Friday, June 08, 2012
The Terrible Trio
Well, they're not really that terrible.
Actually they're kinda cute!
See what I mean?
They're the Fox, the Shark and the Vulture, a clever threesome of shady inventor types who made a little trouble for Batman and Robin on two occasions in the late 1950s and early 1960s. (Detective Comics #253, cover-dated March 1958, and Detective Comics #321, cover-dated November 1963.)
Aren't they adorable? They look like bath toys, or yarn finger puppets.
I don't have either of the comic books they appeared in, but I do have a reprint of their first apperance. I have Batman #176, which is one of those 80-page Giants from the 1960s that we all love because they have so many great, old reprints, sometimes reprinting stories that weren't even that old yet! (Batman #176 includes the first appearance of the Calendar Man and the first appearance of Mr. Zero, both of which will be discussed at some point in the future.)
I wish I had that second appearance in Detective #321! Batwoman stops by to save the day, and I can only imagine how she must have defeated them. I assume she embarrassed them by pinching their widdle cheeks and cooing over them and saying things like: "Ooo, wook at my big, scawy villains! Have some candy. You must be a fox and you must be a shark and you must be an eagle."
The Vulture: "I'm a vulture, lady. Sheesh!"
Batwoman: "Of course you are!"
So, yeah, let's get back to Detective Comics #253. The Fox, the Shark and the Vulture commit a series of daring crimes, all using fantastic devices. The Fox designs land-based crime contraptions, such as the Burrow Machine (which is already called "infamous" by the fourth page of the saga). The Shark comes up with sea-based devices, such as the Eel Shocker. And the Vulture builds air-based things ... you get the picture.
Their hide-out is a lighthouse. And they commit crimes. And Batman and Robin hide in the mummy cases that are being transported by ship (the S.S. Cairo) as part of a treasure trove and they jump out when the silly, bemasked criminals steal the mummy cases and they fight them and defeat them.
That's pretty much it, really.
No two-headed mob assassins. No Batman doubles. No murderous librarians.
Just some dudes with masks and business suits.
An they're AWESOME!