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365 Reasons to Love Comics #96

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

Mod Gorilla Boss 1.jpg

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:

Gorilla Boss of Gotham.jpg

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?


This guys is just BEGGING for Grant Morrison to revive him.

Annoyed Grunt

April 6, 2007 at 8:32 pm

Is that suit off the rack or is it tailored?

A Mod in a zoot suit? Pshaw! Much less believable than the human-turned-gorilla angle. But entirely consistent with 1960s DC’s habit of confusing youth movements (as, for example, in Bob Haney’s 1950s Beatnik-speak in the mouths of ’60s teenagers).

For the 100th edition, how about Monsieur Mallah? Intelligent gorilla, wears an ammo belt, speaks with a French accent…and then it turns out that he’s gay. For the guy who made him smart. And the guy is a brain in a jar.

I’m going to have to say Mallah too. You already did Grodd and Gorilla Man. The Best remaining ones are Mallah, Detective Chimp, and Ape-X (from Squadron Supreme).

There’s only one simian sensation deserving of the 100 spot, and his name is Rex Mantooth, Kung-Fu Gorilla.

The Kirbydotter

April 7, 2007 at 8:55 am

The villain apes should band together into A.P.E.:
Anthropoids Promoting Evil.
Roster: Gorilla Grood, Monsieur Mallah, Mod Gorilla Boss, Titano, etc.

Um, been a while since I took a primate class, but a man that turned into a gorilla would be an ape. Gorilla = ape, human = ape. (no tail)

Hey forgot to mention this, greatest Gorilla in comics is a hard question, but if one thinks back to the best DC sales plot ever, its clearly the JL-Ape.

merge, fiddlesticks. i demand a full-on gang war between the mod gorilla boss and the gorilla boss of gotham city.

to the tune of “it’s hard out here for a chimp.”

Bill…if you run out of apes before 4/30, there’s always the All Purpose Espionage Squad from [i]Young Justice[/i]. That counts under “Ape-ril,” yes?


April 7, 2007 at 11:38 am

Did King Kong get his own comic?

Then how about Kingorilla?
(er… that should be Congorilla, but I was riffing on the Kong)


I used that cover to win a contest that Scott Shaw! created on his Oddball Comics column, when it was appearing on CBR.


I love this book! Not only does it have Animal Man, but its just a fun cover overall!

Thanks for posting this up.


Mallah, Detective Chimp and Ape-X are the only ones left? Has the world gone mad?!

The Ultra-Humanite! I realize he wasn’t originally an ape, but he usually is one! And he’s the greatest albino gorilla ever!

“cooler than the Living Beast Bomb”? BLASPHEMER!

I think this column is slowly becoming “here is my pitch for bringing this character back”.

C’mon, people. Clearly the ape most worthy of #100 has to be Titano. (Do any of these other apes have Kryptonite vision? No? Well, there you have it. Can’t argue with that, can you?)

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