Detective Chimp (or D.C.) was captured by a man named Fred Thorpe in the equatorial region of Africa in 1953 and intended to be used as sideshow act known as “Bobo the Detective Chimp.” He was essentially trained by Fred to answer pre-determined questions using a system of signals. Despite his removal from Africa by Thorpe, he still forms a strong bond with the man that had given him a simpler and safer life. During a trip to Florida, Rex, the Wonder Dog takes D.C. to the Fountain of Youth and after benefiting from its waters D.C. gains the ability to talk to all living creatures. Eventually, Fred Thorpe dies and D.C. sets out on his own as a detective for hire.
Detective Chimp’s first appearance was in Rex the Wonder Dog #4 in 1952.
The character started with a less serious depiction, but gradually over time has become a serious character and one of relevant to the mainstream DC universe as a member of various important groups. He is not being used in an important role as of the Rebirth era of DC Comics.
Major Story Arcs
As a character that appeared sporadically throughout the golden and silver ages, D.C.’s stories were usually self- contained with generally little in the way of continuity. His adventures brought him into contact with numerous famous detectives, such as John Jones (the alter ego of the Martian Manhunter.) He was also employed for a time by the Bureau of Amplified Humans. Due to the fact that he is a chimpanzee, a lot of his cases were thrown out of the legal system for lack of credibility. In so doing, he began to develop an addiction to nicotine and to alcohol. It was also during this time (though this is told retroactively) that he joined the Croatoan Society, a group of detectives. In recent years he has been shown to be a member of Shadowpact.
Day of Vengeance
For more information see: Day of Vengeance
While drinking at the Oblivion Bar, Chimp overhears Ragman and Enchantress try to warn the rest of the bar patrons that the Spectre has gone mad and was trying to destroy all magic. Most people are skeptical, and that is when Chimp speaks up. He informs them that the situation may be worse and produces the Phantom Stranger, who has been turned into a mouse by The Spectre, from his pocket.
Chimp convinces six heroes that they need to take the fight to the Spectre, they form a team that will be known as the Shadowpact. Chimp then informs the group that he has a plan and needs Nightshade's help and the pair teleport to Dayton, Ohio where Chimp tracks down Black Alice. Chimp and Nightshade are able to convince her to help them stop the Spectre from destroying all magic but not before lending his magic to Enchantress to funnel to Billy Batson to battle the Spectre.
Back at the bar, Chimp reveals his plan to have Black Alice steal Spectre's powers, but this doesn't work perfectly. Spectre escapes and the Shadowpact is forced to battle Eclipso, the being that made Spectre go mad in the first place. The team tries to fight Eclipso but when mouse-Phantom Stranger gives Chimp an idea he orders Nightshade to teleport Eclipso to the sun, thus saving the day. The team plans on going after the escaped Spectre but the Stranger stops them. Chimp and the others decide to stick together.
Shadowpact set up shop out of the Oblivion Bar and made a deal with anti-mage, Lord Coldrake, to be their own personal warden in the pocket dimension Dark Tower. Unfortunately, during a run in with a group calling itself The Pentacle, Shadowpact was caught in a temporal bubble. What was days to them was a full year outside. Bobo and the others were memorialized as dead. They lost their homes and even the Oblivion Bar, when it was taken by squatter Eddie Deacon. While he was reluctant to give up the bar, he made a deal with them to keep using it as their headquarters.
Jim Rook was upset with their performance in the temporal bubble. 37 people died before they got their act together and saved the day. That wasn’t good enough for Jim, so he and Bobo drew up the Asimov-inspired Universal Laws of Superheroics:
- First Law: The lives and safety of innocent bystanders will always be protected.
- Second Law: The lives and safety of you (the superhero) and your team will be protected to the extent that it doesn’t conflict with the first law.
- Third Law: The lives and safety of all opponents will be protected to the extent that it doesn’t conflict with the first and second law.
Mystical World of Myrra
After Bobo's friend, Jim Rook, passed away, Bobo was entrusted with the Sword of Night. The intention was for Bobo to find Jim Rook's son to pass on the responsibility of protecting the mystical world of Myrra. Bobo, with help from their mutual teammate, Blue Devil, attempted to guard Myrra themselves.
In doing so, Bobo attempted a resurrection spell to bring back Jim Rook, however, he inadvertently rose all of the dead of Myrra as zombies. After they slayed them all, the kept resurrecting daily. Embarassed, Bobo retreated back to the real world while Blue Devil stayed behind to fight every day for to keep the villages of Myrra safe from their own constantly resurrecting loved ones.
Justice League Dark
After the events of Justice League: No Justice, when the League faced off against the Omega Titans and the Tree of Wonder sprung up in Salem, there were some huge ramifications. Magic is now broken in the DC universe. Wonder Woman referred to magic's new behavior as "predatory." The Otherkind, the original owners of magic, are coming back for what is theirs. Bobo and a few other supernaturally powered heroes agree to Wonder Woman's new Justice League Dark, working out of the Hall of Justice basement.
Bobo's Sword of Night came in especially handy. Modifying its ability to slash a portal in open air to Myrra, Bobo would slash two portals, using Myrra as a tunnel to move the team around Earth. The best example was when Hecate started assembling her five witchmarks to get herself to full strength while targeting sources of magic and replace it with new sources she could control. Bobo needed to open a portal to the Oblivion Bar to save pagan god, Rama Kushna, and her disciples while Nanda Parbat was destroyed.
Return to Myrra
Constantine tells Zatanna that Myrra might have an artifact that could help them in the fight against The Otherkind. The team gears up for an adventure, but Bobo is hesitant. He is afraid of the team finding out what he did to the magical land of Myrra. With the team now on his side, they are able to fight off the undead long enough for Zatanna and Bobo to find the correct spell to undo everything. With the curse lifted, Blue Devil agrees to stay behind to help Myrra rebuild but reminds Bobo of his last promise to Jim: find Jim's son, the real heir to the Sword of Night.
Lord of Chaos
With so few sanctuaries left, the Otherkind eventually found the Oblivion Bar. With no other choice, Bobo opened a portal to Myrra, and he and Swamp Thing got as many of the magic users into it as possible. Unfortunately, Nabu anticipated the exodus of magic users and planned to destroy the Sphere of the Gods so that their would be no dimensional planes to escape to. He believed the only way to stop The Otherkind was to destroy all magic before the Otherkind can take it back. In Myrra, all the magic refugees were confronted by Nabu and his new Lords of Order, puppeted by weapons equal to the Helm of Fate.
Witnessing the Lords true power when they took down Etrigan, Bobo used the sword to teleport the magic users across Myrra to Blue Devil's castle to regroup. When Khalid Nassour reveals Nabu was going scorched Earth, Blue Devil orders the residents of Myrra to ready for evacuation. Bobo takes them to the Empire of Kor, the ruins of the first race of magic users, the Homo Magi. Bobo thought there was enough latent magic in the ruins to give them an edge, but the people of Myrra started dematerializing in front of everyone signaling the full destruction of their world. When the Lords showed up, they froze Blue Devil in stone and the rest were stranded because Bobo's blade was left inert.
The Lords of Order gave the magic users an option: have your magic removed without a fight and be free to go. They begrudgingly agreed until Wonder Woman and Zatana showed up, newly upgraded by the Ruby of Life to become The Lords of Chaos. They shared their power with their teammates: Detective Chimp, Swamp Thing, and Man-Bat, and they start to fight back, now more evenly matched. It isn't until Zatanna encourages them to break the rules of magic that they start getting the upperhand. The Lords of Order attempt to retreat, but Bobo is able to free Xanadu from the cloak and Zatanna is able to trap Nabu in the helmet. With this victory, this Justice League Dark recommits to fight for the magic users and destroys the Ruby of Life before they can be overpowered by its chaos.
Powers and Abilities
After his visit to the Fountain of Youth, Detective Chimp was granted numerous abilities. These include an exceptional intelligence above the range of most humans, the ability to communicate with any living creature and eternal youth. His abilities as a detective are also quite advanced with years of experience. He also maintains the characteristics of a chimpanzee including being significantly stronger than average humans and an increased agility.
Teen Titans Go!
Detective Chimp has a two-second cameo on the show. When Beast Boy is fired for "not knowing what it means to be a hero" the Titans interview a few hero's with animal-based powers, Detective Chimp among them. He barely has time to introduce himself before he is kicked off the stage.