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365 Reasons to Love Comics #95

Ape-ril’s just getting started, baby. Today’s spotlighted character is the next big thing in the comics ape world. Don’t believe me? You will.


95. Gorilla-Man

Gorilla Man 1.jpg

Booze. Guns. Apes. Globes. Everything a red-blooded, comics-reading American or ally thereof needs. Booyah.

Gorilla-Man (well, the first one) originally appeared in Men’s Adventures #26 in 1954. The Gorilla-Man is really Ken Hale, a dude who tracked down the Gorilla-Man in Africa… only to be cursed into becoming the Gorilla-Man himself! (How many times can I use “Gorilla-Man” in a sentence? Three so far. Let’s see if I can top it by the end of the column.)

So from what I gather, that was the last the world heard of Gorilla-Man before What If? #9, introducing the 1950’s Avengers:

Gorilla Man 4.jpg

And that was the last we heard of that until Avengers Forever, when the 50’s Avengers entered into the regular Marvel timeline, thanks to Kurt Busiek. And hey, we got a Frank Quitely drawing out of it:

Gorilla Man 3.jpg

But shamefully, Gorilla-Man once again fell into comics limbo. It would take a brave man to bring Gorilla-Man back to a world. A brilliant man. A man named… Jeff Parker.

Lo and behold, there is such a man, and he wrote a little mini called Agents of Atlas, a revitalization of the 50’s Avengers concept in the regular MU and present day. The blogosphere went crazy over it. I mean, it was the only series where one could find a robot carrying around a Gorilla-Man who was firing four automatic weapons at once:

Gorilla Man 2.JPG

This is exactly why comics are awesome.

And Mr. Parker didn’t stop there. The sales on Agents of Atlas weren’t the best, no, but it has a hardcover collected edition out that you can buy. And Jeff Parker is bringing the Gorilla-Man back for more Gorilla-Man action! Check out the upcoming X-Men: First Class #8 or perhaps Marvel Adventures: Avengers #14, in which the Agents of Atlas creative team, Jeff Parker and Leonard Kirk, will team up again to bring the Agents back! (MA: Avengers is the most fun comic Marvel is currently publishing. Forsake your possible prejudices against all-ages titles and pick up an issue!)

Gorilla Man 5.jpgGorilla Man 6.jpg

Comics Should Be Good: Telling you to buy good things. Oh yeah.

Gorilla-Man is finally getting the exposure he so rightly deserves. I think I’m right in saying he’s Marvel’s first (and best) talking ape character, and since Marvel is sadly lacking an abundance of talking apes, they need all the Gorilla-Man they can get.

Now if only there’d be a comic where the Ken Hale Gorilla-Man fought the other Gorilla-Man, Arthur Nagan, a member of the Headmen, whose entire gimmick is that he’s a human head sewn on a gorilla’s body, and we’d finally have the Gorilla-Man-on-Gorilla-Man action we all so crave. (And that’s four. Huzzah!)

Look, I give you pictures by Coker! Djurdjevic! Kirby! Kirk! Quitely! The best artists in comics love Gorilla-Man. So do I. And, hopefully, so do you.


OK, I’ll agree that Gorilla-Man is awesome, and the Human Robot, Gorilla-Man, and four machine guns is awesome…

But I personally do not crave any Gorilla-Man-on-Gorilla-Man action. In fact, that kinda scares me…

“But I personally do not crave any Gorilla-Man-on-Gorilla-Man action. In fact, that kinda scares me…”

Geex, this blog is so homophobic. It’s not funny and I’m never coming back here again!

(that’s called sarcasm)

Anyway, this is one sweet looking ape. I’ve been debating reading Agents of Atlas, but now that I know it’s got a gorilla with machine guns, it just moved up my list of trades to check out.

And the Marvel Adventures comics are the best comics Marvel has, period.

geez, not geex

Robots! Apes! Machine guns!

You convinced me – I need to track down a copy of Agents of Atlas. At least in that one pic, the art looks pretty cool.

Before Agents of ATLAS, Gorilla Man appeared in Sgt Fury’s Howling Commandos, a nice little series with Giffen involved about Marvel’s monsters working for S.H.I.E.L.D.

And, yes, he was cool in that, too.

Parker’s Agents of Atlas is really good fun.

The hardcover shall be mine!

*puts on his continuity nerd hat*

Actually, Avengers Forever didn’t bring the ’50s Avengers into the main Marvel timeline. Instead, Wasp and Captain Marvel visited the What If? timeline, had a brief meet-and-fight, and then Immortus erased that timeline from existence.

Did have a Skrull Nixon, though.

Actually, I think the guy in the Headmen is called Man-Gorilla.

Which makes a fight between the two even more necessary.

Welcome to Marvel, the house of idea.

There is yet another Gorilla-Man. He was introduced in Tales to Astonish #28 and made a second appearance in #30. Jack Kirby drew the stories.

Here’s the cover to #28…

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