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When DC Comics Killed Off...the Three Stooges?

In Remember to Forget, we spotlight comic book stories that I wish I could forget, but I can’t, so I instead share them with you all!

Today, we look at the way that DC's Three Stooges stand-ins, the Three Dimwits, were brought back just to be slaughtered!

The Three Dimwits could fit into their own My Name It Is Nothin' feature, which is where I spotlight examples of comic books using famous people and characters under another name. However, I think that this fits a bit better into Remember to Forget, because the way that this was handled was pretty bizarre.

In 1942's All-Flash Comics #5, Gardner Fox and E.E. Hibbard introduced Winky Moylan, Blinky Boylan and Noddy Toylan, three hapless henchmen for the crooks behind that issue's story who were obviously based on the then (and now, I guess) popular comedy team, The Three Stooges...

You could argue that this could fit into Foggy Ruins of Time, but that's more for old pop culture references that aren't completely obvious. There's no way that you could read these Flash comic books without saying, "Oh, right, it's the Three Stooges."

Now, if this was just a one-off thing, that wouldn't be too unusual. However, oddly enough, Gardner Fox just decided to make the Three Dimwits (not their official name, but that's the most common name given to this trio) regular cast members of the Flash comic. They show up in the following issue and they continue to pursue a life of crime, but are so bad at it that they practically are cops...

They then decide to get into business for themselves...

Their wacky hijinx continued in the Flash feature for almost as long as Flash maintained his series. It's really one of the boldest attempts at just saying, "Hey, you know those popular characters? Let's just add them to our comic book!"

So anyhow, the Flash's series was eventually canceled and the Three Dimwits went off to comic book limbo (technically, they went off to limbo before the Flash's series ended). Fast forward a decade and the Flash has been revived, only now it is a NEW Flash, Barry Allen, who then took over the numbering of the original Flash series (back in those days, higher numbers were considered more impressive, so comic book companies would go out of their way to keep the numbering of their earlier series - it also cost money to register a new series with the post office and this way, they saved a few bucks in the new registration).

John Broome was the main writer on this new Flash series, but Gardner Fox (who was still around and writing a lot of stories for DC Comics) also wrote a number of Flash stories (including the iconic tale where the original Flash meets Barry Allen. That story established the idea of DC's Multiverse).

Anyhow, just like in my feature I've Been Here Before , Gardner Fox brought back the Three Dimwits for a story in Flash #117 (art by Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella)...

As it turned out, no one really was missing the Three Dimwits, so that was it for them.

Decades later, Pat McGreal actually came up with an explanation for what happened to the Three Dimwits in Flash #161 (with art by Paul Pelletier and Doug Hazlewood), where, one issue after Wally West and Linda Park's honeymoon, we see what Jay and Joan Garrick's honeymoon was like. The Justice Society takes them to Vegas and the Three Dimwits follow...

In the end, they become rich and retire...

Okay, so that's their story. So what is so "wish we couldn't remember" about all of this? Read on!

Page 2: Justice!

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