INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Uh oh. #100’s coming up. I’m going to need a really special ape for that one. Hmm. Decisions…
Anyway, Ape-ril continues today with a cool comics gorilla you may have forgotten about, and who definitely deserves a comeback.
96. The Mod Gorilla Boss
Look at that sweet cover. (The event depicted indeed occurs within the book’s pages!) I love the way the go-go-checks accentuate the black and white lines of the Gorilla Boss’s zoot suit. Yes, that is the most unlikely sentence you’ll read today. An infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters would never come up with a sentence like that. Stuff the probability.
Jeezum crow, this guy is a zoot suit riot (riot! throw back a bottle of beer). I can’t say that the story appears to be that great, but the concept (oh lordy, the concept) is fantastic. I want to bring this guy back.
The Mod Gorilla Boss is the greatest super-villain to come out of Montana. In fact, he’s the “boss” of a gang composed of a good third of the population of Montana– two people, who can best be described as “some guy and a dwarf.” And his most famous line? Probably “Grrrr-ow!”
You can see quite a few panels of the Mod Gorilla Boss story over at Dial B for Blog. It’s zany and brilliant, in a decidedly Silver Age-y way.
Unfortunately, the Mod Gorilla Boss turned out to be a human gangster, who, for some reason, decided to inject himself with a chemical that turned him into a giant talking gorilla and went on a crime spree in his Sunday best. I guess he’s not really an ape.
Here, however, is my proposal for a revival: Let’s make him a real ape. In fact, let’s make him Gorilla Grodd’s nephew, and let’s merge him with a wacky Golden Age idea– the Gorilla Boss of Gotham:
Of course, he’d be from Gorilla City, so he’d have little understanding of American culture. In order to learn everything he can about being a crime boss, he’d watch old gangster movies– the kind starring fellows like James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. So he’d be carrying around a tommy gun and speaking like a stereotypical old-timey gangster, see? It’d be great fun. He’d be the best semi-new Bat-baddie in ages. Way cooler than the Living Beast Bomb.
So with a dash of revamp, the Mod Gorilla Boss can rise again. And he could totally team up with the Mad Mod from Teen Titans.
Luckily, the Mod Gorilla Boss hasn’t been completely forgotten. Dial B for Blog remembered him, after all. And you can also find bits on our ape-y friend at Oddball Comics and Something Awful. Mod Gorilla Boss fan art exists, too! On Billy Blog, you can find pencil and ink versions of a cool drawing of the ol’ ape.
You really can’t beat the Mod Gorilla Boss’ visual. It has stayed in comics consciousness for years, so why not bring the big fella back?
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