Introducing Bobo, the Detective Chimp!
Lassie #28 (1950 series) Rex the Wonder Dog #4, July 1952
Inspired by the popularity of Lassie, DC created Rex the Wonder Dog. Although Rex began as a Lassie knockoff, he was soon fighting Nazis, wrestling alligators, and generally outdoing his canine rival as only a dog drawn by the inimitable Gil Kane could. Then, in Rex #4 (July-Aug 1952), a new back-up feature was introduced.

Titled "Meet Detective Chimp," the story was written by John Broome, penciled by Carmine Infantino, and inked by Frank Giacoia. Both Infantino and Broome have said that, of all the zillions of stories they'd worked on, their all-time favorite was... Detective Chimp! His first story began with animal trainer Fred Thorpe introducing Bobo the chimpanzee to his friend, Sheriff Chase of Oscaloosa, Florida. The Sheriff tells Thorpe he's impressed by Bobo's intelligence.
Ha! Ha! I hope so too. But later, Fred Thorpe is unexpectedly murdered! Devastated by the loss of his caretaker, Bobo uses his intelligence to expose the man who killed Thorpe -- but then the murderer goes after Bobo... with a gun!
Oh no you don't! Bobo asks a friendly gorilla to grab the murderer and knock him around! Then...


In the DC Universe, Detective Chimp and Sheriff Chase are said to have lived in Oscaloosa County, Florida -- but in reality, there is no such place. However, there is an Okaloosa County, located in the Florida panhandle (see map at right).

Today, the county's population is growing by 250 people a month, with 213,623 residents projected by 2010. From the Blackwater, Yellow and Shoal Rivers to Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Okaloosa County is a paradise of scenic beauty. Click the map for more information!

Highlights from Detective Chimp's run in "Rex The Wonder Dog"!
Detective Chimp is very smart! If he wants to hide, you will NEVER find him!
Don't mess with Detective Chimp! He will use science to capture you -- like this!
Detective Chimp once rode a runaway ostrich! Wuk! Koo!
Finally, Detective Chimp appeared on television's "Mr. Jiggs" show!
INDEX: Detective Chimp stories in "Rex The Wonder Dog"!
Detective Chimp appeared in every issue of "Rex The Wonder Dog" from #4 to #46 -- except #5. Most (all?) stories were written by John Broome, and all were penciled by Carmine Infantino. Here's a complete list of Bobo's adventures in Rex The Wonder Dog:

Rex #4 (July-Aug 1952) Meet Detective Chimp; Rex #6 (Nov-Dec 1952) The Return of Detective Chimp

1953: Rex #7 (Jan-Feb 1953) Monkeyshines at the Wax Museum; Rex #8 (March-April 1953) Death Walks the High Wire; Rex #9 (May-June 1953) Crime Runs the Bases; Rex #10 (July-Aug 1953) Monkey Business on the Briny Deep; Rex #11 (Sept-Oct 1953) Riddle of the Riverside Raceway; Rex #12 (Nov-Dec 1953) The Million Dollar Gorilla

1954: Rex #13 (Jan-Feb 1954) Case of the Runaway Ostrich; Rex #14 (March-April 1954) Murder in the Blue Yonder; Rex .#15 (May-June 1954) Case of the Fishy Alibi; Rex #16 (July-Aug 1954) Monkey Sees; Monkey Does; Rex #17 (Sept-Oct 1954) The Case of the Suspicious Signature; Rex #18 (Nov-Dec 1954) The Case of Bobo's Bankbook

1955: Rex #19 (Jan-Feb 1955) See No Evil; Hear No Evil; Rex #20 (March-April 1955) Detective Bobo; Chimp-Napped; Rex #21 (May-June 1955) Secret of the Masked Monkey; Rex #22 (July-Aug 1955) Bobo Rides a Flying Saucer; Rex #23 (Sept-Oct 1955) The Secret of the Spanish Castle; Rex #24 (Nov-Dec 1955) The Mystery of the Silver Bullet

1956: Rex #25 (Jan-Feb 1956) Where There's Smoke; There's Trouble; Rex #26 (March-April 1956) The Mystery of the Missing Mummy; Rex #27 (May-June 1956) A Whistle for Bobo; Rex #28 (July-Aug 1956) Bobo's Amazing Jungle Gym; Rex #29 (Sept-Oct 1956) The Scientific Crook-Catcher; Rex #30 (Nov-Dec .1956) A Jailbird for Bobo

1957: Rex #31 (Jan-Feb 1957) Clue of the Secret Seven; Rex #32 (March-April 1957) Mystery of the Talking Fish; Rex #33 (May-June 1957) The Mystery Monkey from Zanzibar; Rex #34 (July-Aug 1957) The Case of the Chimpanzee's Camera; Rex #35 (Sept-Oct 1957) Bobo's New York Adventure; Rex #36 (Nov-Dec 1957) The Mystery of the Missing Missile

1958: Rex #37 (Jan-Feb 1958) The Treasure of Thunder Island; Rex #38 (March-April 1958) The Amazing Experiment of Professor Snodgrass; Rex #39 (May-June 1958) Bobo Goes to Sheriff's School; Rex #40 (July-Aug 1958) Bobo the Baby Sitter; Rex #41 (Sept-Oct 1958) Bobo; Sleuth on Skis; Rex #42 (Nov-Dec 1958) Demon of the Speedways

1959: Rex #43 (Jan-Feb 1959) Stop That Litterbug; Rex #44 (March-April 1959) Where There's Smoke; There's Bobo; Rex #45 (May-June 1959) The Case of the Monkey Witness; Rex #46 (Sept-Oct 1959) The Chimp-Champ of Baseball (Rex the Wonder Dog was canceled with issue #46.)
Is the Detective Chimp camera shy?
Bobo has been around more than fifty years, but he's only appeared on a handful of covers in all that time! Even his first adventure in Rex #4 didn't rate a cover shot. Below are three of Detective Chimp's ultra-rare cover appearances -- all of them on books featuring Bobo reprints!
Superboy Annual #5, 1959 (British) DC Special #1, October 1968 Tarzan #231, July 1974
Whatever Happened to Detective Chimp?
After an absence of over two decades, Bobo finally returned in DC Comics Presents #35 (July 1981) in the back-up story "Whatever Happened to Rex the Wonder Dog?" written by Mike Tiefenbacher, with art by original Rex artist, Gil Kane.
TRIVIA FUN FACT: Gil Kane's birth name was Eli Katz!

In this story, Bobo and Rex discover Florida's fabled Fountain of Youth! After they drink from the fountain's waters, they attain eternal youth and health. (See two panels from the story, pictured below.)

Bobo and Rex are also given the ability to communicate with other animals in their own languages, including humans. In the past, Bobo had generated enough witty thought balloons to fill a warehouse. Now, Bobo could finally talk -- out loud!

Maybe he can start by complaining that even though his big comeback story is mentioned on the issue's cover, Rex gets a small picture, but typically, poor little Bobo is not featured on the issue's cover!


Chimps On Infinite Earths, and JLApe!

Following his comeback in DC Presents, Bobo the Detective Chimp turned up next for a cameo in Crisis on Infinite Earths #11 (February 1986). In a single panel, pictured .right, Bobo is seen talking (out loud!) with his fellow talking-ape/detective Sam Simeon, of DC's old "Angel and the Ape" title.

Bobo asks, "Sam Simeon, what is going on?" and Sam replies, "Not even Solovar knows," referring to Solovar, the leader of Gorilla City. (Gorilla City, of course, is the secret all-Gorilla metropolis that is the home of Flash's ape-foe, Gorilla Grood. Of course!)

Following this brief appearance, Bobo dropped out of sight again, and didn't resurface in the DC Universe until years later, in DC's "JLApe" event.

.In the late 1990s, DC's annuals went "ape" in an event known as "JLApe." Detective Chimp appeared in Martian Manhunter Annual #2 (1999), where he is pictured telling Manhunter, "The detective thing's just a sideline these days. I make my real money in investments."

Wow! In other words, Bobo's rich! It seems he became wealthy by investing the money he made detecting. Reader, does it seem odd to you that a chimpanzee -- no matter how smart -- could somehow manage to invest money and become wealthy, without the ability to talk, and without a Social Security number? Well, as it turns out, Bobo is no ordinary chimp.

Of course, you knew that all along (or at least since the beginning of this article) -- but did you know that Detective Chimp once swallowed a bunch of microscopic ape-aliens who operated on his brain and made him super-intelligent? It's true! You can't make this stuff up! Well, actually, you can. But keep reading...
"IF U CN RD THS" -- The Secret Origin of Detective Chimp... maybe.
.In Secret Origins #40 (May 1989), in a story titled "IF U CN RD THS" (written by Rusty Wells from a plot by Andy Helfer, art by Mark Badger), it was revealed that many years ago in Africa, Detective Chimp had undergone brain surgery performed by two tiny, ape-like space aliens!

Bobo accidentally swallowed a microscopic alien spaceship containing two miniature simian creatures named Y-Nad and K-Ram. In a scene that's a homage to the movie Fantastic Voyage, Y-Nad and K-Ram "amplify" Bobo's brain with microscopic surgery.
TRIVIA FUN FACT: "Y-Nad" and "K-Ram" are anagrams for "Andy" and "Mark," the first names of Andy Helfer and Mark Badger, this story's creators!

Pictured below: After Bobo has demonstrated his newfound intelligence by preventing the murder of a scientist, Y-Nad and K-Ram leave Bobo's body via his ear, and return to their unnamed home planet.

Meanwhile... the scientist Bobo saved takes him to America, where Bobo eventually ends up with Fred Thorpe. Then, as previously mentioned, Bobo captures Thorpe's murderer, and hooks up with Sheriff Chase. The fact that this little story is NOT mentioned in Day Of Vengeance seems to mean it is considered "out of continuity." Errr.. what's Day Of Vengeance, (some of) you ask?

Every chimp has his day... his day of VENGEANCE, that is!
.After another absence, this time of a mere 15 years, Detective Chimp returned again -- with a vengeance -- in the Day Of Vengeance mini-series, written by Bill Willingham, pencils by Justiniano, inks by Walden Wong. In this incarnation, a sarcastic, world-weary Bobo is the unofficial leader of a group of DC mystics calling themselves "The Shadowpact."

The six-issue "Day Of Vengeance" series will get an all-new one-shot special soon, and following that, the Shadowpacters will appear in their own ongoing monthly title. Yes! Bobo will soon be appearing every month in "Shadowpact," a new ongoing series from DC, to be written and drawn by Bill Willingham.

It may have taken a long time for Detective Chimp to attain superstardom, but hey! When you're eternally young, you can afford to wait! Wuk Koo!