Friday, April 27, 2012


Why We Love Detective Comics


Be honest; what is there NOT to love about living beast-bombs!

At some point in the 1960s, a gorilla - who had gained human intelligence through a rather fantastic and unlikely set of circumstances - strapped a bomb to himself and threatened to blow up Gotham City for some reason.

His name was Karmak, and he only appeared one time, in Detective Comics #339, cover-dated May 1965. He only needed to appear that one time because this one Karmak story has more than enough Silver Age silliness to provide any super-intelligent gorilla with enough Silver Age street cred to last for as long as comics exist.

Sure, it has some sweet Carmine Infantino art. But it really MAKES NO SENSE. I'm not the only one who thinks this MAKES NO SENSE. At the website "Comics Make No Sense," there is post devoted to Detective Comics #339. (Admittedly, Karmak has to share the ridicule with the antics being cooked up in the Elongated Man backup by everybody's favorite freaky-deaky married couple, Ralph and Sue Dibny. (Hi and Lois they ain't!))

See, Karmak was a normal gorilla who was experimented on by a scientist guy and, somehow, the gorilla acquired human intelligence and could take over the scientist's body. And Karmak also turned evil, for some reason. (And also suicidal!) And he threatens Gotham City by strapping the bomb across his chest. During his battle with the beast, Batman notices that the bomb doesn't tick as loud when Karmak is off the ground. So he knocks Karmak unconscious and holds him up in the air and eventually the bomb stops ticking. For some reason.

And Gotham City is saved! (Somehow.)

(I have a theory that Commissioner Gordon never drank alcoholic beverages because he knew that if he ever started, he'd never stop!)

One more reason to love Detective Comics!


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