Real Name: None

Identity/Class: Simian (Old West era)

Occupation: Trained animal, former carnival performer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Dr. Kurt Karlbad

Enemies: Rawhide Kid

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile in the American west

First Appearance: Rawhide Kid I#39 (April, 1964)

Powers/Abilities: The Ape was a trained gorilla who could follow the orders of Dr. Karlbad and respond to his whistles. It could perform unusual tricks, such as firing a rifle. It had originally served in a carnival.

History: (Rawhide Kid I#39) - Dr. Karlbad sent the Ape to capture the Rawhide Kid when he rode into town, wanting to use the Kid in an experiment to transplant a human brain into the Ape's body. The Kid managed to escape from the doctor, and the doctor went on the run with the Ape.

The Rawhide Kid alerted the authorities, and they began to hunt Dr. Karlbad and the Ape. Dr. Karlbad was not seen again, but the Ape went on a series of public rampages and robberies, and even managed to defeat a posse by shooting at them with a shotgun.

The Rawhide Kid pursued the Ape, and began to suspect that Karlbad had placed his own brain inside of the Ape. After the Ape attacked a wagon and stole a man's son, the Kid caught up to the Ape and rescued the boy, then drove the Ape off so that he could follow him back to Karlbad. The Ape realized it was being followed, and when the Kid tried to cross over a tree bridge, it knocked the tree off then hurled boulders after the Kid, but the Kid survived.

The Kid caught up to the Ape at the cave where it hid, and he heard Karlbad from inside. Karlbad shot at the Kid from within the cave, and the Kid fired inside, and demanded Karlbad's surrender. The Ape emerged, and turned itself into his custody. There was no sign of Karlbad. The Kid brought the Ape back to Karlbad's daughter Virginia, and did not tell her what he suspected.

Little did the Kid realize that Karlbad had exited the cave through a secret back entrance, and was waiting to set the Ape free...

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Dick Ayers.

Talk about cop-outs! You really are led to believe that the Ape is Karlbad until the final panel, where a caption box explains it all away. Not that scientists performing brain-swapping operations with gorillas are really to be desired in western comics, but c'mon!

The Rawhide Kid had a hallucination where he fought the Ape again in Rawhide Kid II#4.

Karlbad's first name was revealed in Ape's profile in the Marvel Pets Handbook.

by Prime Eternal

The Ape should not be confused with:


Dr. Karlbad was a mad scientist who thought he could exchange the brain of the Ape with that of a man. He wanted to use the Rawhide Kid's brain, but the Kid escaped his laboratory. He trained the Ape to perform a number of complex tasks so that even the Kid thought Karlbad might have placed his own brain in the Ape's body, and managed to escape capture when the Kid finally nabbed the Ape.

--Rawhide Kid I#39


Virginia was Dr. Karlbad's daughter, and did not approve of her father's experiments.

--Rawhide Kid I#39

Images taken from:
Rawhide Kid I#39, cover
Karlbad- Rawhide Kid I#39, page 3, panel 6
Virginia- Rawhide Kid I#39, page 4, panel 2

First Posted: 11/27/2005
Last updated: 11/21/2005

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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