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As Psycho-Pirate, Hayden first battled the heroes Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) and Hourman (Rex Tyler). He was defeated but returned to battle the Spectre and the Justice Society of America. Sometime during his career, Hayden fused all the Medusa Masks into one faceplate. At one point he joined the Secret Society of Super-Villains and took part in a plot to rid the world of both the JSA and the JLA.
Crisis and Madness
Continued use of his powers drove Hayden mad and he was eventually placed in a mental hospital. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Harbinger recruited Psycho-Pirate as part of the team of heroes and villains the Monitor was gathering. Psycho-Pirate teamed with Arion and Obsidian to journey to Arion's home in Ancient Atlantis. There, Hayden found Pariah. He tried to use his powers on Pariah only to find himself attacked by Arion, who had warned Hayden not to use his powers on anyone. Hayden unleashed his powers on Arion but the battle was stopped when Psycho-Pirate was beamed away by the Anti-Monitor.
After a show of incredible power, Psycho-Pirate switched sides and joined the Anti-Monitor's effort to destroy the Multiverse in exchange for an entire world to play with. He used his powers to torture the Flash (Barry Allen) who had been captured by the Anti-Monitor. The Anti-Monitor also augmented Hayden's powers so he could influence the minds of all who lived on Earth's Four, X, and S. The plot was foiled thanks to Harbinger and several heroes.
The plot left Psycho-Pirate severely drained so he couldn't aid the Anti-Monitor in stopping an army of heroes that invaded the Anti-Matter Universe. Hayden's powers recharged just as the Flash broke free from his imprisonment. Flash then forced Hayden to use his powers to cause several Thunderers to attack the Anti-Monitor while Flash destroyed the massive anti-matter cannon the Anti-Monitor was going to use to destroy the remaining Earths. The Flash died in the brutal run to destroy the antimatter cannon and Psycho-Pirate found only his empty costume; he thought Flash was still around, and struggled to free it so Flash could save him. He was found by Kid Flash (Wally West) and several other heroes as they were on their way to stop the Anti-Monitor once and for all. Despite his anger over the loss of his mentor, Kid Flash rescued Psycho-Pirate. Psycho-Pirate was placed in Arkham Asylum because of the intense madness that overwhelmed him as a result of remembering the Crisis. He was apparently one of the only people who remembered the Multiverse.
Seemingly partly recovered, Psycho-Pirate was released and employed by Mzzttexxal, Jonni Thunder's renegade Thunderbolt, to challenge Infinity, Inc. after which he disappeared but resurfaced in Markovia impersonating the dictator Baron Bedlam, which brought him into conflict with Infinity, Inc. again as well as the Outsiders. Psycho-Pirate was driven mad once more and returned to the asylum.
Hayden's knowledge of the Multiverse got him involved in an adventure with Animal Man in which he was apparently removed from existence, though he somehow returned without explanation. Years later, Psycho-Pirate was one of the many villains who had their powers upgraded by Neron. The Medusa Mask was one of the many objects of power sought after by the JLA and a team of heroes from another dimension as part of a game being played by Krona and an alien grandmaster. The Mask was recovered by a member of the JLA's opponents. Krona tried to use the Mask and the other items of power in an effort to destroy the universe but was foiled.
Psycho-Pirate was approached by Alex Luthor to be a part of his plot to create the perfect Earth. Psycho-Pirate snuck into Arkham and gave Jean Loring a black diamond, enabling her to transform into Eclipso. He then joined several members of the Society in attacking the Freedom Fighters. While the rest of the Freedom Fighters were either killed or severely wounded, Psycho-Pirate used his powers to capture the Ray so Alex Luthor could use him as part of the massive machine he was building. Psycho-Pirate then tried to drive Power Girl mad by teasing her with different explanations as to her origins before telling her the truth, that she was the cousin to Earth-Two Superman (Kal-L). Before he could capture her, the Earth-Two Superman appeared and rescued her. Power Girl ended up a prisoner of Alex Luthor anyway and Alex promised Psycho-Pirate that he could have her once the plan was completed. Psycho-Pirate then used his powers on Black Adam, causing him to speak the word "Shazam", thus enabling Alex to power his massive machine. Psycho-Pirate watched the death of Lois Lane-Kent, wife of the Kal-L and stood by as Alex Luthor destroyed world after world and merged others as he searched for the perfect Earth.
The plot came to a halt when Nightwing, Superboy (Connor Kent), and Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) found Alex Luthor and attacked. They freed those Alex was using for his machine, and Psycho-Pirate tried to use his powers on Power Girl and Black Adam. However, Black Adam simply gouged Psycho-Pirate's eyes out, and then ran his hand straight through Psycho-Pirate's head. Psycho-Pirate died instantly. The Medusa Mask was still in Black Adam's hand when Superboy-Prime appeared and joined in the battle. In the chaos that erupted, the Mask was lost. If and when it will turn up again is unknown.
One Year Later
Psycho-Pirate is mentioned as selling emotional states, such as "happy" and "ecstatic," much like a drug dealer. Among his reported clients are Signalman and Silver Ghost.
During the events of Blackest Night, Psycho-Pirate's corpse was revived as a Black Lantern in which he attacks Smallville, using his powers to manipulate the inhabitants, and sway Conner Kent into attacking Superman. Conner attacks Superman and aids Black Lantern Kal-L. 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.