The Fiddler(pop culture)
While Rome burnt, Emperor Nero fiddled. When the Fiddler fiddles, crime burns the innocent. When petty thief Isaac Bowin is imprisoned in India, his cellmate, a Hindu fakir, teaches him the secrets of Hindu vibrational mysticism. Bowin learns to hypnotize by utilizing vibrations made by a crude violin, as well as to destroy with sound and to create impassable barriers of noise. He uses his new abilities to escape jail and betray his mentor, then, calling himself the Fiddler, returns to America to attempt to frame his twin brother, the famed violinist the Maestro Bowin, Although Bowin's scheme was foiled by the Flash in All-Flash Comics #32 (1947–1948), in a tale written by Robert Kanigher and illustrated by Lee Elias, it became the first of many encounters between the Fastest Man Alive and his arch-foe. Bowin's reasons for hating his brother are not known. After several clashes with the Flash, the Fiddler ran afoul of the Justice Society of America when he joined the new Injustice Society. Years later the Fiddler joined forces with the Thinker and the Shade to plunder Keystone City. Their plan was thwarted by the teamwork of two Flashes, Jay Garrick and Barry Allen, the Flash of the other-dimensional planet that was, in the days before the Crisis on Infinite Earths, called Earth-One (Flash #123, 1961). Later, the Fiddler, the Wizard, and the Icicle traveled to Earth-One to join Chronos, Dr. Alchemy, and Felix Faust, calling themselves the Crime Champions. After an alliance with a criminal group titled Injustice Unlimited, the Fiddler seemed to have involuntarily retired, advanced arthritis having rendered him unable to play the violin. However, Bowin (here referred to as “Bowen”) was recruited by a mysterious person called “Mockingbird” for the new Secret Six in Villains United #1 (2005), in which his seeming incompetence led to Deadshot killing him at Mockingbird's orders. While the malicious melodies of one of the oldest villains in the DC Universe have been silenced, the Fiddler has another string in his bow: his successor, a female violinist named Virtuoso, introduced in Villains United #6.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.