The Teen Titans, another super-group that I admired and grew to love as a kid. Mal Duncan, Herald, was one of my favorites. He was not “super powered” and was part of a team. Then when he gained his Horn he was able to really make a difference. The musical aspect of his character was important to the artist in me.
Blow Your Horn
“I don’t need any excuses to blow my horn, Speedy!” - Mal Duncan *
Mal Duncan saved the Teen Titans from a street gang called the Hell Hawks. He was later recruited to join the Titans. Feeling un-super, un-powerful and unworthy, Mal looked for different ways to become a powerful Titan. Mal fought the Angel of Death -- Azrael. Thinking it was a dream Mal awoke with a mystical horn given to him by the angel Gabriel. Now Mal Duncan had the power. Using the moniker Herald, when he blows Gabriel’s horn he is given unspecified powers to use whenever the odds are against him in battle. But the Horn comes with a price, if Mal Duncan ever looses a fight he will die. He later married Karen Beecher (Bumblebee) and moved to California. He is an accomplished jazz musician and owns a nightclub named "Gabriel's Horn".
We are told at a young age not to brag, that people will think we are boastful. When someone brags, they are doing it to bring someone else down, they brag to be hurtful. Is it bragging when someone needs help and we have the capability to help him or her? If we do something well is it wrong to say so? If someone asks, “Hey, are you a good … (cook, boxer, teacher, artist, lawyer, doctor)?” What is wrong with answering “yes”? We only “do” things we like to do, and we only like to do things we’re good at doing, so saying “yes” is not a lie or bragging. If someone needs help with something we’re good at – why not help? This brings us back to sharing our gifts, and our talents. The cooks in the group can help those with “kitchen phobias.” The boxers can give workout tips to the less muscled. The fun part is giving the advice and feeling helpful. The warm feeling comes from knowing we were a helpful part of someone’s life – the warm feeling of being a “superhero.” Be a superhero and blow your horn!
Mal Duncan -- Herald
First Appearance: As Malcolm A. Duncan, Teen Titans #26, April 1970
Creators: Robert Kanigher (script), and Nick Cardy (art)
* “The Fiddler’s Concert of Crime!” Teen Titans #46, Feb. 1977