The Key


Also found in: Wikipedia.

The Key

(pop culture)
Borrowing the name of a criminal who fought the Justice Society of America in All Star Comics #57 (1951), the Key first tumbled with DC Comics' premier superheroes in Justice League of America #41 (1965). Writer Gardner Fox and artist Mike Sekowsky's “The Key-Master of the World!” begins with Superman's startling motion to disband the League—“It's about time!” echoes Wonder Woman. The heroes gleefully toast the team's dissolution while Green Lantern levels their headquarters with his power ring. They are under the influence of the behavior-modifying “psycho-chemical” created by the Key, a mastermind flourishing key-shaped weapons and a key-like headpiece that barely contains his rampant ego. With his costumed Key-Men, the Key unlocks a string of heists under the oblivious noses of the Justice League, until Hawkgirl, not under the drug's control, helps the JLA close the door on the villain. This original incarnation of the Key has twice been captured in plastic, as a 1967 figurine and a 2001 PVC. While his real name has never been disclosed, the Key is a former Intergang chemist who injected himself with psycho-chemicals to unchain his mind's full potential. He sold his soul to the demon Neron in exchange for a higher state of consciousness— and a gruesome new form. Now with a chalky pallor, glowing red eyes, and a spinal attachment pumping his psycho-chemical into his cerebral cortex, the Key, often abetted by robotic Key-Men, wields a Neural Shock Rifle that dispenses mind-controlling drugs. He once trapped the JLA in an artificial reality, and is concocting new ways to unlock chaos.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
He put the key of the cabinet back in the basket, and crossed the room to the bureau, with the basket in one hand and the letter in the other.
He stands the candle on the chimney-piece in the clerk's hall and taps his dry cheek with the key as he addresses these words of welcome to Mademoiselle Hortense.
He had managed to coax old Brus, the gardener, into letting him have the key to the little postern gate on the plea that he wished to indulge in a midnight escapade, hinting broadly of a fair lady who was to be the partner of his adventure, and, what was more to the point with Brus, at the same time slipping a couple of golden zecchins into the gardener's palm.
'You had better let me have the key then,' says Durdles.
He called to Samuel, through the window, to take his portmanteau up-stairs again, and he then put the key himself into Sergeant Cuff's hand.
Rushworth wished he had brought the key; he had been very near thinking whether he should not bring the key; he was determined he would never come without the key again; but still this did not remove the present evil.
Mary obeyed, and found that he had already drawn the tin box from under the clothes, though he usually asked to have this done for him; and he had selected the key. He now unlocked the box, and, drawing from it another key, looked straight at her with eyes that seemed to have recovered all their sharpness and said, "How many of 'em are in the house?"
On the table before him they set food and water and upon the opposite end of the table they laid the key to the fetter.
The lock was a double one and in good order, but Rosa always took the key with her.
When Fouquet had satisfied himself that Baisemeaux had reached the bottom of the staircase, he inserted the key in the first lock.
either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them.
'and I will then bring the key back to you in the drawing-room.'