Timothy Trench
Created by Denny O'Neil

"Don't move an eyelash! Me an' Lulu are gonna smoke out some skunks!"
-- Tim warns Diana Prince to back off
while he does the heavy lifting, in Wonder Woman #180

"Tim Trench? Fuck, what kind of name is that?"
-- a bystander asks the obvious, in Swamp Thing #162

Originally a sometime-ally of the "new" Wonder Woman, middle-aged tough guy private eye TIMOTHY TRENCH (sheesh!) and his gun "Lulu" (sheesh again!) first showed up just in time to witness the murder of Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman's long-time, long-suffering boyfriend (think of Trevor as the "male Lois Lane").

Trench later re-appeared (looking considerably younger) as a short-lived back-up feature in Detective Comics in the mid-seventies, which chronicled the two-fisted adventures of the tough talking St. Louie gumshoe who now carried matching .357 Magnums in left and right shoulder holsters and wasn't shy about using them. His office was above a repetory theatre that always seems to be showing old Bogie flicks ("the kind of movies Hollywood doesn't make anymore...the good kind.") but don't let the hoped-for allusions to Marlowe and Spade fool ya-- this was more like Mike Hammer or maybe Race Williams.

Still, there's an intriguing mystery element in these short, punchy back-up tales -- that is, how come nobody, not even the cops, ever seems to mind Trench's seemingly obligatory two or three shoot-outs a day?

Creator/writer O'Neil, who first introduced Trench in the pages of Wonder Woman, and would later become the editor for the Batman comics at DC, has often shown a real flair and taste for detective fiction -- with and without capes. Rest assured, then, that Timothy Trench does not represent his best work -- even Trench's solo adventures were good pulpy fun while they lasted.

And I'm pretty sure O'Neil had nothing to do with Trench later donning a mask and joining the superhero team of Hero Hotline. In his only recorded mission with them in a 1996 issue of Swamp Thing, done for Vertigo, he got caught in the traffic and missed out on the action. He hasn't been seen since.

COMICS

RELATED LINKS

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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