Monday, July 16, 2007

Comics Characters Revealed - Minstrel Maverick

Ah, it's been too long, sweet, random comic book characters. We've had a summer of Spiderman and Ghost-Rider on DVD, but we've all missed something special. Something like...

The Minstrel Maverick

I mean, really, can you ever come close to beating that name? He's a genteel balladeer...who kicks musical butt! Or perhaps he's a rogue Blackface performer who finds the minstrel show demeaning to minorities...and kicks musical butt! I find the connotations between the minstrel - either a Medieval-era wander songwriting or a 18th century American vaudeville show - and the maverick - variously unbranded cattle, a lone rebel, or Madonna's record label - semantically rich.

But in spite of that great name, you actually can come close to beating it once you learn that the Minstrel Maverick's real name was Hank "Harmony" Hayes. I suppose "Hank" was a bit butch for a traveling musician, so he went by "Harmony."

Anyway, the Minstrel Maverick first appeared in All-American Western #103 where he charmed the ladies, hung out with Blacksmith Bill (and perhaps Tanner Ted and Haberdasher Harry), and beat the bad guys with his guitar. That's right, instead of a weapon, good ole Harmony would bash people's heads in with his reinforced guitar. Those wimpy minstrels from the 1960s could have learned a thing or two from him if only his career had lasted that long.

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