Friday, August 21, 2015


Twang your magic twanger, chimpie.
It's my contention that every superhero should have an ape opponent or two. It's worked out just fine for Superman, Batman and the Flash, after all, and I'm very happy to say that it works out for Green Arrow, too!

Confronting for the second time Bonzo the Ape Archer in the pages of World's Finest Comics vol.1 No.116 ("The Ape Archer," March 1961), Green Arrow and his young sidekick Speedy find themselves pitted against a simian crime spree committed by a naughty little monkey in a purple archer suit.

It's because of your boring anecdotes, Bart!
Apparently all archers in the DC universe just wear what amounts to outfits which are identical to the early Green Arrow costume. I've seen red, white, blue and yellow variants on the costume, alien archers from outer space wearing the same dealie-bob, archers from around the world wearing identical costumes with regional additions. They make one archer outfit and it's that one, it's like flipping through a particularly unsatisfying customization feature on a video game from fifteen years ago.

Bonzo's own costume is purple and adorable. Whoever had the idea of putting a chimp in a purple Green Arrow suit, my hat is off to you, sir or madam.

Bonzo's crime career started under the tutelage of his trainer, evil circus employee (aren't they all?) Bart Rockland. Training Bonzo to become an expert archer on par with Green Arrow and Speedy, Rockland then executed the second part of his ingenious plan - namely, running around in broad daylight with a gaily costumed chimp, ripping off jewelers' stores. How they say through his plots, I couldn't imagine.

Chimp soap operas.
With Rockland in jail, Bonzo was rehabilitated and sent to the circus with a new trainer, which just seems to be asking to get your face ripped off. Unfortunately, his criminal behavior appears to have started back up, as a violet vine-swinger is seen holding up fancy dinner parties and making off with society dames' comically large jeweled brooches.

It doesn't take Green Arrow or Speedy very long to figure out that Bonzo is innocent of the charges and that it is in fact his new trainer, Lance, dressed in a Bonzo costume, doing crimes! Unusually for a story of the nature at this time in comics history, Bonzo has absolutely nothing to do with the capture of his crooked trainer, nor does he actually play much of a role in the story except as a red herring. With that being said, I feel that only leaves the character of Bonzo the Ape Archer open to being brought back - he's basically a blank check! Whether he's a man in a monkey suit or a monkey in a man suit, he's got potential as a master criminal - let's get Bonzo on Arrow! 

1 comment:

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Whoa, a chimp? Lance must've been a very slight lad indeed to pull off that masquerade. Otherwise, he'd look like Mr. Phipps:

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