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365 Reasons to Love Comics #104

It’s time for another hard-hitting dose of journalism here on 365 Reasons to Love Comics! Ha, ha. No. No it isn’t. It’s time for another loving look at a big ol’ gorilla. Because it’s still Ape-ril.

Today: You just can’t keep an evil dictator down. You can, however, keep his brain in a jar.


104. BrainiApe

Brainiape 4.jpg

BrainiApe takes “high concept” and kicks it into the stratosphere. Try this one on for size: BrainiApe is a super-gorilla with Hitler’s brain. And the brain happens to sit outside the skull in some sort of fishbowl. That, my friends, is probably the greatest idea Erik Larsen ever had. No offense to Mr. Larsen. I’m just saying BrainiApe is brilliant.

First appearing in Savage Dragon #23, BrainiApe started as a super-gorilla crime lord, like all good super-gorilla villains, before it was revealed, in this crossover with Hellboy, that it was really Hitler’s brain in there all along! With mind powers! Ooo. Turns out Hellboy had finally killed Hitler in 1952… or so he thought. Naturally, like with all villains from times past, they saved his brain and put it into a new body. A gorilla’s body.

Brainiape 1.jpgBrainiape 2.jpgBrainiape 3.jpg

Like I said… genius. And when BrainiApe was defeated again, Hitler’s brain hopped out and ran away. Later, the gorilla body reappeared with a different brain in it, and naturally, it just wasn’t the same. Nothing can top a gorilla with Hitler’s brain unless it was an albino gorilla with Stalin’s brain, but that would only be really cool if it fought the Hitler-brained gorilla, you see. Italics.

Luckily, Hitler regained his gorilla body and lived to fight another day. There was another storyline taking place in an alternate reality where BrainiApe was the Prime Minister of Australia and forces Dragon to fight in the Arena of Death! And Madman was there. Then, that BrainiApe blew up.

I don’t know if he’s appeared since, but dammit, he totally should. Hitler’s brain in a gorilla! C’mon! The idea really speaks for itself. Either you love it or you don’t. Obviously, I love it.

Here’s another cool image by D’Israeli:

Brainiape 5.gif

If only it was a real book.

That’s about all I have for today. Yes, the weekends tend to be sparse, sorry. We’re all very busy, I think; I do take notice of audience fluctuations over the course of the week.

However, if you’re still desperate for content from me (surely you must be, right?), you can check out my look at one of the greatest movies ever made. Or is it? U-Decide!


So if human brains in ape bodies is acceptable for Ape-ril, then we ought to see the Ultra-Humanite before the month is up. He’s not obscure like the last guy I was promoting.

As for Larsen–well, let’s just say–don’t get me started on how much I dislike his work.

So human brains in ape/monkey bodies count? That would bring in Ultra-Humanite. I know it’s a stretch, but how about Ugly Monkey from 7 Guys Of Justice? The title was written by Brian Joines, who was one of the posters of Jonah’s Kingdom Come forums, the ancestor of CBR. Monkey was a scientist whose body-swap machine trapped him in a monkey’s body.

Wow, a 7 Guys of Justice reference. Well done, Jason!

Omigod, 7 Guys of Justice was so great! My favorite moment ever involves Ugly Monkey and Lord Talon, when they’re fighting criminals and Talon suddenly shouts, “Fastball special, chum!”, picks up Ugly Monkey, and throws him at a guy.

The mental image still makes me laugh out loud.

IIRC, Hitler’s brain still had the mustasche, grew tiny little arms and legs after being removed from the brain bowl and even fired a gun once.

This month gets better and better. Brainiape is awesome enough to go in the upper echelon of gorilla villains, along with Monseur Mallah and Grodd.

april is a very long month

Flush it all away

April 15, 2007 at 11:41 am

I had never heard of Brainiape before…cool concept.

I noticed that not one Marvel ape has been featured. Of course, I can only remember one Marvel ape. But c’mon, after 40 years of publishing, there’s gotta be at least a few, right?

Gorilla-Man was featured, and he’s the primary Marvel ape, but there’s another Marvel entry coming up this week.

The Mad Monkey

April 16, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Just off the top of my head…Marvel has the Red Ghost’s Super-Apes, that dude from the Headmen with a gorilla body and human head, and the original Squadron Supreme’s own Ape-X.
Hmmm…I wonder if Moon Boy could be considered an ape/monkey…

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