Secret Origins #41: "A Rogue By Any Other Name" (Chapter Three)

Secret Origins #41
 "A Rogue By Any Other Name" (Chapter Three)
 June, 1989

 Writers: Dan Mishkin & Gary Cohn
 Artists: Howard Simpson & Anthony Van Bruggen
 Letterer: Janice Chiang
 Colorist: Helen Vesik
 Boy Editor: Mark Waid

 Gambi asks the little bald-headed man in the polyester suit if he recognizes the feel of this next costume. It was made from the finest hand-woven materials and money was no object. There is such a thing as quality on the cheap but not for the Pied Piper, who was a man who knew how to spend a stolen buck! Hartley Rathaway began with a net worth larger than some small countries! He was also deaf -- and it took years of expensive operations to enable him to hear. Hartley's hearing became his entire world... the sound of music was all he lived for!

 Mr. and Mrs. Rathaway thought their son's interest in music might lead him to a career as a concert musician -- but Hartley was only interested in being a good listener... Being idle, the Rathaways bought their son's grades to make him the top of his class. They were unaware their son was interested in the science of sonics! Hartley worked with various instruments until he was able to produce certain sounds that enabled him to issue hypnotic commands... Hartley Rathaway no longer needed to take tests and the ladies could not get enough of him whenever he was playing his music! Hartley had an easy life -- but it was also lacking something. He was determined to introduce the element of risk and the chance for failure by adopting a life of crime as the Pied Piper!

 The Trickster hopes his old Villains, Thieves, And Scoundrels Union mailing list is still current! Of all the Rogues, the Piper's gimmick must be the most annoying! When James Jesse knocks on the door, he is blatted in... and follows the sound of music coming from the door ahead --

 The Pied Piper wants him to close the door, but before the Trickster can comply, he is knocked to the ground by eight musical notes!

 As the Piper continues to play his bagpipes, the Trickster uses a broom and a dustpan to gather up the fallen notes! Unfortunately for the two Rogues, they will need something bigger for the giant note in the center of the room! This note has survived the vacuum cage, the cone of silence -- and bombardment with plenty of smaller notes...! It also seems to have an unnatural affection for the Pied Piper and follows him everywhere.

 The Trickster informs him they have a bigger problem to deal with! He has returned to Central City! Each time, he has humiliated the Rogues, but this time will be different! This time, the Rogues will get him first!

 The Pied Piper was a reformed super-villain during writer William Messner-Loebs' run on The Flash.

 I've enjoyed Howard Simpson's art on Secret Origins.

 Hawkeye the Marksman was deafened during his first mini-series.

 Klaw is the villainous master of sound.

 The Black Canary has her sonic scream.

 Banshee is a mutant with the power to scream.

 Perhaps if Hartley Rathaway had lost his parents like Bruce Wayne did, his life would have been different.

 Thanks to his musical talents, the Pied Piper is quite a notable villain.

 Andy Mientus portrayed the Pied Piper on the new Flash TV series.

 Steve Chung
 "A Review By Any Other Name" (Chapter Three)