Darwin Jones, far right, from Strange Adventures #1,
artist Paul Norris
|First appearance||Strange Adventures #1,
|Created by||David V. Reed (writer)
Paul Norris (artist)
|Alter ego||Darwin Jones|
|Abilities||analytical mind, heightened deductive reasoning, polymath|
The first Darwin Jones story appeared in Strange Adventures #1 (August 1950), written by creator David V Reed, (better known for his war and fantasy stories), and drawn by artist Paul Norris and inker Bernard Sachs. This was a single appearance as opposed to the start of a series - there were no further stories until Strange Adventures #48 (September 1954). His further appearances in the 1950s were irregular - Strange Adventures #58 (1955), #66 and #70 (1956), #76, #77, #79 and #84 (1957), then #88 and #93 (1958), after which no Darwin Jones stories were published until he eventually re-appeared in Strange Adventures #149 (February 1963) and a last story in Strange Adventures #160 (January 1964). Although he utilised many of the classic National writers and artists of the day, Strange Adventures Editor Julius Schwartz made no attempt at continuity with the production team on the stories. In thirteen stories Darwin Jones was penned by no less than eight authors: his creator David V Reed, Gardner Fox, Sid Gerson, Bill Finger, Joe Samachson, Otto Binder, John Broome, and Ed Herron, and an equally large number of artists, including Carmine Infantino, Sy Barry, Gil Kane, John Giunta, Joe Giella and Murphy Anderson.
An oddity of the series is that none of the stories were actually headlined as Dawin Jones tales, and many do not even mention him until part way through the story.
Since then there have been no further Darwin Jones stories as such; he has only made a small number of minor appearances in other titles - Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #7 (May 1983), a cameo role in the DC Comics cross-over story Crisis on Infinite Earths #9 (1985), the out-of-continuity DC staff round robin adventure DC Challenge #4-6 (February 1986 - April 1986), Power of the Atom #15 (August 1989), Action Comics #683 (November 1992) and Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear #1 (December 1995).
The character resurfaced during the 'Final Crisis' storyline and is referred to in the recent Justice League series JL: Cry for Justice (2009).
Fictional character biography
As originally created, Darwin Jones "science detective" was the Chief of Staff of D.S.I. (The Department of Scientific Investigation), a top secret U.S. Government Bureau which is 'called on to solve the unsolveable...to explain the inexplicable...and to understand the things that few men on this Earth have understood.'  In his first known case he investigated the puzzle of a famous film star who could not die, finding that a radioactive pool in Mexico that she had swum in while filming may have been the cause. His later investigations mostly involved investigating aliens, most notably rampaging alien snowmen, although an eyeless creature from inside the Earth, a robot from ancient Atlantis, and the obligatory evil super-intelligent gorilla (actually a hoax by aliens bent on world domination) also featured.
Later Darwin was made Director of the D.S.I. He had also made the acquaintance of a group of youths called the Young Scienceers, who had made him an honorary member, and together with the club President, Tommy Dane, Jones once again defeated an alien plot. After this, nothing is known of his exploits until he was contacted by Lois Lane to help the Metropolis police solve a murder.
Later, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, he was one of the team of superheroes and scientists investigating the time and space anomalies caused by the Anti-Monitor. By 1989 Jones and other scientists had created a computer mind, 'The Gestalt' - a 'revolutionary brain implant that links our minds to the Gestalt and each other' so they can share their knowledge directly. Unfortunately the Gestalt began working autonomously, creating a cyber-villain, Humbug which took The Atom to defeat. He next encountered Superman while investigating cattle mutilations and a mysterious plane crash in Ohio, his last actual appearance to date.
- On p4 of 'Know Evil' (Final Crisis #3, September 2008), Father Time, the Commander of the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive (S.H.A.D.E.) has an off-page conversation with an unseen 'Darwin'. Although this has not actually been confirmed as Darwin Jones, the two are contemporaneous heads of U.S. Government Agencies (covert or otherwise), both responsible for investigating threats to the country so a link is likely.
- Strange Adventures #1 (August 1950)
- 'The Girl who Couldn't Die' , Strange Adventures #1 (August 1950)
- 'Invaders From the Ice World' , Strange Adventures #79 (April 1957)
- 'The Radar Man' , Strange Adventures #48 (September 1954)
- 'The Robot From Atlantis' Strange Adventures #76 (January 1957)
- 'The Gorilla War Against Earth' , Strange Adventures #88 (January 1958)
- 'The Would Be King of Earth' , Strange Adventures #149 (February 1963)
- 'Captives of the Eclipse' , Strange Adventures #160 (January 1964)
- 'Reflection of Murder' , Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #7 (May 1983). Note: this tale is marked as no longer in continuity in some online indexes, although there appears to be no reason for this - it is possible that the indexer was confused by the Lois Lane story appearing as a backup in a Supergirl title which is no longer regarded as part of DC continuity.
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #9 (December 1985)
- 'All In the Mind' , 'Power of the Atom' #15 (August 1989)
- 'The Trail of The Jackal' , Action Comics #683 (November 1992)
- but see note #1 above