Teen Titans #46 (February, 1977)
“The Fiddler’s Concert of Crime!”
Writer – Bob Rozakis
Pencils – Irv Novick
Inks – Joe Giella
Letters – Ben Oda
Edits – Julius Schwartz
Cover Price: $0.30
Ladies and Gentlemen… the countdown is on! As of today, we are one month away from our ONE-THOUSANDTH DAILY POST! Sooo, barring my getting hit by lightning… it looks like we’re probably going to get there!
We open with a comparison of the Roman Colosseum… and the Long Island Colosseum (I’m guessing they mean Nassau Colosseum) where there’s about to be a Battle of the Bands! Great Frog fans, don’t get your hopes up… they’re not playin’. The bands among the battle are Peter and Laura McCarthy and the Flyers… and the Woodworkers. Fans of 70’s tunes will probably figure that we’re looking at Wings and the Carpenters. Inside… the Earth-2’s Fiddler is wrecking all sortsa havoc.
The Titans bust in, and after Mal toots on his wondrous Horn, the Fiddler changes tact. Instead of having everyone destroy their instruments, he starts them on a dance-off. Speedy fires some gas arrows into the mass of humanity… which only seems to enrage them. Roy and Mal wind up on the receiving end of a mosh pit stomp-down.
Meanwhile, back at Titans Cavern… the rest of the teen-age heroes talk about how their next headquarters should be on an island (hmm…). Then, Robin tells an awful joke before introducing their latest member… the *shudder* Joker’s Daughter. Eesh, she really skeeves me out.
Speedy and Mal return from their beating, and report in that the Fiddler is on the loose. Kid Flash posits that this might be the same fella that the Flash fought on Earth-2. No duh, Wally. Then they see… Joker’s Daughter. Yeeeeeeesh, just lookit her face. Ay yai yai… that must be what you see before you die.
We learn a bit more about the competitors in the Battle of the Bands. The Flyers… and the Woodworkers (oi). Turns out, neither band wants anything to do with the other. They agree to the showdown, so long as they never share the stage. If you’re thinking this won’t be important later… well, just wait.
Back to the Titans… the Creeper delivers some horrible news: The MacCarthy’s have been kidnapped! The “fantastic” Fiddler is among the likeliest culprits. The Titans decide to look into it… otherwise, Great Frog might have to take their place in concert! What would be so bad about that?! Also… there’s plenty more ghoulish smiling from Duela. Yeeeeesh.
Robin sends all of the Titans (sans he, Aqualad and J.D.) back to the Colosseum to take on the Fiddler. Upon arrival, they find that he’s started a musical plague… calling forth rats, and bugs! Mal gives his horn a toot… and is reminded by the spectre of death that if he loses another fight… he’ll die. A holdover from a recent run-in with Azrael (not that Azrael… or that other Azrael either).
Despite the Titans’ best efforts… the plague continues. Roy gets a bad case of “ants in the pants”, causing him to fire a (thankfully gimmicked) arrow right into Wonder Chick’s back!
With the rest of the Titans downed… it comes down to a musical duel between the Fiddler and the Hornblower! Mal manages to win… saving not only his own life, but saving the crowd from being covered with vermin. The Fiddler takes off in his… uh, Fiddlemobile.
Elsewhere, Robin and Company are looking into the abduction of the McCarthy’s. Their hotel room is in shambles… and there are two sets of footprints leaving the room via an opened window.
Robin locates the McCarthy’s outfits (floppy hats and whatnot)… and has an idea. He asks Aqualad to pretend to kidnap Joker’s Daughter… and during the reenactment, we can see that the footprints he leaves are deeper than those present. Robin’s not so convinced that the McCarthy’s have been nabbed. Before he can share his conclusion, they are zapped away courtesy of Mal’s wondrous horn.
They arrive at the Colosseum… where they are informed by the rest of the Titans that the Fiddler has the Woodworkers atop the arena. Also, Joker’s Daughter’s face… uhhhh.
Once up high, the Titans are taken in by a Fiddler spell… they do-si-do for a bit, nearly chuckin’ Mal and Duela off the roof!
When they “come to”, the Fiddler calls in his Fiddlecopter (how many things did he manage to bring from Earth-2?!). While the team takes care of the chopper… Joker’s Daughter uses her gimmicks to disarm the Fiddler… then she karate chops his funny bone to ensure he won’t be fiddlin’ with much for at least a little while.
All that’s left for the Titans is solving the case of the Missing McCarthy’s… only, Robin’s already done that! Ya see, he takes the Woodworkers to a Colosseum closet… where he reveals the Flyers! The Woodworkers are sure they’re impostors though!
And that’s because… the Flyers are the costumed alter-egos for the Woodworkers! Ohhhhh… so, that’s why they refused to share a stage.
That night, during the Battle of the Bands… the secret is revealed! And (allegedly) the world of Pop Music will never be the same again!
We wrap up with an epilogue, in which the Titans find their newest digs. Next issue promises the big reveal of the TT’s Disco-Headquarters!
Okey dokey… well, this was something.
Such a weird little story, wasn’t it? Bringing analogues for big pop-music acts is interesting. I’m not terribly familiar with either band outside of their hits… but I tried Googling to see if there were any rumors that Wings and the Carpenters were the same band. Couldn’t find anything, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a rumor at the time… I guess. This was all well before my time.
The action scenes were pretty well done, and fit the threat the Fiddler posed. Having the Titans distracted with a plague is probably a good idea… since, it wouldn’t take much for them to beat up an old man with a fiddle.
Robin was able to flex his detective muscles here, which was also pretty cool… if not a bit convenient. I suppose most detective-y bits in comics are going to be convenient, so I shouldn’t really harp on it.
We probably ought to talk about the Joker’s Daughter. Yikes… just so darned unpleasant to look at. It’s as though the comic was able to look into my soul anytime she was on-panel. Just… that face. Gonna have to sleep with the lights on for a few nights.
My biggest disappointment here is… we have a Battle of the Bands, and there was no Great Frog performance. I guess I just oughta be happy that they get a mention! Also… and more seriously, the art was a bit uneven.
Overall… ehh, this was silly, but fun. If you’re down for a weird-o Bronze Age Titans romp (featuring the ghoulish Duela Dent), you’ll probably dig this. I’d certainly advise against breaking the bank (or your back) to get this one though.