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 side show 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.
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 over hears Ragman and Enchantress try to worn the rest of the bar patrons that the Spectre has gone mad and trying to destroy all magic. Most people are skeptical, and that is when Chimp speaks up. He informs them that the the situation maybe worse and produces the Phantom Stranger, who has been turned into a mouse, from his pocket. (It is never explained how Chimp found the mouseified Stranger in the first place.)
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, although Chimp will try may different names before settling on the name. 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 Spectre reveals his plan to have Black Alice steal Spectre's powers, but this does work perfectly and 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 and Chimp and the other are able to watch the final battle between The Wizard and the Spectre.
During Infinite Crisis he assembles a group of heroes to attack the Spectre.
Detective Chimp is mentioned by Ambush Bug in the Channel 52 News feature.
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.