eventually take over the family business. However, when he came out as gay to his parents, they threw him out and cut off all ties to him.

Eventually Hartley was hired by Harrison Wells at S.T.A.R. Labs, becoming his protege and favored employee, something that did not sit well with his fellow S.T.A.R. Labs co-workers, including Caitlin Snow. While he got along well with Wells, Hartley was arrogant and demanding towards his co-workers making very few friends. He was quick to alienate himself to Cisco Ramon on his first day of work, showing outward contempt for Cisco, due to the fact he arrived to work wearing a Star Wars T-Shirt and also because of Wells' praise of Cisco's skills.

Eventually, Hartley made the realization that the particle accelerator could explode, Wells refused to listen, fired Hartley in order to avoid his interference, and blackmailed him into staying silent about the problem. As Hartley predicted and Wells planned, the accelerator did indeed explode. Hartley was caught in the effect, resulting his hearing being augmented to superhuman levels. Unfortunately the levels caused him overwhelming pain and caused him to have to create a special device in order to control his hearing. He also went on to create gloves that emitted sonic attacks.

At this point Hartley sought out vengeance against Wells and S.T.A.R. Labs. His first act of vengeance was by sending Wells a warning at his home, shattering the glass windows with a sonic attack. He next attacked his family's office building, in order to draw the attention of The Flash, and be taken to S.T.A.R. Labs. There he antagonized Cisco (even naming himself "Pied Piper", much to Cisco's annoyance) and Caitlin, while snidely telling Wells (and Barry) that he knew Wells' deep dark secret.

It turns out that Hartley had intended for himself to get captured. After escaping his cell (and injuring Cisco and Caitlin in the process), he hacked Wells' computer to steal files on Barry so as to create a means in which to kill the Flash. Later, he lured the Flash to the Dam, where he executed his plan by having his gloves emit a tone that matched Barry's speed frequency. Thankfully, Wells used nearby cars radio signals to interfere with Hartley's weapons causing them to explode in Hartley's hands.

Hartley found himself back in his cell at S.T.A.R. Labs, where he was confronted by Cisco. Rather than being worried, Hartley cooly informed Cisco that he himself would let him out of the cell, because he knew where Ronnie Raymond was and what really happened to him.

Their next stop took them to Barry's lab at the Central City Police Department where they examined footage of Professor Stein's death. There they saw that what looked to be a ghostly image of Ronnie merged into Professor's Stein's body. As Cisco realized what this meant, Hartley employed his hearing aid device to use Cisco's own weapon against him, rendering him incapacitated, and allowing the Piper to escape again.


 
Flash Villains


Abra Kadabra | Angle Man | Black Flash | Black Hand | Brain | Brother Grimm | Cadre | Calculator | Captain Boomerang | Captain Cold | Cheetah | Chillblaine | Chronos | Cicada | Clive Yorkin | Cobalt Blue | Deadshot | Deathstroke | Doctor Alchemy | Doctor Light | Doctor Polaris | Eclipso | Fallout | Felix Faust | Giganta | Girder | Goldface | Gorilla Grodd | Hector Hammond | Icicle | Killer Frost | Kobra | Lady Flash | Lex Luthor | Livewire | Magenta | Major Disaster | Merlyn | Mirror Master | Mongul | Monsieur Mallah | Murmur | Neron | Penguin | Pied Piper | President Thawne | Queen Bee | Ragdoll | Razer | Renegades | Rogues | Shade | Shadow-Thief | Solomon Grundy | Speed Demon | Thinker | Thorn | T.O. Morrow | Tobias Whale | Toyman | Trickster | Turtle | Vandal Savage | Warp | Weather Wizard | Zoom

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