DC Comics
The Helmet of Dr. Fate: Detective Chimp # 1 (of 1)
By koppy mcfad
Jan 27, 2007 - 11:16

DC Comics
Writer(s): Bill Willingham
Penciller(s): Shawn McManus
Cover Artist(s): Brian Bolland

The Helmet of Fate: Detective Chimp # 1 (of 1)
WRITER: Bill Willingham
ARTIST: Shawn McManus
COVER: Brian Bolland

The helmet of Dr. Fate falls into the hands of Detective Chimp who dons it, to become Dr. Apefate or something like that. He then starts tracking down supervillains, magical baddies and various malefactors all the while making his trademark sardonic side comments. It is funny-- mostly. The first-person narration of the chimp is amusing and the Willingham's look at the seamier side of the superhero world is always entertaining but after awhile, it can get tiresome, just hopping from one situation to another. One problem is that DC no longer has as many great detective-story writers as it used to, so today's characters can no longer amaze us with the brilliant deductions or masterful insights. Willingham clearly wants Bobo, the chimp to be a Batman-level detective genius but they way he solves crimes looks contrived. The story also seems to be all over the place. First focusing on a mass murder of a bunch of superhero-wannabees, suddenly followed by the appearance of the helmet, taking the tale into a whole different direction. The art has witty, tongue-in-cheek look to it, even when it depicts gruesome crimes or monsterous beings. But aside from that, this whole special just looks like another effort to show off: 1) how powerful the helmet of Dr. Fate is, and 2) how Bobo is so clever that he makes humans look like fools. Other than that, the story doesn't seem to have much of a point. Good thing is was just a one-shot as I doubt many people could stand Detective Chimp for extended periods.

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