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The Psycho Pirate, who had allied himself with the Anti-Monitor during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, was one of the few characters to remember the original multiverse. Eventually, in Arkham Asylum, his mask became a portal to the worlds that had been destroyed. Heroes and villains from Earth-1, Earth-3, and other worlds not seen before or since began manifesting themselves in the post-Crisis world.

Speed Freak

[Speed Freak] Group Affiliation: Love Syndicate of Dreamworld
Base of Operations: Dreamworld
First Appearance: Animal Man #23 (May 1990)

Among the heroes who appeared in Arkham were Sunshine Superman, Speed Freak, and Magic Lantern, members of the Love Syndicate of Dreamworld. Aside from a 1970s look and references to drug culture, little else is known of these characters, since they mainly stayed in the background during the crisis.

Eventually convinced of their unreality, the misplaced characters dissolved into the Psycho Pirate’s mask, itself now a gateway to lost realities.

Speedster of Earth-17

[Unknown speedster] Group Affiliation: Unnamed Justice League-like group attached to US military
Base of Operations: Earth-17 (sort of—see note)
First Appearance: Animal Man #23 (May 1990)

One of the worlds the Psycho-Pirate encountered was Earth-17*, a parody of the late 1980s “grim ’n’ gritty” style. On that world all superheroes were created by the US government, beginning with Overman. The rest were modified clones, including a Justice League-like group attached to the US military. Overman was exposed to a “sex virus,” went mad, and killed everyone on his world...even the heroes sent to stop him. Ready to destroy what was left with a doomsday bomb, he slipped through Psycho Pirate’s mask into the mainstream DCU, where Animal Man eventually stopped him with his unique knowledge of the nature of reality.

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Art

  • Speed Freak: Animal Man #23 (May 1990) - Chas Truog & Doug Hazlewood (thanks to Matt Karpowich for the scan)
  • Unnamed Earth-17 Speedster: Animal Man #23 (May 1990) - Chas Truog & Doug Hazlewood (thanks to Matt Karpowich for the scan)


  • Animal Man #23–24 (May–June 1990): “Crisis” and “Purification Day,” Grant Morrison

No Flash-related appearances.


* Grant Morrison named the world in an interview, but it turns out that Earth-Seventeen had already been used for those Fourth World stories not written by Jack Kirby. To make matters more complicated, in 52 Week 52 (2007), the universe home to the Atomic Knights was labeled as Earth-17. So DC has had at least three Earth-17s.

Thanks to Matt Karpowich for information on these characters, and for the original scans.

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