Pied Piper

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Pied Piper

(pop culture)
The Fastest Man Alive first faced the music of the Pied Piper in The Flash vol. 1 #106 (1959), by writer John Broome and artist Carmine Infantino. This “Master of Sound”—wearing a green jerkin with white polka dots and a minstrel's cap— parades into Central City, tooting a Super-Sonic Flute that emits mind-controlling tones. Acoustically manipulating vibratory fields with his melodies, the Pied Piper stops the Scarlet Speedster dead in his tracks and buries him in an earthly fissure before the Flash whirlwinds to victory. Although enigmatic in his first outing, more was revealed about the Pied Piper in his reappearances. The felonious flutist is actually Hartley Rathaway, a spoiled rich kid who was born deaf but surgically cured of his affliction, sparking his fascination with sound. Developing his knack for hypnotism through music, the Piper's crime career was fostered out of boredom, not economic necessity, and he occasionally waltzed with the speedster alone and while partnered with other rogues. The Flash's death in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 (1986) took the wind out of Rathaway, who became a costumed social advocate and an ally of the Flash's speedy successor Wally West. The Piper surprised his fast friend in Flash vol. 2 #53 (1991) by revealing his homosexuality, becoming one of the few comic-book characters of the era to be openly gay. In the 2000s his life has been anything but melodious. Rathaway was framed for his parents' murder and escaped from the supervillain penitentiary Iron Heights before being able to prove his innocence. His sanity has since wavered, and his mental manipulation by the villainous Top in the “Rogue War” Flash storyline (2005) has left the Flash wondering if the Pied Piper will soon resume his sinister songs. A one-hit wonder Batman villain called the Pied Piper—“the man of 1,000 pipes”—pulled pipe-related crimes (involving everything from smoking pipes to sewer pipes) in Detective Comics #143 (1949).

Pied Piper

charms children of Hamelin with music. [Children’s Lit.: “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” in Dramatic Lyrics, Fisher, 279–281]
References in periodicals archive ?
This text coincides with a well-preserved inscription on the so-called Pied Piper House.
The oldest document that testifies to the Pied Piper's actual date of arrival is an inscription on a large memorial stone marking the construction of the town's new gate (Neues Tor) in 1556.
Until 1550 the stories do not mention the Pied Piper's skills as a ratcatcher.
Speculations ran high about the Pied Piper's real identity.
In the ensuing flood of diverse reports, the chronicle by Duke Froben von Zimmern and his secretary Johannes Muller in 1556 was the first to mention that the Pied Piper destroyed Hamelin's rats, got cheated out of his reward, and kidnapped the children to punish the greedy burghers.
He also introduced the term Pied Piper. In German, the man with the magical pipe has always been called simply Rattenfenger, which means ratcatcher.
Based on the utter lack of further news from the emigrants, speculations arose that the Pied Piper was a charismatic leader who, in the eyes of the ecclesiastical as well as secular authorities, misled a group of young people in a revival of pagan worship.
Originally the Pied Piper was viewed as a representative of the underworld, an evil magician if not the devil himself.
The poem "The Pied Piper Song" (Das Rattenfengerlied), written in 1803, emphasizes the Pied Piper's role as a seducer of people--albeit still a benign one.
In "The True Story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin," written between 1938 and 1941, the Pied Piper actually wants to guide the children to a better place:
Robert Browning wrote a rhymed story of the Pied Piper in 1842, and it has become the most widely read version in the English-speaking world.
The movie The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1958), directed by Bretaigne Windust and scripted in Browning's style by Irving Taylor and Hal Stanley, even adds a happy ending.