Episode 28: Who are Abra Kadabra and Music Meister?

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This week on The Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show we’re going to be talking about two Flash villains that have jumped from the comic book page onto the small screen and have been giving the CW’s Flash a run for his money. This week we’ll learn about the somewhat obscure character, Abra Kadabra and the very obscure character, Music Meister. And yes, that is his name, the Music Meister.

So I consider myself someone who know a bit about the Flash, so I was very confused when I watched last week’s musical Flash episode on the CW. The villain on the show was really throwing me. Who was he? He was dressed very well, had a sharp red pocket square, and they seemed to drop hints and say things like “magic” and “performances” so I was leaning towards Abra Kadabra. I figured Kadabra was using his tech to do all the things he was doing in the episode. But then they never said the name Kadabra so was was confused. Then at the end Barry says they squared up against the Music Meister, and I was like, who the heck is that? Then right after the show ended they showed a preview for next week’s episode and it’s going to be starring Abra Kadabra as the villain. So I thought, let’s highlight these two characters on the show. So first up, Music Meister.

Music Meister

The Music Meister was actually created by Michael Jelenic for the animated program, Batman:The Brave and the Bold in 2009 and appeared in an episode entitled, Mayhem of the Music Meister and was voiced by the incredibly talented Dr. Horrible himself, Neil Patrick Harris. And good old NPH was the perfect and obvious choice to voice this character since Music Meister powers revolved around singing and NPH has an amazing voice. The character then makes his comic debut in issue 16 of The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold. But I have to tell you, that episode with Neil Patrick was so much fun. I’ve got a huge part of the show over at the site, Heroesvillainsandsidekicks.com on the episodes page under this show’s title, The Music Meister and Abra Kadabra. So just what are the Music meister powers. Well as you can guess they have something to do with music, that much is pretty easy to guess. The Music Meister is actually a metahuman who, when he sings puts his victims in a trance and they have to do whatever the Meister sings. The funny thing about being in this trance is that his victims also burst into song and dance as though they were in a musical. His victims have to do whatever he says and that includes hurting themselves or others. Music Meister also carries a conductor’s baton that shoots lasers that erupt from it in the shape of musical instruments. In his first appearance on the animated program, the Music Meister’s uses his powers to enslave Black Canary, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Black Manta, Gorilla Grodd and Clock King to steal UN communication satellites so he can beam his mind controlled musical powers over the entire planet.

He is of course thwarted by Batman after several references to musicals such as West Side Story and Phantom of the Opera. The only hint at his origin is one he, of course, sings. And it goes something like this.

Bullies used to pick on me because I sang in Choir.
But something very strange occurred when I was kept singing higher.
The ruffians around me quickly fell into a trance, / and it was then with wicked glee I made those puppets dance.

The Music Meister then appears in The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold issue 16 where he tries to take over Bat-Mite to use his considerable magical powers. He is as you can guess, defeated. He has a pretty big weakness. Since his powers work though his voice and sound, he can be defeated by a 99 cent page of ear plugs from Lowe’s.

Now, like I said, Meister was on The Flash last and it was interested to see how they changed up the character and he was portrayed by Darren Criss. Instead of using his voice to take control of people, he needed to look at them, his eyes then rippled and the person would fall unconscious. In the episode Barry awakens in a musical along with Super Girl who was put there by Music Meister too. But the interesting thing about this incarnation of Meister is that his victims are then trapped in a musical of their own making and have to live out the musical’s plot to escape. But here’s the rub, if they die in the musical they die in real life….maybe. See this Music Meister seems to be a kind of good guy. When Kara and Barry get out of the musical it’s because they were saved by the people that loved them. Meister explains that’s what he’s all about, love and reconciliation. They then ask him if he’s from an alternate earth and hs says impishly he’s not from somewhere they would understand, and vanishes. So that’s again another big change in the character’s origin. And I have to say, I’m a sucker for musicals so I really dug that episode. It was a nice twist on the musical episodes that a lot of shows end up doing ever since Buffy did that fantastic episode where they sang everything due to a demon that used music to enslave and then kill its victims.

Abra Kadabra a.k.a Citizen Abra

Citizen Abra a.k.a Abra Kadabra loves magic. Unfortunately where he’s from the art of the magician is lost on it’s inhabitants. See, Kadabra is from the 64th century where magic and science are virtually indistinguishable. So when Kadabra goes to the Hall of Magicians which is pretty much a museum, and tries to perform only to have the one person in the room yawn he wishes there was somewhere he could really perform to applauding crowds. It’s then that he hears about something new that was just invented, a time machine. He realizes he can go back in time to when magicians were loved and performed in front of applauding audiences. So he steals the time machine and a takes a bunch of tech along with him. With his 64th century technology he is truly the greatest magician in the world when he comes to our time. When he got to Central City he started to do some street performing that really stunned people, they really were into it. But here’s the problem, they weren’t clapping. His vanity, his need for applause were overpowering so he used his hypno-ray to make them clap. It’s all pretty sad, because all he had to do was perform some more, then book some gigs and use all that 64th century technology to stun the world. He would have been world famous and richer than he could have ever imagined.

But vanity and low self-esteem turned him into a criminal. He realized he got more attention when he would commit crimes so he started stealing, realizing the Flash could stop him he set a trap. Abra Kadabra announced a huge performance that was filled to capacity. He started the show and waited for the Flash to arrive. When Barry came running towards Abra he was hit by one of Kadra’s blasts and Barry disappeared. And of course he made them all clap. But Barry didn’t disappear, Kadabra’s science magic flung Barry into space. But in true Silver Age fashion barry was able to land on an asteroid and run around it at top speed and launch himself back to Earth, surviving space and reentry due to his Flash speed aura. It’s a pretty wacky page and of course it’s over on the site, heroesvillainsandsidekics.com. The Flash returns and turn his hypno-ray against him, and Abra Kadabra is sent to prison.

He shows up many more times in the Flash each time being defeated by The Flash. At one point he is brought back home to the 64th century by the future authorities and they actually try to “cure” him by making anyone who is near him applaud. Such a weird thing to do to the rest of the population, but this does not help Kadabra since it feels false. Another fun moment in Abra Kadabra and the Flash’s feud was when Kadabra turned Flash into a puppet just to get laughs. He’s really one of the saddest villains out there.

Kadabra keeps returning over and over to fight the Flash, but always, for the most part alone. He never really throws in with the rogues. I can only imagine it’s because there is no way an ego-maniac like Kadabra would ever share the spotlight with anyone. Kadabra’s grudge with the Flash goes from Barry to Wally then to Bart. Wally really deals Kadabra a blow when in battle Kadabras technology that’s embedded in his body explodes and disfigures him. He of course gets better and vows to destroy Wally. So to hurt him the most he steals Wally’s wife Lynda away from time and wiping her from everyone’s mind. It was the ultimate trick. He stole Wally’s true love, erasing her from everyone’s mind. She was still around though and was just hidden away in another dimension. And to be honest the whole thing is a total mess. That era some some really things going on. Kadabra did, in the end get to have a hand in defeating a Flash, killing him actually. Abra Kadabra helped the rogues kill Bart Allen when he took up the mantle of the Flash. It was actually pretty sad. I remember reading these and I don’t think they ever really gave Bart a chance. Again, head over to the site to see some pages from the issue Bart dies in.

Now with the New 52 many heroes were wiped from existence, Wally West being the one that I, and many other missed the most. But he was brought back for the new DC: Rebirth in style. I tell you, that was one of the coolest moments in comics for me in a while. Barry and Wally together again. And with the return of Wally, we of course got the return of Abra Kadabra, and guess what, he has it out for the Flash and the titans. I’ve got a stack of back issues to read and they are all there for me ready to read and I can’t wait.
And now we don’t just get to read about Abra Kadabra we get to see him in this week’s episode of the Flash on the CW Network and he looks cool. He’s being played by David Dastmalchian in the episode and I’m looking forward to seeing that. Dastmalchian just did a stint on Gotham as a Joker fanatic and really killed it. So I know where I’m going to be Tuesday, right in front of the TV watching The Flash and see how they use Abra Kadabra.