Roy Raymond

Created by “Jack Miller (?) and Ruben Moreira (art)

Everyone loved this Raymond.

The first great private eye to appear in Detective Comics, rough-and-tumble Slam Bradley, Siegal and Schuster’s two-fisted, hardboiled throwback to the pulp era, made his last regularly scheduled appearance in 1949, in issue #152. The very next issue marked the debut of a decidedly more modern private detective–ROY RAYMOND, TV DETECTIVE. The first adventures were presented under the running title of Impossible But True, which was the name of Raymond’s very popular and successful reality show on that most amazing of new-fangled contraptions–television! On the show, Roy specialized in exposing fraud, con games and the occasional murder or two–live! On air! He was aided by his superior intellent and his beautiful (of course!) secretary Karen Duncan, who played Watson to his Holmes.

Ray was a dashing guy, tall, broad-shouldered, well-dressed and looking oh-so-smart and urbane, sucking on that pipe. He had a good long haul, appearing in Detective Comics for the better part of a dozen years. It ran under the banner of Impossible But True until issue #200, and then as just Roy Raymond, TV Detective until 274 (for some reason, skipping issue #212), and then sporadically after that, his long chain of appearances finally sputtering to a stop in issue 292 sometime in 1961. That’s a lot of hoaxes!

And then the typical comic book industry bullshit began…

Some time after that (sometime between 1961 and the mid-1970’s?), Roy was kidnapped by a madman, Roger Rivers, who captured and brainwashed Roy, and used Roy’s brilliant mind to commit acts of psycho-terrorism. Eventually, Roy was rescued by Superman, and went back to television as part of the Galaxy Broadcasting team that included anchorman Clark Kent. Roy resumed producing the same type of show that had made him famous earlier in his career, and made several appearances in the mid-70s to early 80s issues of Superman, Action Comics, and Superman Family, as well as others.

In 1981, the “classic” Roy re-emerged in the Special 500th issue of Detective Comics, in “The ‘Too Many Cooks…’ Caper” which reunited a gaggle of DC gumshoes, including fellow eyes Bradley and Jason Bard, and continued to pop up now and then in the 1980s and 1990s.

But DC was not done screwing around with Roy. Eventually, the aging Roy became somewhat bitter and greedy, and desperate for ratings, started gimmick broadcasting, such as as ill-conceived plot to track down the Swamp Thing. A clash with the creature, however, resulted in the death of Roy’s assistant and the disfigurement of Roy himself. Plastic surgery restored his face, and apparently also his common sense. Realizing what he had become, he vowed to return to his roots as a more altruistic detective.

Oh, that we could believe it…

Because, really, the classic Roy who was simply an ace detective was what most people seemed to like. 

In 1997, Roy’s son (or was it grandson?) Roy Raymond, Jr., anxious to make his own name, appears as an ambitious but criminally-inept host of a real-crime television show (à la America’s Most Wanted) in a couple of Robin comic books. Junior has since popped up sporadically as well, although so far in very minor roles.

COMICS

  • DETECTIVE COMICS
    (regular appearances from 1949 to 1961, DC Comics)
    Writers: Jack Miller
    Artists: Ruben Moreira
    .
    Note: From issue #155-200, the feature was billed as “Impossible But True.” From #201-274, it was known as “Roy Raymond, TV Detective.”
    • (November 1949, #153; first appearance)
    • “Mighty Maro — The Man Who Read Minds!” (January 1950, #155)
    • “Roy Raymond’s Rival” (March 1953, #193)
    • “Destination — Mars!” (August 1953, #198)
    • “The Money That Came To Life” (November 1956, #225)
    • “The Genius with Super Power” (January 1956, #227)
    • “The Magic Tablecloth” (October 1956, # 236)
    • “The 5th Dimension Trap” (April 1960, #278 )
    • “The Creature from the Sorcerer’s Stone” (May 1960, #279)
    • “The Mirages that Went Mad” (August 1960, #282 )
    • (1961, #292; last regular appearance)
    • “The ‘Too Many Cooks…” Caper” (March 1981, #500)

RELATED LINKS

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. thanks to Glenn R Rowsam for the extra info.

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