Showcase #66

January-February 1967 DC Comics
Cover: An awkwardly posed B'Wana Beast punches out a gorilla.

Cover Artist: Sekowsky & Giella.

The Birth of B'Wana Beast

Writer: Unknown.
Artist: Unknown.

With the help of his gorilla companion, Djuba, in a secret hideout at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, ranger Mike Maxwell drinks a special serum and dons a silly helmet to become one of DC Comic's silliest superheroes, B'Wana Beast. B'Wana Beast claims to be "the howling new one from DC-- which roars where other jungle books purrrr!" I have no idea what that really means. Basically, B'Wana Beast gets animals to help him by shouting things like "Ki-ki-kiuuueeeeee!" sort of like a 'jungle Aquaman.' In this origin issue, he fights a villain named Hamid Ali, "He Who Never Dies." He may not die, but he does use a big orange mechanical crocodile to smash up the jungle. B'Wana Beast beats him by riding around on a hundred-foot-tall rhino. At no time in this comic does B'Wana Beast hit a gorilla, as shown on the cover.

The thing that stands out most in this comic is just how bad the art is. The people are usually poorly proportioned, and it looks like the artist has never even seen most of the animals that were drawn. Why B'Wana Beast didn't catch on is pretty obvious.

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