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The Pied Piper's song summons rats to Central City in Flash: Fastest Man Alive #7

(Image credit: DC)

DC Digital First’s daily comic book releases are speeding along toward June 5’s Flash: Fastest Man Alive #7 – which pits Barry Allen against the Pied Piper as swarms of rats take over Central City.

Is there a case of mistaken identity, though? Pied Piper a.k.a. Hartley Rathaway may be the most apparent suspect for a series of hypnotized rat attacks - given the fable attached to his secret identity and his gimmick of using mesmerizing music to commit crimes - but he’s got a history of turning over a new leaf and aiding the Flash against his former fellow Rogues.

Hartley’s also got an important real-world comic book history – in 1991, after reforming as a hero, he came out as one of DC’s first openly gay characters. While the preview here only scratches the surface of Pied Piper across its three pages, it’s a perfect time to take note of a milestone queer character at the start of Pride Month in the United States.

Along with “The Pied Piper’s Refrain” by Josh Trujillo, Andie Tong, Jordie Bellaire, and Rob Leigh, Flash: Fastest Man Alive #7 features the story “None of the Time in the World” by Jay Baruchel (of You’re the Worst television fame), Sumit Kumar, FCO Plascencia, and Rob Leigh.

Here’s DC’s description of “None of the Time in the World”:

“A radioactive beast runs rampant after an explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs. But is it man or monster, and can the Flash calm the creature before it destroys Central City?”

Flash: Fastest Man Alive #7 is due out June 5 on digital platforms.

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Newsarama staff writer who learned to read from comic books and hasn’t shut up about them since.