In the fiction DC Universe, Detective Chimp (alias Bobo T. Chimpanzee) is a deerstalker-wearing (à la Sherlock Holmes) chimpanzee with human-level intelligence who solves crimes, often with the help of the Bureau of Amplified Animals, a group of intelligent animals that also includes Rex the Wonder Dog. He was originally created in the Golden Age of Comic Books.
After his initial appearance in Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog he continued to appear in that title as a backup feature until 1959, at which point he faded into obscurity. Several decades after his last appearance, Detective Chimp appeared in several cameos, namely in a 1981 story, "Whatever Happened to Rex the Wonder Dog" (DC Comics Presents #35) and later in a brief cameo with Sam Simeon in Gorilla City during 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths. Following these appearances, Bobo started appearing in DC titles with some regularity, appearing in issues of Green Lantern, The Flash, and other titles. This eventually led to prominent roles in the 2005 Day of Vengeance miniseries and subsequently as a regular in its spin-off series Shadowpact, through the latter's last issue, #25. The character still appears as a guest-star in DC Comics titles.
When first introduced, the Detective Chimp was a simple, although intelligent, trained chimpanzee, who acted as a "helping mascot" for the local sheriff, after helping him to solve the murder of his chimpanzee trainer, Fred Thorpe. He could not speak, but could understand humans and make himself understood.
The Chimp's origin has been revamped and elaborated on several times since his initial Silver Age appearances. 1989's Secret Origins (v2) #40 credited the experimentation of a microscopic alien race with Bobo's intelligence. This origin has since been retcon, notably in the Day of Vengeance six part limited series. In the latter it was shown that Bobo was captured in Equatorial Africa in 1953 by Fred Thorpe, who sought to train him for his carnival act: "Bobo the Detective Chimp". For the act, the Detective Chimp was trained to answer some detective-related questions using a combination of signals and rewards, giving the illusion that he could "discover the deepest secrets of the public". Bobo formed a strong bond with Thorpe because Thorpe took care of him, and gave him a simpler life than in the jungle. The success of the act lasted until a trip to Florida, at which time Rex, the Wonder Dog, took him to the Fountain of Youth, where he gained the ability to speak to all living creatures, even humans, in their own language, as well as eternal youth. (Rex's and Bobo's journey to the Fountain of Youth was originally depicted in the aforementioned DC Comics Presents #35, July 1981.) The intelligence Bobo gained put a damper on the success of the sideshow act, and in at least once instance, he decided that a woman had in fact murdered her sister, and shared his insights with the local police.
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Official Site: DC Comics
Links: Detective Chimp Wiki Entry Spider-Bob's Hero Directory Bobo the Detective Chimp