June 2021 - The Pied Piper - Psychology of Supervillains Club

Welcome to The Psychology Of Supervillians Club. This month’s Supervillain [The Pied Piper]

This club will be discussing darker aspects and elements within the DC Universe. These aspects and elements could be viewed as overtly violent, malevolent and possibly offensive to some.

  • We acknowledge that we are not mental health professionals, and are not able to provide any diagnosis or guidance in this regard.
  • This thread does not suggest or support any mental health diagnosis or any guidance of or for people in the real world. We are dealing with purely fictional characters within fictional worlds.
  • Supervillains are potentially driven by deep seated and often dark or disturbing concepts of what they feel is the right thing to do and why the villain is the hero of their own story.
  • We will explore if the supervillain is actually correct in their views and actions, are they justified in what they do and potentially would their fictional worlds be better off if they actually did win and defeat the hero.

The club gives this warning because some may find such discussions disturbing, distasteful, and/or possibly immoral and we want the community to be well aware of what the contents of these discussions can involve.

The Ground Rules: ( Yes…even villainy has to follow a few rules . Don’t take my word for it…Go ask The Legion Of Doom or The Crime Syndicate, they have rules too.)

  • Posts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines
  • This is a “ safe space ” to explore a sometimes taboo topic…villainy. Why it’s necessary and possibly why villains are often more interesting than the heroes that oppose them.
  • Be respectful of the opinions of others. Did I mention thatPosts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines
  • There is no such thing as a “right” or “wrong” opinion here.
  • The views expressed are the opinions of the poster and deserve to be acknowledged as a valid opinion, even if you might disagree and debate items. What does that mean? Posts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines
  • We are dealing with the intricacies of the mind. The one thing we do know is that we can never be ultimately sure what is actually going on in the mind of a supervillian.
  • However, we can conjecture based on what we do know about them and form our own points of view on what makes them tick and have blast while doing it.
  • In case you missed it the 3 times earlier…Posts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines

Don’t be afraid to be bold, to challenge the status quo, to think in unique ways and be outspoken. Their is no “right” or “wrong” point of view here. There is what we each find in delving beneath the surface and into the mind of our Supervillian Of The Month.

Most importantly, have fun. Enjoy your process. Revel in it. Don’t be afraid to let some of your “evil” out. We’ve all got a bit of it in us somewhere. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t find villains interesting, now would we. :smiling_imp:

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Reminder: Posts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines

Our June 2021 Supervillian of the month - The Pied Piper
Happy Pride Month!!
This month we will look at a member of the Flash’s Rouges gallery, The Pied Piper. He has gone through a few iterations.

From full blown villain to reluctant hero and back to a villain.

He plays an interesting part in the Countdown to Infinite Crisis and the Anti-Life Equation.

He was also the first canonically gay supervillain in DC history, even if he was trying to “do good” when it was revealed. He “came out” 30 years ago, this month, June 11th, 1991 to be specific.

His vacillation between good and evil is certainly the most interesting aspect of his charter, IMO. Perhaps you agree or disagree, so let’s please hear that was well.


Below are some comic book resources for Pied Piper available on DCU.

This is by no means a definitive list.

Reading the entirety of the resources below is not expected.

Comic Resources:
Secret Origins 41

Flash 106 (1959)

Flash 138 (1959)

Flash155 (1959)

Flash 164 (1959)

Flash 349 (1959

Flash 32 (1987)

Flash 53 (1987)

Flash 190 (1987)

Countdown 10

Countdown 11

Countdown 19

Countdown 34

Countdown 41


What resources you use or don’t use is up to you. The only limit is your imagination and deduction.

Use whatever materials you like in building up your case for the psychology. Although noting what you’re basing it on could be helpful as resources for the club and our members.

I know with the current pandemic circumstances, some folks may have more or less time on their hands than normal.

The Pied Piper has had much diversity over the years. From full blown villain to reluctant hero and back again.

What is your favorite incarnation of Pied Piper.

His relationship with the anti-Life Equation. How surprising is that? Also, do you think it changes him?


Without further ado, we delve into the musical mind of the The Pied Piper.
Let the adventure begin!!!

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More plucky, bow tied, Silver Age Barry Allen coming up!

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I’ve been brushing up on Pied Piper’s underlying myth is from the late Middle Ages. His Plauge based origins are quite interesting.

It’s also interesting that while a member of Flash’s Rouges gallery, Pied Piper (and The Top) often are left out of more than a few Rouges “team ups”.

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Quiz Question

What makes the Pied Piper actually “pied”?
  • Hat
  • Favorite Food
  • Costume
  • Instrument

0 voters

For the record, I guessed at the quiz.

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I look up and it’s the end of June. Time flies.

The first thing about PP is that he felt like he never fit in. From the silver age through today. As a villain he was always second, or third or forth banana when it came to crime and even when he was working with The Rouges.

It interesting that he is full of bravado, but so lacking in self-confidence. Even when he left (or tried to) being a supervillain, he was always out of place. Never really having a sense of community.

30 years ago he came “out of the closet”. For those of you to young to remember 1991, there was no internet in how we think of it now. Very few people in the US & around the world had internet connectivity. Many people who fell out of the “mainstream” were very isolated, especially if you lived outside of major urban areas. “Gay bashing” was a real threat to the LBGTQ community. Being fired or evicted with zero notice we’re real things that happened if people found out you were LBGTQ.

Some people have criticized how Wally West responded to PP coming out to him. But, the truth is Wally’s reaction was very real, even in “socially progressive” circles. Maybe it’s because I was around in 91, but, Wally’s response was a hit heart wrenching for me, because it was all to real.

So if you remember or talk to people about that time, being ostracized & isolated was very real. So we can see the parallels in PP’s character arc and in psychological parallels as well, about coming to terms with himself and taking the risks so he could get to where he personally and publicly wanted to be.

I think what we see in PP is a dark reflection about our society. How many ex-cons are shunned by the public at large & how difficult it is to make a new life. How this thing that is part of who you are impacts your life. In 1991, this was very much an issue faced by the LBGTQ community as well.

While I would have loved for DC (and Marvel :shushing_face:) to have given us stories about openly gay characters much sooner. IMO, ya gotta give them credit for doing what they did when they did it. PP is barley a footnote in the advancement of LBGTQ characters in media. However, look around at mainstream media from that time. Perhaps Pied Piper should get a bit more respect and acknowledgment for coming out when he did.

I only read a little of his silver age adventures and that bronze age secret origins.

On the surface, The Pied Piper feels like another gimmick villain.

I wonder if they chose to write him as gay because he is such a third string character. I am speculating given whatever brain cells of mine survived the 90s.

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Certainly taking a c-lister like Pied Piper was a very specific choice. Because if it didn’t go over well, which it didn’t with the mainstream of the time, they could do what they did, which was to pull him out of comics for 11 years.

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