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Frederick Kominsky (Ghostdancing)

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Fred Kominsky was a Polish-American born in the United States. In the 1960s he became infatuated with the Native American culture and adapted his style and mannerisms to that of the Hopi tribe of the Southwestern United States. He met a Native American woman named Brown Mary, who schooled him the ways of the spirit, and of the coming of the Fifth World. She introduced him to a hallucinogenic narcotic known as Ghostdancing. What Fred didn’t realize was that Brown Mary was actually the incarnation of an animal totem known as White-Buffalo-Woman. Fred and Brown Mary became very close, and together they decided to spread the word of spiritual enlightenment through the use of song. They founded a rock-and-roll band known as Fifth World Raga, and Fred began using the stage name of Snake. Fifth World Raga’s music became exceedingly popular and helped to inspire the hippie movement of the mid-late 1960s. By 1968, Snake and Brown Mary were associating with many famous performers including: the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Van Morrison and the Doors.

As time went on, Snake and Mary's hippie movement garnered the attention of a secret society known as the Mammonites. The Mammonites believed that concepts such as spirituality, naturism and primitivism threatened the structure of the cultural identity they had struggled to promote for so long. Working in concert with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, they took measures to destabilize the counterculture communities.

The Mammonites sent an agent named Cody to infiltrate Fifth World Raga. Cody befriended Snake and Brown Mary and began working as the group’s band manager. In 1973, he put his plan into action. He arranged for Snake and Brown Mary to meet him at a small commune in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He told them that an activist group was establishing a movement there to propagate Native American values, and he felt that they would be interested. When Brown Mary and Snake arrived however, Cody surreptitiously had the trunk of Snake's Thunderbird filled with illegal automatic weapons. He then contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and arranged for them to stage a raid on the commune. The raid evolved into a massive firefight and the site erupted into chaos. During the melee, Cody abducted Brown Mary while Snake ran for the hills. Federal agents gunned down everyone else in attendance and set the place to flame.

Snake spent the next two decades believing that Brown Mary was dead. He wandered the deserts of California as a vagabond traveling from commune to commune.

In 1995, Snake decided to revitalize Fifth World Raga. Although Brown Mary was no longer at his side, he still felt the power of the Ghostdancing. He began acting as a spirtiual guru, inspiring others to get in touch with their own inner being. An animal totem spirit known as Coyote-Old-Man arrived on Earth and met with Snake. He began asking him about White-Buffalo-Woman’s whereabouts, but Snake had no idea whom he was referring to. Before long, he began to realize that Brown Mary was White-Buffalo-Woman, and further – that she was still alive.

By this point in time, agent Cody had learned that his old "friend" Snake was active again. By reinvigorating the spirit cults, he once again represented a threat to his superiors' objectives. Cody met with a young man from the Mammonite quarantine named Brother Christopher. Brother Christopher was the child of White-Buffalo-Woman (and possibly that of Snake as well). He fabricated a story, wherein he blamed Snake for White-Buffalo-Woman’s present condition. He manipulated Christopher’s emotions and convinced him to avenge his mother by assassinating Snake.

Brother Christopher met with Snake at a Fifth World Raga revival concert. Snake told Christopher the truth about his mother, and his past with Agent Cody. Christopher believed him and decided to betray Agent Cody. Cody, angered by his failure to galvanize Christopher to his cause, decided to tie up loose ends once and for all. He withdrew his pistol and fired it at Christopher on the concert stage. Snake leapt in front of the bullet, saving Brother Christopher’s life. He died moments later.

Powers

Psychokinesis: While under the influence of the Ghostdancing, Snake had the ability to project and receive mental impressions with other people. He was also able to perceive the mystical reality of the spirit world.

Abilities

Music: Snake was an accomplished vocalist and guitar player. In time, he eventually became proficient enough with the tom drum that he was able to summon the animal totems of the spirit world.

Equipment

Ghostdancing drug, Brown Mary's tom drum.

Transportation

A red 1965 Ford Thunderbird (which he lost in 1973).

  • Although it has never been fully revealed, it has been implied that Snake may have in fact fathered Brother Christopher prior to Brown Mary's abduction. Snake may have suspected this himself as he heroically sacrificed his own life to save Christopher's. Christopher later adopted the pseudonym - the Snake of Change; another possible allusion of a blood family tie.

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Footnotes



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Vertigo Character
This character exists under the Vertigo Imprint which is intended for Mature Readers.
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Their continuity takes place within the context of Vertigo titles although they may cross over into regular DC continuity.

This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Vertigo Characters."

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