Friday, November 16, 2012

Lions vs. Elephants

"Lions vs. Elephants" from Congo Bill vol.1 #2 (DC, 1954) by Nick Cardy
Hey, Congo Bill used to be a big deal. Even got his own movie serial. And that was before he ever got the magic ring that made him exchange minds with the golden ape we call Congorilla. Though his series lasted only 7 issues, he'd been a regular feature in various DC books, including More Fun where he debuted, and Action Comics, until the Silver Age forced him into that more fantastical role. I think he got a better deal than, say, the Blackhawks. And the Congorilla stories continued for a couple years in Action before moving to Adventure. He's an explorer! He gets around!

After that, though, not much. By the 80s, he was considered obscure enough to score a place in the Forgotten Heroes, and in the 90s, they tried to give him a "DC Dark" treatment with a Congorilla mini-series that corrupted his sidekick Janu, and by the end of the decade, they tried again, this time with the Vertigo imprint. It would take 10 more years for the character to return, and I'm sad to say, it was as part of the Cry for Justice Justice League. Just before the DCU rebooted, Congorilla went back to Africa to serve as one of the continent's protectors. Maybe he'll show up in Batwing.

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