Unofficial Biography KEY II
 Created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky


Personal Data

Occupation: Would-be world conqueror, formerly small-time criminal scientist
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operation: Mobile
Group Affiliation: Intergang (former member), leader of his own "Key-Men"
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 197 lbs.
Eyes: (normally) Brown; (as Key) Red
Hair: (normally) Brown, formerly bald; (as Key) Gray
First Appearance: Justice League of America #41 (December 1965)

Profile written by Ola Hellsten




  Although his real name has never been revealed, the criminal mastermind known as the Key has stated that he was once a small-time criminal who made some technical research in the basement headquarters of the Intergang's narcotics division.

  After developing an impressive arsenal of bizarre weapons, he left the Intergang and started a criminal career on his own.

  Obsessed with keys, the criminal intended to become the "key" man in the universe by conquering Earth and other inhabited planets, and subsequently named himself "the Key". Though there was JSA foe with the same name in the 1940s, it does not seem that the two criminals have any connection to each other. The second Key adopted a costume (an orange-and-brown overall with a key-shaped helmet) for himself, looking ridiculous at best, which may have made people overlook that he in fact was, and still is, a very dangerous and psychotic criminal.

  Over the years the Key injected himself with various "psycho-chemicals", hoping to give himself psionic powers. Eventually, he used one such chemical to take control over Justice League honorary member Snapper Carr. The Key then forced Carr to administer the psycho-chemical to the rest of the JLA, whom the Key then ordered to disband. The Key intended to then take over the minds of the world's "key" government officials, but thanks to the help of Hawkgirl Shiera Hall, the Justice Leaguers were freed from the Key's influence, and sent him to prison.

  Some time 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, then using it to mentally force the Leaguers to kill each other. Thanks to the intervention of Superman, Key's scheme was thwarted once again.

  Eventually, the Key discovered that the chemicals he had been taking were actually killing him. After another failed attempt to kill the JLA, thwarted by the Phantom Stranger, the Key retaliated by using cosmic energy to blow up a city block while he himself lay protected in an underworld crypt. John Stewart, at the time reserve Green Lantern of Earth, drove all the energy underground, where it unexpectedly cured the Key, but caused his body to become withered and dwarfish.

  After still another unsuccessful attempt to kill the JLA as an ally of the Star-Tsar, the Key used the android Amazo to steal energy from the meta-human bodies of several Leaguers, which the Key used to restore his body to normal. Although he was defeated by the JLA, Zatanna used her magic to permanently restore him to normal.

  At some unrecorded point, the Key fell into a coma for years, and only recently woke up again. Taking on a new, more bizarre and scaring appearance, he forced himself into the lunar headquarters of the latest version of the JLA, trapping the minds of several Leaguers in a kind of virtual reality. His next step was to interface with his conceptual mate, the Lock, and to assume control of all space and time. However, before he could even try to do that, he was defeated by the second Green Arrow, Connor Hawke, using the trick arrows of his father and predecessor, Oliver Queen. The Key was captured and his consciousness trapped in an endless fractal time-maze constructed by the Martian Manhunter.

  As a master of all locks, traps and imprisonments, the Key eventually found his way out. He travelled to Gotham City, locked himself into Arkham Asylum and raised havoc with the inmates. When the Batman attempted to bring the Key to justice, the Key injected Batman with a drug that made him mad with rage. In reality, the Key wanted the Batman kill him, so that he may finally encounter the ultimate challenge, try the ultimate escape: the doors of death. However, the Key did not dare to take his own life, and even an intoxicated Batman refused to kill him. Ultimately, the Batman and his allies managed to capture the villain. After listening to the villain bragging for a while, Batman realized that everything the Key wanted was respect for his skills. But Batman’s reply took the Key with surprise: “You’re an escape artist and you escape. That’s supposed to impress me? The only person alive who could impress me right now is the person who could actually find a way to contain you.” After reflecting on that for a moment, the Key admitted himself into Arkham Asylum where he still remains, constantly demanding more locks, straps, and shackles, so that he won't be able to escape.

Powers and Weapons

  The Key started out as a master scientist who invented a large variety of futuristic, dangerous weapons, most of which were designed as keys, keyholes, and locks. The Key also developed psycho chemicals that have boosted his brainpower and his senses, and also enable him to control other people who have drunk it, through an electronic "keyboard". In the beginning of his career, they also gave the Key some psionic powers, but those seem to have worn off by now.

  Later, his amazement with keys made him to develop mastery of all kinds of keys and locks. An almost overhuman escape artist, the Key is a man for whom doors have no meaning. No prison can contain him, no authorities control him.

  For some time, the Key employed a large number of costumed underlings called the "Key-Men". Recently, they have been replaced by robotic ones.

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