Friday, June 08, 2012


Why We Love Detective Comics

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!


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