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The Fiddler
Flash Comics 93.jpg
Cover of Flash Comics 93 (Mat 1948).Art by Lee Elias.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance All Flash Comics #32 (Jan 1948)
Created by Robert Kanigher
Lee Elias
In-story information
Alter ego Isaac Bowin
Team affiliations Injustice Society
Secret Six
Underground Society
Crime Champions
Black Lantern Corps
Abilities Ability to hypnotise people with violin music. Can also use his music to create powerful sonic waves.

The Fiddler is a fictional character, a DC Comics supervillain and a recurring foe of the first Flash (Jay Garrick). He first appeared in All-Flash #32 (December 1947 - January 1948).


Fictional character biography

The Fiddler's history was changed somewhat in the Crisis on Infinite Earths.


The Fiddler started out as a thief who was arrested in India and sent to jail. While in prison, he met a fakir, charming a snake in his cell, who taught him the "mystic art" of Indian music. For the next five years, he learned the fakir's secret and made a crude violin made of material he can scrounge in the prison. He developed the ability to use his violin to play sounds that could either hypnotize others, shatter objects, or create barriers.[1] After the fakir declared his student had surpassed him, he used the instrument to hypnotize the guards to open their cells and he and the fakir escaped. He then murdered the fakir and the merchant who had him arrested in the first place.

Returning to America, the Fiddler, as he called himself, made his first stop at Keystone City. While the Fiddler managed to humiliate the Flash (Jay Garrick) the first time they met, Flash was able to foil his plan, which involved replacing Maestro Bowin, a violin virtuoso, who was actually the Fiddler's twin brother. The physical similarity between the brothers (who had been separated at birth) also led to Bowin briefly being suspected of the Fiddler's crimes.

Since then, he continued to plague Flash I again and again. He was a member of the original Injustice Society.

Later, the Fiddler was part of a trio of criminals that caused the original Flash to come out of retirement. The Fiddler, along with The Shade and The Thinker were stopped by the first of many team ups of Earth One and Earth Two heroes in the classic "Flash of Two Worlds" story from Flash (volume I) #123 (September 1961). Barry Allen, the Earth-1 Flash, visited Earth-2 accidentally and looked up his comic book hero, the original Flash. Together, the two Flashes stopped the villains. This issue led to many other team ups between Earth-1 and Earth-2 heroes and villains.

The Fiddler uses a fiddle to control those around him. He travels around in his Fiddle Car, which Jay Garrick recognizes by sight.

Post Crisis

The son of British aristocrats, Isaac Bowin had a talent with music, and an impulse to travel. Running out of money, he resorted to theft and robbery to make ends meet until he was arrested in India and sent to jail. He then met a fakir, much as in the pre-Crisis version.

Returning to America and taking on a new identity, that of the Fiddler, Bowen made his first stop at Keystone City. The main difference between this new origin and the original story is that he was aware Maestro Bowin was his twin and wanted to ruin his brother's good name. He continued to plague Jay Garrick for many years, eventually joining with the Thinker and the Shade to remove Keystone City from the world's vision and memory. Barry Allen inadvertently crossed the vibrational barrier the Fiddler created in Grant Morrison's post-Crisis version of the first Jay/Barry team-up, "Flash of Two Cities" in Secret Origins #50 (Aug 1990). As in the original story, the two Flashes defeated the villains together.

During the 1986 DC mini-series Legends, the people of America are turned against heroes, and a law was made that no one could operate legally wearing a costume.

For the Fiddler this period proved an opportune time to join with his old comrade the Wizard in his new Injustice Society, now called Injustice Unlimited. They overcame the security at the International Trade Conference in Calgary, Canada, namely Infinity, Inc. and a contingent of the Global Guardians. They forced the heroes to help in some mayhem. The Fiddler took Obsidian and the Green Flame to London and, with their help, stole a very prized Stradivarius violin. They then returned to Calgary to share in the stolen wealth being gathered by the Wizard but the plan went haywire when Hourman (Rick Tyler) revived and freed himself, as well as when Solomon Grundy was brought in from the Arctic Circle. It was Hourman who incapacitates the Fiddler by destroying the Stradivarius, and after the confusion he was taken into custody by Canadian law enforcement. (Infinity Inc 35-37 1987)

In John Ostrander's Hawkworld series, it was revealed that the fakir who taught Bowen his hypnotic skills was actually a demon. The Fiddler apparently dies in that story, but has resurfaced since. The same demon would turn a heavy-metal guitarist into a 1990s version of the Fiddler called the Thrasher. The Thrasher was defeated by Hawkman, and has not reappeared. It is not clear if this version of the Fiddler's origin is still in continuity.

An Iowa Bowin, claiming to be the Fiddler's great-grandson, appeared in Flash 80-Page Giant #2, in a story set in the future. Although his guitar-based version of his great-grandfather's powers initially caused chaos, he wished to be a hero, working alongside Kid Flash (Iris West).


In the first issue of the Infinite Crisis miniseries Villains United, the Fiddler has joined the Secret Six. Disappointed by the Fiddler's performance against H.I.V.E. agents during their first mission, Mockingbird deems him "incompetent" and orders him killed. Deadshot carries out the execution, and the Fiddler was replaced by Catman. The Fiddler's violin is later found to be in the possession of Virtuoso, a woman allied with the Secret Society. Most recently though, a man resembling the Fiddler makes a cameo in Green Arrow/Black Canary shown upset in room filled with violins destroyed by a recent fight between Green Arrow, Black Canary, and a mugger outside

Fiddler has been identified as one of the deceased entombed below the Hall of Justice.[2] He is one of many dead super-villains reanimated as members of the Black Lantern Corps.[3] He will feature prominently as a Black Lantern during a short story-arc running through the one-shot revival issue of Suicide Squad, and the following two issues of Secret Six.[4]

Powers and abilities

The Fiddler possesses magical abilities that he channels through his violins. The musical vibrations he creates can shatter solid objects, create force-fields and hypnotize others.

He uses violins gimmicked with weapons such as blades and guns.

Other versions

  • Fiddler has appeared in the Justice League Unlimited spin-off comic book in issue #8.

In other media


  • In the Justice League episode "Legends," the Music Master (voiced by Udo Kier) is based on the Fiddler.
  • The Fiddler has appeared in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance." He has an unvoiced cameo as a patron in a bar where Flash's enemies hang out.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Wallace, Dan (2008), "Crazy Creations", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 92, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017  
  2. ^ Blackest Night #1 (July 2009)
  3. ^ Blackest Night #4 (October 2009)
  4. ^ Suicide Squad #67 (January 2010)

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