Here’s a fun little romp reprinted in DC Special #16: Super-Heroes Battle Super-Gorillas.

Batman Battles Gorilla

Okay. So there’s this criminal genius, see, and he invents this device that can imbue him with the abilities of any animal. So what animal does he choose? Yep, that’s right—a kangaroo…

Anyway, it all goes wrong for bionics* expert Walter Hewitt when he decides to use his machine on a gorilla he buys from a traveling circus: the experiment backfires and the gorilla ends up with his brain!

Initially the gorilla, Karmak, mentally commands Hewitt to go on a rampage around Gotham City. Not surprisingly he is soon confronted by Batman, who defeats him easily. Karmak is sure that Batman only won because he’s too experienced a fighter. If he, Karmak, uses his new smarts, he’s sure he can overcome the caped crusader. He’s right, and soon uses the brain-swap device on Batman. Now Karmak has all Batman’s fighting skills! Luckily enough, the dark knight detective retains the rest of his brain power and personality.

Karmak

Then, in a surprising move, Karmak decides to strap some explosives to his chest and taunt Batman. If the bomb explodes, he explains, it will destroy Gotham—and it cannot be removed! Batman, who’s cleverly drenched his gloves in a serious anesthetic, soon puts Karmak to sleep. But, to his dismay, the bomb is still ticking! Gasp!

Batman Strains

Luckily, Batman quickly realises that the bomb stops ticking when Karmak is not on the ground. He hauls the prone gorilla above his head and stands there, puffing hard at the exertion. Robin lends his sturdy thigh muscles to the effort, until…

…er, nothing happens.

The bomb stops ticking of its own accord and everyone goes home. As a reward for starting this whole thing in the first place, Hewitt is awarded a job by Batman!

Now that’s odd.

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*This bizarre effort was written by Gardner Fox. As usual for a Fox script, we learn some unusual facts in passing, such as ‘bionics’ being “the study of living creatures and the attempt to duplicate their special abilites.”

Art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.

DC Special #16

Images ©2013 DC Comics