Pied Piper
Pied Piper Post-Flashpoint
General Information
Real name: Hartley Rathaway
First Appearance: Flash #106 (May, 1959)
Created by: John Broome
Carmine Infantino
Affiliations: Formerly:
The Rogues
Abilities: Genius-Level Intellect
Master Musician
Portrayed by: Andy Mientus



Hartley Rathaway 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 sonics, 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.


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 (Evan McCulloch). This clearly put a great strain on the two Rogues' relationship.


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 to go their separate ways. Outside, they were shot by Multiplex and Deadshot, and were cuffed together, though managed to escape the two.

They are pursued by them relentlessly until Deadshot 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 take 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

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. He then surprises The Rogues, Zoom, and Kid Zoom, immobilizing them before he is stabbed from behind in the shoulder by Libra.

Powers and Abilities


Enhanced Hearing: Being born deaf, he was treated and medically given his hearing, Later on with his genius level knowledge of sonics, he further augmented his hearing artificially.

Anti-Life Equation Manipulation via Sound: It has been revealed that his powers to manipulate others through sound are due to his ability to manipulate the Anti-Life Equation. Though seen as a rudimentary control by the likes of Libra, the power is remarkably effective as he finds new and innovative ways to manipulate people and things using sound.


  • Master Musician: Through the study of sound, Hartley has become a master of flute based composition, showing a unmatched skill in the instrument as well as creating songs with seamless effort


  • Pied Piper Flute: Rathaway has crafted his own sophisticated flute capable of hypnotizing anyone within range of its sound. He can make anyone do whatever 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.
  • Sonic Devices: Rathaway also employs a number of devices that can generate or amplify sound for destructive purposes.
  • Sonic Tuning Fork: Capable of sending out a sound the causes paralysis in those who hear it.

In Other Media


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See Also


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