Isaac Bowin and his twin brother both were naturally very good violin players, but only one of them honed his skill to gain international fame as a violinist. Isaac took a less lofty road, drifting around the world as a petty thief until he was thrown in an Indian prison in the early 1940s. One day he watched as his cellmate, a Hindu fakir (whose crime was never mentioned), charmed a cobra with music. Fascinated, Bowin asked the fakir to teach him his secrets. He agreed. This was the start of a long journey in crime.
Bowin spent five years studying the fakir’s lore and fashioning a fiddle from what materials he could scrounge. He learned not only how to hypnotize people, but to destroy objects with sound and create literal walls of noise. His craft mastered, Bowin commanded the guards to open their cell and the pair fled into the jungle. There, he killed his benefactor, paralyzing him and letting him fall into crocodile-infested waters.
Calling himself the Fiddler, he traveled to the next stop on the Maestro Bowin’s concert tour: Keystone City. Driving a car shaped like a giant fiddle, he publicly bested both the police and the Flash with a gimmicked fiddle and his mastery of sound. To further rile the speedster, he spread photos of the disoriented hero all over town. Simmering over his humiliation, the Flash spotted the Maestro and immediately arrested him. The police, however, recognized the violinist, who disgustedly handed the Flash two tickets to that night’s performance to cool him off. Before the performance, the Fiddler captured and replaced his brother, first robbing an entranced audience, then capturing the Flash. The Flash broke himself and the Maestro out of a trap meant to kill them both, and the Fiddler’s own weapon sent him to his seeming death.
Typically, the Fiddler survived to plague Keystone City many times again, each time battling its champion speedster.
The Fiddler’s greatest success was to shift Keystone City out of phase with the rest of the world for thirty years while the population slept. No one inside could put up any resistance, and no one outside could remember the city even existed. Bowin, the Thinker and the Shade were able to plunder the city at their leisure. About ten years ago the second Flash discovered and crossed into the hidden city, then tracked down the original Flash, waking him up and joining him to stop the trio and restore the city.
Bowin has not been seen in action for a number of years. One story had it that he died while attempting to kill his longtime nemesis (Hawkworld Annual 1, 1990), but he turned up alive in Iron Heights. The Fiddler finally met his end when he came out of retirement to join the Secret Six. Disappointed in his performance during their first battle, the team’s leader, Mockingbird, ordered him killed. Deadshot carried out the execution immediately. (Villains United #1, July 2005)
It is unknown whether the Fiddler left any family other than his brother, but at least one possible future includes a great-grandson, Iowa Bowin, with plans to turn his legacy to heroic pursuits.
The Fiddler has been identified as one of the deceased entombed below the Hall of Justice. He is also among the deceased turned into a Black Lantern. Black Lantern Fiddler leads an assault against the Suicide Squad and Secret Six. He is eventually destroyed by Amanda Waller's Manhunter android.
Fiddler's violin can create a variety of different effects. These include destructive sound waves and hypnotism. He also drove around in a violin-themed car called the "Fiddle-Mobile".
Batman & Robin
In the Batman and Robin movie, Fiddler's violin, alongside Scarface's doll and Magpie`s TNT are seen in the supply room at Arkham Asylum.