Real Name: Kenneth Hale
Identity/Class: Transformed human (by curse)
Group Membership: Agents of Atlas/G-Men (Human Robot (M-11), Marvel Boy (Robert Grayson), Namora, Venus (a Naiad), Jimmy Woo);
Formerly S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Howling Commandos unit (Abominable Snowman, Bradley Beemer, Brother Voodoo, Clone of Frankenstein, Glob/Joe Timms, Groot, Hellstorm, It the Living Colossus, Lilith, Living Mummy, Joshua Pryce, Clay Quartermain, Sasquatch/Walter Langkowski, Vampire by Night, Warwolf/Vince Marcus, Zombie"John Doe", many others)
Affiliations: Atlas Foundation, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mr. Lao (Benson), Jann of the Jungle, Kal'ti, Derek Khanata, Professor X, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), X-Men (Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl), Yellow Claw (Plan Tzu)
Enemies: Atlas Foundation (rogue parts), Merlin (or
an aspect - or possibly doppelganger - of him), "Mutant Crabs", Shadow Warriors, Skrulls, Suwan, Fritz Voltzmann;
formerly Mr. Lao, Yellow Claw (Plan Tzu)
Known Relatives: Lily Hale (wife)
Base of Operations: Area 13, Pine Barrens, New
(formerly) Kenya, Africa
First Appearance: Men's Adventures#26 (March, 1954)
Powers/Abilities: Gorilla-Man possessed all the natural abilities of a gorilla but with human-level intelligence. He was stronger and more agile than an average human being.
Weight: 340 lbs.
History: (Men's Adventures#26) - Kenneth Hale had nightmares of two gorillas fighting each other, dreams which would end with one victorious over the other's body. Haunted by his dreams, he became interested in the legend of Gorilla-Men, and sought out his explorer friend Benson for help. Benson told him of a legend of half-human/half-gorilla creatures in Africa, and how their leader would fight another for the title of king. Hale determined that he would go to Africa and find the Gorilla-Man. He said farewell to his wife, and set off for Kenya.
Unable to find any sort of guide in Kenya, he ventured into the jungles alone, until he found the Gorilla-Man. Unable to bring himself to shoot the creature in the back, he grappled against it with his bare hands. After a ferocious struggle, the Gorilla-Man lay dead at Hale's feet, and Hale had himself been transformed into the new Gorilla-Man. Just as in the dream, he stood victorious over the dead Gorilla-Man's body. --Story a bit retconned in Agents of Atlas.
(Agents of Atlas I#2 (fb) ) - Hale was a man on a quest to cheat death.
(Agents of Atlas I#6 (fb) ) - Mr. Lao posing as human scholar told him about the legend of the Gorilla-Man.
(Agents of Atlas I#2 (fb) ) - He found the Gorilla-Man, but couldn't bring it down because it was too manlike. Hale didn't find his way out of the jungle and became sick. He eventually encountered the Gorilla-Man again and this time Hale shot him. The Gorilla-Man turned into an elderly man upon his death while Hale himself became the new Gorilla-Man.
(Agents of Atlas I#1 (fb) ) - Jimmy Woo, who was
putting together a team to save President Eisenhower, used Jann of the
Jungle to find Gorilla-Man.
Along with the G-Men Hale attacked Yellow Claw's Mongolian fortress. They easily went through his soldiers, but inside they were nearly overpowered by Voltzmann's Shadow Warriors. Marvel Boy saved his teammates and M-11 captured Voltzmann, but Yellow Claw and his niece Suwan were already gone, despite transmitting their holograms from their escape vehicle. President Eisenhower was saved and the G-Men brought him back to the United States.
(Agents of Atlas I#5 (fb) - BTS) - One mission led the G-Men into San Francisco's bay area.
(Agents of Atlas I#1 (fb) - BTS) - After six months activity the G-Men were disbanded.
(Agents of Atlas I#2 (fb) - BTS) - During the 1980s Hale returned to the Gorilla Man valley to see if the curse could be removed, but the place was a war zone.
(Agents of Atlas I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Hale left and soon encountered Venus (the Naiad). He told her about the horros he saw and she went to the valley to help bring peace to the area.
(X-Men: First Class I#8) - When X-Men mentor Charles Xavier fell victim to the valley, vanishing after sending out a telepathic distress call, wildlife photographer Miriam Christiansen suggested her friend Hale as a local guide to her nephew Warren Worthington III (Angel). The X-Men convinced Hale to assist them and they eventually located Xavier within a cave with an entrance carved to resemble a face. The cave's mouth closed when they entered and the X-Men where overwhelmed by feelings of despondency. Hale was unaffected and realized that the cave's enchantment was a trap. He forced Cyclops to breach the cave roof with his optic blasts and then helped the X-Men escape. After the cave's collapse, Hale declined to return to the US with the X-Men.
(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#1 (fb)-BTS) - At some point, Gorilla-Man was recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Howling Commandos unit, and was made a member of their main squad.
(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#1) - The Howling Commandos launched an assault on a doomsday cult that was utilizing technology bought from the Lords of the Living Lightning. After defeating their targets, the Commandos returned to Area 13.
(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#2) - Gorilla-Man was sent with the Commandos to track down and capture Groot. Afterwards, He and Warwolf met with the Commandos' newest recruit, the Glob, and explained their situation to him.
(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#4) - When Goom broke out of his cell at Area 13, Gorilla-Man brought him down single-handedly. He then discussed with Groot the terms and conditions of being a member of the squad. When the recently-freed Merlin's forces assaulted Area 13, Gorilla-Man was among the Commandos to face them down.
(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#5) - With Area 13 overrun by Merlin's forces, Warwolf and Gorilla-Man realized that the portal to Merlin's location was still open. They had the cells to all of the giant monsters being held opened, and jumped through the portal just before a stampede of monsters followed them. The main group of Commandos regrouped, and were soon joined by Groot, who returned from the stampede and offered his services.
(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#6) - The Commandos waited just outside of Merlin's camp, and were soon joined by dozens of other Commando members who followed them through the portal. The group then launched an assault on Merlin's forces. During the battle, Gorilla-Man and Warwolf located Merlin, who fled when he realized he couldn't win this fight.
(Agents of Atlas I#3 (fb) ) - Gorilla-Man met M-11 during a recon mission for SHIELD. The robot told him about Woo's critical condition. It requested Hale's help to retrieve Woo from SHIELD's Mojave Base and to call Marvel Boy (Grayson) for assistance.
(Agents of Atlas I#1) - SHIELD learned about the G-Men and Hale gave Dugan and Khanata a debriefing on his former team as part of an investigation on Jimmy Woo. He later worked together with M-11 to break out the heavily injured, aged Jimmy Woo. They escaped in Marvel Boy's flying saucer. Inside the ship M-11 witnessed how Uranian technology restored Woo's body to a youthful and healed state (and a bit of memory loss).
(Agents of Atlas I#2) - Gorilla-Man, M-11, Marvel Boy and Woo caught SHIELD agent Derek Khanata when his investigations brought him to Woo's house. They took Khanata with them to Africa, where Hale was originally transformed into Gorilla-Man, to pick up Venus. Through M-11's eyes Yellow Claw had watched every move Woo and his team made and finally attacked them with a robot duplicate of himself and some Automatons in Africa.
(Agents of Atlas I#3) - Gorilla-Man, Woo and Marvel Boy defeated Yellow Claw's robots. The team returned to San Francisco in Marvel Boy's flying saucer. Woo remembered how he hand-picked the team and Khanata pointed out that M-11 wasn't picked by him, but brought to him by Namora. In San Francisco the team returned to the place where Woo accessed the underground with his killed team, but they found nothing special there. They were later told by M-11 that Namora wasn't dead and gave them the coordinates where to find her. They found Namora's coffin.
(Agents of Atlas I#4) - Yellow Claw watched through M-11 how Woo's team found Namora. Marvel Boy realized that the dead Namora was an illusion. M-11 freed Namora from the block of ice she was in while the rest fought giant crabs. Namora helped when she was free again and later thanked M-11 and joined Woo's team against the Atlas Foundation.
Gorill-Man helped taking down several operations of the Atlas Foundation including Atlas Nursery, Atlas Mortuary, Atlas Biotech, Atlas Orphanage and many others (not Atlas Comics though Hale was sure it was a front).
During a break on a Fiji island Gorill-Man had a beer. The team was attacked again by Yellow Claw -- using animated Terra Cotta Warriors. They left after defeating them and Woo finally realized that someone among them was a double agent.
(Agents of Atlas I#5) - Woo's team went to San Francisco's bay area to an inactive shipyard. Venus snapped upon realizing what she really was (after hearing Namora's story about the legends of a Naiad, who had been turned into a human). Upon listening to her scream, the whole team learned from Khanata's memory that M-11 was a traitor. Marvel Boy (Grayson) destroyed M-11, but the robot rebuilt itself while the others had to fight Namora, who got really mad over M-11's destruction (because the robot remembered her when nobody else did). Woo asked the rebuilt M-11 to sever his connection to Golden Claw and the robot did it because it was part of Woo's team. M-11 then showed the team footage of Woo's last SHIELD mission that revealed that the Atlas Foundation had also an agent in SHIELD. Woo and Marvel Boy weren't too surprised when they found out that M-11 was built by the Atlas Foundation (inside his chest cavity was a part by Atlas Semiconduction).
(Agents of Atlas I#6) - After reviewing the footage played to them by M-11 again, Woo returned with his team again to San Francisco and the place where he was nearly killed. With the right password (Master Plan) an elevator brought them down to a hidden temple where the dragon Mr. Lao attacked them like Woo's SHIELD team before. Protected by M-11's energy shield the team survived and Hale recognized Lao's voice as the man, who had sent him to Africa many years ago. The team finally learned that Woo was an descendant of Golden Claw and therefore also of Ghengis Khan. Woo became the new COE of the Atlas Foundation and Golden Claw was consumed by Mr. Lao. Hale stayed with the Agents of Atlas.
(Spider-Man Family#4/2) - The Agents of Atlas watched Spider-Man chase a creations of a rogue, occult Atlas branch. They later worked together with Spider-Man to defeat the branch, that viewed the Agents of Atlas as usurpers and planned to oppose them with totemic automatons empowered by stolen human life forces. Afterwards Marvel Boy made Spider-Man forget them and he only remembered them as the Agents of Butterfly. He remembered Hale as an ape called Oregon.
(Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust?#1/5) - During the "Secret Invasion" Gorilla-Man and Human Robot freed a captured Namora from the Skrulls at Pox International Airport and kidnapped one of them. The Skrulls eventually found their ship and attacked, but the Agents of Atlas fought back and in the end the Human Robot was ordered by Woo to use his Death-Ray and all attacking Skrulls were killed. The Agents of Atlas then began to plan their underground movement against the Skrull invasion.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Robert Q. Sale.
Although Uatu quickly covered Gorilla-Man's origins in What If I#9, he didn't get any actual flashback panels like the rest of the 50's Avengers.
Gorilla-Man in What if I#9 (Earth-9904):
(What If I#9) - In 1958, the Gorilla-Man was sought out by the super-hero Marvel Boy to serve as a member of the Avengers, a team being set up by FBI agent Jimmy Woo. With the aid of Jann of the Jungle, Marvel Boy found the Gorilla-Man fighting a pack of lions, and they helped him drive them off. The Gorilla-Man was reluctant to return to the United States (for fear of being so close to his wife), but Marvel Boy promised to help find a cure for him using the science of the Eternals of Uranus, so the Gorilla-Man agreed, and joined the Avengers alongside Marvel Boy, 3-D Man, the Human Robot and Venus.
The heroes had difficulty working close alongside one another, and the Gorilla-Man in particular got his ire up after the 3-D Man made a crack about their base smelling like a zoo. The two of them grappled, but were settled down by Venus using her love-power. Just then, they received a communication from Jimmy Woo, who had witnessed the capture of President Ike Eisenhower by the superhuman forces of the Yellow Claw, so they set off to combat them.
Breaking into the Yellow Claw's base, the Gorilla-Man tried to fight Electro, but was frightened off by his electical powers. Instead, he tackled the Cold Warrior and threw him at Skull-Face just as Marvel Boy did the same; the two collided and Skull-Face broke into pieces. Gorilla-Man then took one of Skull-Face's leg bones and smacked the Great Video over the head with it. All of the villains were defeated and the President rescued, although the Yellow Claw escaped.
Afterwards, the President disbanded the Avengers, afraid of how the public might react to their presence. Marvel Boy agreed to keep up his bargain with the Gorilla-Man, and find a cure for him on Uranus.
Was the Gorilla-Man ever cured? Who knows. I just hope he wasn't on Uranus when Deathurge smashed the life dome open. The answer is now a resounding "Nope." - Madison
A note on the Avengers of the 1950's: In the Avengers Forever limited series they were seemingly ret-conned out of existence. However, in a personal communication with Kurt Busiek (on Avengers Message Board), he specifically stated that he did not wipe the Avengers of the 1950s from existence. One alternate timeline containing them was wiped out. The group may well have existed in the mainstream past, but they just weren't called the Avengers. He suggested the name: "The G-Men".
Hale's origin was reprinted in Chamber of Chills#23
In his original origin Ken Hale (Gorilla Man) met his friend Benson at the Explorer's Club (you know the HQ for the Monster Hunters) and Ken Hale lived in the town of West Haven.
---While the Affiliations section lists Mr. Lao AS Ken's friend Benson, a flashback in the Gorilla-Man mini-series shows that Mr. Lao was introduced to Ken Hale AS Mr. Lao, which makes Ken's friend Benson a separate character. It all works out nicely though because all Mr. Lao did in the flashback was give Ken the idea of killing the Gorilla-Man & maps to its location. Ken's first appearance begins with him suffering nightmares about the Gorilla-Man. My guess is Lao introduced the idea to Ken, who pondered on the idea of killing an animal for days, the stress of which gave him nightmares & in an attempt to rid himself of the nightmares, he spoke to various people about the Gorilla-Man, including his explorer friend Benson. -Proto-Man
Profile by Prime Eternal Update by Markus Raymond (Agents of Atlas appearances)
Gorilla-Man should not be confused with:
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#4, p4, pan4 (as Howling Commando)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcover#4: Gorilla-Man (as Agent of Atlas)
Men's Adventures#26 (March, 1954) - Robert Q. Sale (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#1 (December, 2005) - Keith Giffen (writer), Eduardo Francisco (pencils), Kris Justice & Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#2 (January, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Eduardo Francisco (pencils), Rob Campanella (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#3 (February, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Dan Norton (pencils), Terry Pallott (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#4 (March, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Derec Aucoin (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#5 (April, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Derec Donovan (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#6 (May, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Mike Norton (pencils), Derec Aucoin & Norman Lee (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Agents of Atlas I#1-6 (October, 2006 - March, 2007) - Jeff Parker (writer), Leonard Kirk (pencils), Kris Justice (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
X-Men: First Class I#8 (June, 2007) - Jeff Parker (writer), Roger Cruz (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Spider-Man Family#4 (October, 2007) - Jeff Parker (writer), Leonard Kirk (pencils), Kris Justice (inks), Nathan Cosby (editor)
Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust?#1 (August, 2008) - Jeff Parker (writer), Leonard Kirk (pencils), Karl Kesel (inks), Nick Lowe, Mark Paniccia & Tom Brevoort (editors)
First Posted: 07/12/2003
Last updated: 09/11/2013
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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