The Greatest Story Ever Told
While I was working on re-pricing the back issues down at the Wiz today, I ran across what may be--and I realize I say this a lot, but just bear with me here--the single greatest comic book ever printed.
So what makes me so sure that this time I really have struck gold? Oh, I don't know. How about the fact that it's called Giant Super-Heroes Battle Super-Gorillas?!
Should you have any other questions about why this comic is awesome, I refer you to Batman drop-kicking a fifty-foot tall ape right there on the cover.
It set me back a cool two-fitty, but with a cover like that, I knew I had to own it. And the inside was just as good. Three stories, all of which feature your favorite DC characters going toe-to-toe with super-powered gorillas. And that has been clinically proven to be totally rad. Don't take my word for it; It's science.
Our first story takes place where else but the deep jungles of Central Africa, which, according to Jimmy Olsen's white, pipesmoking tour guide, is "rapidly yielding to civilization." I'm pretty sure that guy's completely insane, because in the very next panel he tells Jimmy that the rhinocerous and lion Jimmy's looking at "are so used to tourists they've become half tame!"
Now while his argument may hold water in the cheerier comic book version of, say, Rwanda, I'm just imagining the kid in 1958 who read that lions and rhinoceri were no longer a threat and ended up getting mauled at the zoo that summer. That thought, friends, is worth two-fifty alone. And it just gets better from there.
While Jimmy and Pipes McWhiterson are rolling through the jungle, a giant golden ape busts onto the scene and starts causing trouble, especially when they find out that bullets bounce right off. Cue Superman, who reasons that the monkey, hereafter referred to as "King Krypton," was a test monkey for the Krypton space program, blown to Earth during the explosion. He starts copying Superman, even going so far ast to steal the guy's cape, and we can't be having that, now can we?
So Jimmy and Cracker McCorncob go looking for some Kryptonite in the jungle, instead finding the ruins of an ancient Roman arena (!) and a "wild tribe" made up of "descendants of the ancient Romans, who reverted to jungle natives" (!!), armed with Kyrptonite spears (!!!). They decide, of course, to have Superman and King Krypton fight to the death in the arena. Then the giant ape sacrifices his own life to save Superman from a huge chunk of kryptonite, revealing that he's actually a Kryptonian scientist devolved to a gorilla who was then shot into space in the hopes that cosmic rays would transform him back.
And there are still two more stories.
The second piece, a Flash story featuring Super-Gorilla Grodd making a nuisance of himself and not threatening to eat anyone, isn't as good, but following up the story of Superman and a monkey battling to death in an ancient Roman-African Arena, what would be?
The third story, though... Now here's some high comedy. It involves Batman and Robin facing off against "the most bizarre opponent of their careers," Gorilla Boss, a mobster who has his brain transplanted into the body of a giant monkey on the night of his execution. Despite a Nefarious Plot™ to put Batman's brain into the Gorilla's body after he goes on a crime-spree, everything works out okay when Batman realizes that the Gorilla's only stealing cash in thousand-dollar bills, the mobster's trademark.
You know, even with the trend of nostalgia sweeping through comics these days, you don't see Gorilla Boss too much anymore. That can probably be attributed to the fact that his real name is "Boss Dyke."
Now I'm not sure how they rolled back in the '50s, but in some circles today, that has an entirely different meaning. And they just won't stop saying it, either, to the point of hilarity. My personal favorite usage:
"The gorilla--I mean, Dyke--has only been workin' a week."
Seriously, there is no price too high for that kind of comedy.