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Origin

The Key was a chemist who worked with Intergang. After using his mind-expanding chemical to tap into parts of the brain that normally go unused, The Key was able to come up with very complex crimes that where not always understood by most people. Along with his group of followers, the Key-Men, he found himself going up against the likes of the JLA.

Creation

The Key is a comic book character that first appeared in Justice League of America #41. He was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky.

Character Evolution

There have been two men that have called themselves the Key. The first was a villain who fought Batman while the other is the well known adversary of the Justice League of America. The Key was the head of a major crime syndicate who had field agents based internationally. He presumably died when he jumped from a cable car into a gorge.

Little is known about the true identity of the master criminal known as the Key. Obsessed with keys, the Key intended to become the "key" man in the universe by conquering first the Earth and then other inhabited planets.

Post Flashpoint

The Key, Weapons Master, The Scarecrow, The Scavenger, Captain Cold, and Cheetah are being attacked, captured, tortured, and interrogated to find information on the members of The Justice League.

Major Story Arcs

Over the years the Key had injected himself with various "Psycho-chemicals", hoping to give himself psionic powers. Eventually he drugged Snapper Carr, honorary member of the JLA with a psych-chemical that would allow the Key to control him by electronic means. The Key then forced Carr to administer the psycho-chemical secretly to the rest of the JLA, whom the Key then ordered to disband.

The Key then intended to use the chemical to take over the minds of the worlds "Key" government officials and eventually force the JLA to help him conquer other planets. Thanks to Hawkgirl, the Justice Leaguers were freed from the Key's control and they captured him and sent him to prison.

Months later, the Key used the Psionic power the psycho-chemicals gave him to tap the cosmic energy collected in one of his weapons in the JLA trophy room. He used it to mentally force the Leaguers to kill each other. This time Superman thwarted the Key's scheme and the JLA stopped his next attempt at world conquest.

Eventually the Key discovered that the psycho-chemicals he had taken over the years were killing him. Failing again to kill the JLA, the Key retaliated by using cosmic energy to blow up a city block while he lay protected in an underground crypt. John Stewart ( Green Lantern) drove the energy underground, where it unexpectedly cured the Key, but caused his body to become withered and dwarfish.

After another failed attempt to kill the JLA, the Key used the android Amazo to steal super powerful energy from several leaguers bodies, which he then used to restore his own body to normal. Although the JLA defeated the Key once more, Zatanna used her magic to return the Key to normal permanently.

Batman: The Dark Knight- Knight Terrors

The Key is one of several Arkham inmates injected with a type of Fear Toxin that give them superhero strength. They then try break out but Batman is able to stop them. Later when the toxin wares off Key and many others they are put into critical care.

Powers and Abilities

The Key had a blaster that was shaped like a key.

He was able to use into the untapped portions of the brain using his psycho-chemicals. In doing so, his intelligence was increased and he gained a heightened set of senses.Using a psycho-virus, he was able to take over someone's nervous system, giving him the ability to create hallucinations.

Other Media

Justice League Unlimited

The Key in Justice League Unlimited.

The Key, wearing a modified version of his Golden Age costume, appears in Justice League Unlimited, voiced by Corey Burton. His skills seem more oriented to penetrating secure areas with a key shaped gun that can easily open doors as well as fulfill mundane ballistic means. He also can turn intangible, leaving behind an energy signature that can be detected by Justice League member Aztek. He first appearance in "I Am Legion", when he was sent by Grodd to help Lex Luthor escape from prison and bring him to the Secret Society headquarters. His next mission was to accompany Luthor and Dr. Polaris to Blackhawk Island to steal the Spear of Longinus. The Justice League intervened and Key was knocked out by the Flash, but they escaped when Luthor threatened to kill Chuck Sirianni. He later makes cameo appearances in "To Another Shore", "Dead Reckoning" and "The Great Brain Robbery". In "Alive!" The Key sided with Grodd during the mutiny against Luthor. As a result, when Luthor's allies defeated Grodd's forces, Key was frozen by Killer Frost and probably killed in the blast when Darkseid blew up the ship.

In a commentary on Alive, it was said that the writers originally wanted Key to have been a Brainiac construct, allowing him to monitor the actions of the Society and eventually re-merge with Luthor.

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