Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments); Pre-Modern era
Occupation: Musician (clarinetist)
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Agents of "a totalitarian country" (presumably the U.S.S.R.)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Mysterious Mr. P" (in story title); The Pied Piper
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#18/2 (June, 1961)
Powers/Abilities: An accomplished musician with his clarinet, Mr. P could also employ the instrument for a variety of supernatural effects, such as enthralling those who heard his music.
Mr. P concealed his true face behind dark glasses and a beard.
History: (Tales of Suspense I#18 (fb)) - Appearing one night backstage at the Empire Theater, Mr. P talked the manager into giving him the chance to play his clarinet for the audience. His first public performance was a smash hit with rave reviews -- "Man, dig that crazy clarinet!", "That cat's terrif!" -- and Mr. P developed quite a fan following in the United States among teenagers. But he would never answer any questions about his personal life from reporters, and whenever hordes of autograph seekers pursued him, Mr. P would mysteriously disappear.
Soon, Mr. P's talent was known by the entire world, and this drew the attention of a "totalitarian country" who wanted to use Mr. P for their own propaganda purposes. Representatives were sent to meet with Mr. P and talk him into coming to their country to perform as a gesture of good will to ease political tensions -- but they actually had other plans in store for the mysterious musician ("The American fools are easy to deceive! Ha ha! ").
When their plane landed behind the Iron Curtain, Mr. P's hosts showed him to his quarters -- a dungeon! After several hours with no food or communication, the foreign officials (figuring they had softened up their prisoner enough) visited Mr. P and told him their plan -- they wanted him to sign papers and make speeches telling his fans around the world that he preferred dictatorship to democracy (Lousy Commies!) -- if he refused, the brutal Bolsheviks would have to "persuade" him a little more ("By the time we're finished with you, you will BEG to betray your country! Well, what is your answer?? ").
Mr. P gave them his final answer by lifting the clarinet to his mouth and playing a strange, dissonant tune. Suddenly, the dungeon door opened by itself, and Mr. P (still playing the clarinet) walked out...with the sinister Soviets, spellbound by the music, following him, unable to resist.
As Mr. P removed his beard and glasses, then led them walking out a window and into the sky (...and beyond), too late his captors realized his true identity -- "He's the PIED PIPER! Mr. P! We should have guessed! "
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Don Heck.
With the supernatural powers displayed by his clarinet playing, maybe Mr. P had some connection to the Olympian god Pan, or the Dire Wraiths' "Piper of Peril"...
...or maybe the Marvel Universe has its own extradimensional, magical realm where "storybook" characters really exist (something akin to DC/Vertigo's "Fables" series).
And a big THANK YOU to Dennis Giansante for scanning this story for me!
Profile by John Kaminski
Mr. P/"The Pied Piper" has no known connections to:
Tales of Suspense I#18, p15, p3 (main image)
Tales of Suspense I#18 (June, 1961) - Don Heck (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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