Batman No.114 March 1958 – THE BAT-APE
The Caped Crusader is almost as well known for his crime-fighting team-ups as he is his own accomplishments and accolades – there’s his long-running partnership with Superman, his allies in the Justice League and the Outsiders, a few Bat-Women, Bat-Girls, a Bat-Dog or two, and a parade of toned, taut-bodied young men dressed in stylized Peter Pan costumes which one can only describe as being an underage assortment of Michael Jacksonian proportions.
However, even with a Bat-Cow currently swelling his Bat-ranks, nothing quite compares to Batman’s gorilla sidekick, MOGO THE BAT-APE.
The grateful ape tracks the Dynamic Duo back to the Bat-Cave, which seems like a major security concern and makes me wonder how come none of Batman’s Rogues Gallery ever managed to locate the joint. Think of the criminal sideline you could generate, just hiring out gorillas to track down superheroes’ headquarters – or maybe that’s why all those ape trainers were in jail in the first place.
Rather than shooting the ape dead in order to protect his crimefighting secret, Batman allows Mogo to dress up in a spare Bat-mask and Bat-Cape and join him and his young partner as they attempt to gather evidence to clear Mogo’s master. Considering the thousands of hours Robin put into training, this gorilla getting to help them fight crime on his first night out must have felt left him feeling like a complete dick.
Never mind Dick Grayson getting passed over for cultist nutjob Azrael, I like to imagine it was Mogo who succeeded Batman during the Knightfall story arc of the Nineties. APE FALL.