Roger Hayden was cellmates with the original Psycho-Pirate: Charles Halstead. Halstead gave Hayden the information for how to get hold of the Medusa Masks, artifacts which gave the holder control over emotions.
Psycho-Pirate was created by Gardner Fox to replace the original. He first appeared in Showcase #56.
Major Story Arcs
Crisis On Infinite Earths
In an asylum the woman known as Harbinger found him. She told Hayden that he was needed to save the universe. Hayden was reluctant, and told her to go away until she produced his Medusa Mask. She put the mask on him, and together they vanished.
They reappeared in the present of Earth-1, where Psycho-Pirate used his emotion-controlling powers to make Killer Frost fall in love with Firestorm. Hayden admitted to Harbinger that even though his powers caused him pain; once he started- he never wanted to stop. Harbinger brought the three of them to an orbiting satellite where they met several other characters from across the multiverse. Aboard the satellite, they were introduced to the man who had gathered them all together: The Monitor.
The Monitor told his assembled guests that they were needed to save the multiverse. He revealed to them the existence of the evil Anti-Monitor; who was intent on becoming all-powerful by destroying the positive matter universes. Though some were incredulous, Hayden believed the Monitor's story, saying that "I know true madness when I hear it". The gathered group was then divided and sent to protect the Monitor's towers in various times and places.
Hayden was part of group sent to Atlantis, along with Arion and Obsidian. Arion warned the Pirate not to use his emotion-controlling powers on the Atlanteans, or he would face furious punishment. During the ensuing commotion, Hayden wandered off on his own and detected someone's great fear. The Psycho-Pirate told the fearful, purple-haired man that he needed his fear more than he did and made him go from fright to happiness. Unfortunately for Hayden, Arion approached and blasted him with his magic. Hayden made Arion and the crowd of Atlanteans to feel uncontrollable fear, but suddenly he vanished.
Hayden reappeared in a blackened room. A chilling voice informed him that he was needed. Hayden was recalcitrant, and threatened the voice. The voice angrily took away Hayden's face, leaving him as a faceless being, unable to express his emotions. The voice warned him that if he wanted to live, he would do as he was told. Psycho-Pirate agreed and was given his face back. He begged the mysterious figure not to do that again; he would do whatever he was ordered, as the contained emotions could kill him if left too long imprisoned. In return, the Anti-Monitor would give him his own world to do with as he wished.
The Anti-Monitor was frequently antagonistic to Hayden; often threatening him with replacing him with other empaths; he briefly considered summoning the old Titans villain Phobia to discard Hayden. While the Anti-Monitor's plans proceeded, Hayden used his powers to keep the captive Red Tornado docile. The Anti-Monitor abducted the Flash, and allowed Psycho-Pirate a moment to "play" with him; making him crawl on the ground in fear. Soon, the evil Anti-Monitor would have even bigger plans for Roger Hayden.
The Anti-Monitor's plans were succeeding, and eventually there were only three earth's left. He finally showed himself to Hayden and the Flash, and they were both horrified what they saw. The Psycho-Pirate begged for him to finally receive his own world to control, and the Anti-Monitor acquiesced. However, instead of ONE world, the Anti-Monitor would amplify Hayden's powers to control the the THREE remaining earths. Hayden caused the residents of each world to feel fear and anger to the other heroes who had come to rescue him. The strain was beginning to be too much for the empath, but the Anti-Monitor refused to hear his pleas. Ultimately, the heroic Harbinger managed to absorb the three earths into the Netherverse designed to save them, releasing them from Hayden's grip. This shock of losing all three earths at once caused Psycho-Pirate an immense amount of pain; so much so that when the heroes invaded he was unable to obey the Anti-Monitor's command to emotionally control them. The Anti-Monitor was furious. This was the reason he had kept Hayden alive, and now he was useless. Hayden was forced to flee.
Hayden hid with the still captive Flash and told the imprisoned speedster that has only hope was that the Anti-Monitor was dead after being defeated. It was not to be, for at that moment the Anti-Monitor appeared from behind wearing a new armor. He decided to keep the Psycho-Pirate alive for while; lacking the time to summon or create another empath.
Eventually, the Pirate's powers returned and he decided to torment the Flash for a while. Unfortunately, the Flash had been secretly vibrating his molecules, until he was finally able to destroy his prison. He managed to resist Hayden's powers, and brutally beat him in return for the torture had suffered through. The Flash then grabbed Hayden's beaten body, and rushed around to each of the Anti-Monitor's Quardian Weaponeers. He used the Psycho-Pirate to make the Weaponeers feel an uncontrollable hate for their master, and they attacked him. The strain on Hayden's psyche was unbelievable. He asked the Flash to save him, but was knocked unconscious for his troubles. While the Anti-Monitor survived his minions' attacks, the Flash sacrificed himself to destroy the villain's giant antimatter cannon in his final heroic run.
The heroes eventually invade the Anti-Monitor's fortress again for a final assault. Kid Flash found Hayden trying to drag the Flash's empty, lifeless costume out from under a pile of rubble. Horrified at his uncle's death, Kid Flash begins attacking the Psycho-Pirate. The other heroes stop him because they saw that Hayden has been driven insane. Kid Flash realized that they were right, and as much as he wanted to hate him, he couldn't.
Eventually, the heroes succeeded in defeating the Anti-Monitor and returned to Earth. This, however was the only Earth now. All the other multiverses had coalesced into one, and almost everyone eventually forgot that there had ever been a multiverse... except for Roger Hayden. He was locked up in Arkham Asylum, where he would babble on about how "worlds lived and worlds died, and nothing will ever be the same.", and describing the Anti-Monitor as his best friend. The madman longed for the return of the multiverse, and he would soon get his wish... after a fashion.
Shortly after being locked up in Arkham, Hayden began disturbing the guards by quoting from the Epic of Gilgamesh and shouting that "They're all coming back!" in eight minute intervals. The guard ordered Hayden to get some sleep, but Hayden revealed that tonight was a special night. He revealed that he can see the reader and called us perverts for always watching. Suddenly, he clasped his head in pain. His eyes glowed red, and a stream of colors shot out from him. Laying on the floor, in a pool of colors, Hayden discovered a comic book. He picked it up, and we learn that it is the classic " Flash of Two Worlds!" issue. More and more multiversal items came out of the Psycho-Pirate, until his fabled Medusa Mask appeared. He put it on and claimed that it was time for the grand finale.
Hayden left his cell and began walking the halls of Arkham. We see that it's not only items that have begun coming back; characters were also reappearing. He passed Streaky the Supercat and Owlman, and walked by the Scarecrow's cell and insulted him for only being able to cause fear. Hayden heard a noise, and found that a large assemblage of characters had gathered, including the evil Superman analogue, Ultraman. The characters were confused and upset about being brought back, but the Psycho-Pirate used his emotion control powers to calm them down. When Ultraman asked why they remember being dead, Hayden told him that nothing really dies... they were in his head the whole time.
More and more people kept reappearing, and Psycho-Pirate began to suffer from some serious side effects. He began to suffer pain every time a character returned. He was also becoming transparent, weakening from the strain of bringing back people who should have been forgotten in the ruins of the Multiverse. Seeing all the gathered characters brought the Pirate joy, and he wondered why they all had to be removed from continuity. He told them that they WOULD make for wonderful stories, and the first would be of revenge.
Later, a world began to bubble out of Psycho-Pirate, but this was a horrible world and he tried not to think about it. It was a grim and gritty world whose greatest hero, Overman, caught an STD and went mad. Overman killed his Earth's Justice League Of America and slaughtered whole cities. Hayden did his best to keep it all in, and he believed that he had succeeded. Unfortunately, he didn't notice Overman behind him clutching a giant bomb.
Psycho-Pirate had now become almost totally transparent. He told the gathered characters that they could have his revenge on the people who killed them. He pointed out at us reading, and enjoying their pain. The Pirate chanted
*We're through! We're through!
And we're coming to get you!*
It was at that moment, that Animal Man appeared.
Psycho-Pirate became aware that Overman was loose. Overman armed his bomb, and while he and Ultraman battled, Hayden yelled at them for forgetting who the true enemy was and how we, the readers, WANT to see them fight. After Ultraman was defeated, Animal joined in the fight. While they were brawling, Hayden began talking to Dr. James Highwater. The two yellow servants of the continuum had brought Highwater to Arkham claiming that is was his destiny. The Psycho-Pirate asked Highwater if he remembered the Crisis. Highwater confessed the he only remembered red skies and the heroes stopping some disaster. The Pirate scoffed and boasted that HE remembered, and now things would return to how they used to be: total, wonderful chaos.
Meanwhile, Animal Man managed to stop Overman by trapping him in an ever-shrinking comic panel, and Highwater (who had determined the true nature of their reality) managed to return all the characters to nothingness. He noticed the Pirate's discarded Medusa Mask, and discovered that they had all gone inside the mask. The yellow aliens explained to Highwater that he knew what he must do; someone must wear the mask and become the sacrificial eagle, keeping all of the forgotten worlds contained.
After Animal Man flicked the bomb's off switch, he and the yellow aliens gathered outside. The flickering Psycho-Pirate joined them. He was now almost totally gone, and fading out of existence. He asked Animal Man if he thought the readers were enjoying it out there. Hayden had concluded that maybe it wasn't such a bad thing to be removed from continuity, but wasn't it nice to see all the old characters one last time? His final words were to tell Animal Man to smile for him... he was so happy. And with that, Roger Hayden disappeared from reality, leaving the Medusa Mask in the possession of James Highwater.
Perhaps inevitably, Psycho-Pirate's story was far from over...
Deal With a Devil
It is unknown how Roger Hayden returned, though some speculate it was due to the Zero Hour continuum changing. He would reappear during the Underworld Unleashed event, where he made a deal with a demon named Neron. Psycho-Pirate sold his soul, and in return he was granted increased power. No longer seeming to remember the multiverse, Hayden wore a black leather jacket and eye patch, and battled the new hero, Fate. His mask morphed into an eye patch and its metal would replace half his brain, all the while making him even more deranged.
Hayden's brief foray into sanity wouldn't last. He was next seen in Arkham Asylum rambling about the multiverse again. He was infected with Joker Venom and ran around perpetrating deadly pranks, including shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. Eventually, Hayden was freed from the Joker toxin and at some point was recruited by Alex Luthor in his mad scheme to bring about the perfect Earth, seeing how the Mask was a conduit to the Multiverse and how he remembered the lost worlds.
At Luthor's behest, Psycho-Pirate used illusion-casting powers to torture Power Girl with visions of alternate pasts. He revealed her true history as a survivor of Earth-2 in attempt to capture her for Luthor. He would also be the one who gave the black Eclipso diamond to Jean Loring, thus turning her into the former spirit of wrath, Eclipso.
Hayden was part of the Supervillain Society that attacked and massacred the Freedom Fighters. He used his powers to subdue The Ray, who Luthor needed alive. He and the Society later attempted to apprehend Power Girl, but with help from her cousin, the Superman of Earth-2, she managed to escape. Her escape was short-lived, as she was betrayed by Superman Prime and the young Luthor.
Luthor explained to her that he needed to capture a being from each of the five earths that had been merged into New Earth. All of his captives were bound to a giant tower made out of the destroyed shell of the Anti-Monitor. In return for his services, Psycho-Pirate was promised Power Girl as a love slave after Luthor's plan succeeded. Hayden forced the captive Black Adam to say the magic word, " Shazam", which would bring down the magic lightning to power Luthor's tower. Luthor's plan succeed to a point, as the entire multiverse returned, albeit temporarily. The captive heroes managed to escape, and in murderous revenge, Black Adam pushed his fingers all the way through Hayden's eyes and head; killing him by shoving his own metal mask through his head. "No more silly faces.", he uttered.
Psycho-Pirate has been mentioned as selling emotions to villains. It is unknown how he returned, though he possibly used his Medusa Mask to regenerate himself. However, this was likely only another pretending to be the Pirate, given how the magical heroine Raven had a brief brush with the relic in her miniseries, and given how Roger Hayden returned in Blackest Night as a Black Lantern, still suffering through underneath the wound Black Adam inflicted upon him, and recovering the Mask. In fact, Psycho-Pirate has been identified as one of the deceased entombed below the Hall of Justice.
He was, indeed, reached by one of the black power rings and resurrected as a Black Lantern, and dispatched to Smallville to do battle with Conner Kent and Superman. He managed to briefly control Conner and goad him into attacking Superman, but his victim managed to turn the tables on him and steal the mask. While meting out his revenge, Conner used the mask against the undead Pirate, forcing him to feel. The burst of emotion destroyed the Black Lantern Psycho-Pirate. Conner later used the mask to great effect against Black Lantern Superman before a fleeing ring destroyed it. His body was last seen on a lab table in the JSA Headquarters.
Psycho Pirate is one of The Twenty. The Twenty are group of otherwise normal humans who were infected by a psionic virus a few years ago by Brainiac. It made The Twenty psionically powerful and a little crazy. Psycho Pirate thought that the Medusa Mask would cure him of the virus and protect him from others like him. After gaining the mask, Psycho Pirate proceeds to kill H.I.V.E. Queen and injure Hector Hammond. He then reveals that he's read Superman's mind and knew his true identity of Clark Kent.
He then shows Superman the Swarm, a prison for psychics. He revealed to Superman that H.I.V.E Queen had spent the last few years kidnapping psychics and sucking the psychic energy from their minds for herself and was planning to use the accumulated psionic power to mentally enslave the entire world starting with Metropolis. He meanwhile has spent the last few years trying to hide his fellow psychics from her. He revealed that The Twenty were among the Swarm and that Brainiac was coming back for them as they were Test Cases for whether humanity can be used as vessel's to be filled by the minds of the his people he uploaded before his world was destroyed by the Multitude. He revealed that he was one of the first Twenty captured by the H.I.V.E Queen and that he escaped before she could fully mind-wipe him.
He then attacked Superman because he's bursting with psionic strength and he needs that energy to free the people who were in the Swarm. He then invaded Superman's mind and took them into Clark's past as he needed to bleed Clark's mind dry but to do that he needed to break through his natural psychic barrier's, with each barrier taking the form of a memory. He had the power to twist each memory to his liking even making him believe that his adopted parents didn't love him and regretted the day they found him. He was eventually able to drain Clark's mind, however, before he was able to go forward with his plans he was attacked by Lois Lane who had suddenly gained super powers.
Powers and Abilities
Psycho-Pirate is able to control emotions with the Medusa Mask. The Mask is also able to bring him back to life; its usage forces emotional vampirism upon him to fuel its powers. He now is dependent on others' emotions to feed himself.
Powers and Abilities in the New 52
The Medusa Mask gives him the power over every mind on the planet and the power to twist all the thoughts, memories, all secrets inside them. It has also been able to get past the mental shields given to Superman by Orion. It also protects him from other psychics while amplifying his own power. The mask allows him to drain people of their psionic energy.