Real Name: Dr. Arthur Nagan
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Professional criminal; former transplant surgeon
formerly Lethal Legion (Attuma, Batroc the Leaper, Beetle (Jenkins), Bulldozer, Black Tiger, an unnamed Lizard Person, Piledriver, Porcupine (Gentry), Sabretooth, Thundra, Trapster, Unicorn, Whirlwind, Wrecker (Garthwaite))
Affiliations: AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics), Bison, Blastaar, Cam Connors, Circus of Crime (Bruto, Clown/Eliot Franklin, Princess Python, Ringmaster/Maynard Tiboldt), Condor, Doombot (Vic), Dragon Man, Enchantress (Sylvie Lushton), Jack Flag, Caroline Le Fey, MODOK, Mysterio (Quentin Beck), Orrgo, Pandemonium Axles, Quicksand, Skeleton Ki, Star-Lord (Peter Quill)
Enemies: Angar the Screamer, Batroc the Leaper, Beast (Henry McCoy), Blastaar, Cannonball (Sam Guthrie), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain Ultra, Celestial Mind Control Movement/Bozos, Cobra, Defenders (Doctor Stephen Strange, Hellcat, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Nighthawk/Kyle Richmond, Jack Norriss, Red Guardian/Tania Belinsky, Silver Surfer/Norrin Radd, Sub-Mariner/Namor McKenzie, Valkyrie/Brunnhilde, Valkyrie/Samantha Parrington), Defenders (Elsa Bloodstone, Clea, Misty Knight, Moonstar, Valkyrie, Warrior Woman), Billy Delfini, Guardians of the Galaxy (Bug, Groot, Major Victory, Mantis, Rocket Raccoon), Hardball (Roger Brokeridge), Hercules (Heracles), Heroes for Hire (Black Cat, Humbug, Misty Knight, Orka, Shang-Chi, Tarantula/Maria Vasquez, Colleen Wing), Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Iron Fist (Danny Rand), Justice (Vance Astrovik), Ludberdites, Lyja Lazerfist (as Alicia Masters), Nebulon, Shadow Initiative (Badd Axe, Batwing, Barracuda, Bengal, Blackwing, Butterball, Firearms, Johnny Guitar, Komodo, Ringer (Keith Kraft), Riot, Slaughter Boy, Stronghold, Warbow), She-Hulk, SHIELD, Spider-Man (Parker), Venom (Flash Thompson), Werewolf (Jack Russell), X-Man (Nate Grey)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Ape-Man (name used by Hulk), Dr. Ruhart Gnaan, Hairy Man (nickname given by Billy)
Base of Operations: Variable
First Appearance: Mystery Tales I#21 (September, 1954)
Gorilla-Man possesses human
intelligence and is an experienced transplant surgeon and inventor. He
possesses the superior strength, agility, dexterity, and other
abilities of a massive gorilla.
320 lbs. Eyes:
(Mystery Tales I#21) - Dr. Arthur Nagan was a successful surgeon famous for transplanting animal organs into foreign species successfully. After a successful operation in which he transplanted a dog's lungs into a sheep, Nagan succeeded in transplanting an ape's organ into a human, using a special serum he'd developed as a follow-up. Thrilled with his potential for success, he set up a base in Africa and signed up many old men who wished to have gorilla parts in order to prolong their lives. Nagan and some natives captured a gorilla and harvested all of its parts, replacing the gorilla's parts with the sickly human organs. When the gorilla escaped, Nagan went looking for it. Six days later, people were frantically searching for him through the jungle when Nagan directed some gorillas to capture them and bare them for surgery. Nagan revealed that the escaped gorilla had talked to the other apes and the apes had decided that the only thing superior about man was their brain. The apes then captured Nagan and transplanted his head on to one of their bodies. Nagan planned to do the same to the other captured humans.
(Defenders I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Nagan teamed up with scientist Jerrold Morgan, whose facial bones had been shrunk in an accident, and the two moved to a house in Westbury, CT, where they formed a plan to tap into extradimensional resources. Nagan recruited Chondu the Mystic to join them, without telling Morgan, who worked to refine the serum they'd need.
(Defenders I#21) - Nagan and Morgan met with Chondu and injected the serum into his brain, allowing Chondu to tap into an other-dimensional black rain that caused all sleeping New York citizens to rampage. Nagan stole a bag of jewels to finance his new transplant experiments, though he was briefly accosted by the hero Nighthawk. Nagan and his allies quickly fled the city and the rain died down.
(Defenders I#33 (fb) - BTS) - Nagan proposed a plot to Morgan and Chondu that they attempt to rule the world through quiet means, eliminating all random factors, with them as the heads of it. They put together a complex plot to do so.
(Defenders I#31) - Nagan waited until Chondu mentally confused Nighthawk in Central Park, then zapped him with a blast that knocked Nighthawk out. Nagan performed a brain transplant on Nighthawk's brain, placing it in a dish, and Chondu's brain was placed in Nighthawk's body. Chondu attacked the Defenders and was defeated.
(Defenders I#32) - Nagan taunted Morgan by threatening to squish Nighthawk's brain, then introduced their new teammate, Ruby Thursday. She flaunted her powers, frightening Morgan. When the Defenders arrived, with Jack Norris costumed as Nighthawk, she defeated them all by exploding her head.
(Defenders I#33) - The Headmen equipped Valkyrie, Hulk, and Strange with brainwashing equipment to bring the heroes around to their way of thinking. The Headmen set a meeting, but did not realize that 'Chondu' was Jack Norris's mind in Chondu's brain in Nighthawk's body. 'Chondu' played on their differences and delayed their plans, Morgan agreeing as he did not trust Nagan lately. The Headmen took time to restate their goals. The Defenders awoke and attacked. Nagan briefly held his own against Valkyrie, but when their headquarters was destroyed, Ruby defeated the heroes and the Headmen fled.
(Defenders Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - As a result of the brainwashing, the Defenders began doing strange acts without realizing it. The Hulk attacked people more often, the Valkyrie lost control of her emotions, and Dr. Strange struggled with the inner peace he needed to use magical forces.
(Defenders I#35) - Nagan, Morgan, and Thursday prepared a new body for Chondu at their back-up headquarters. Nebulon appeared in their midst with a deer who proved it contained Chondu's mind, and Nagan realized his mistake before in assuming Nighthawk was Chondu. Nebulon departed in a fury. They transplanted Chondu's brain, now a computer like Thursday's, into a body Nagan had helped create with transplants. Chondu reacted violently and had to be subdued by Thursday.
(Defenders Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Posing as Dr. Ruhart Gnaan, Nagan set up a Parisian advertising company called the Compagnie de Lux, and became involved in all aspects of society that he could, including agriculture, oil, computers, steel, food processing, population control, and automobile production. The Headmen attempted to buy out the Celestial Mind Control Movement in Paris, but only made enemies of the Movement instead.
(Defenders Annual I#1) - In India, Nagan worked to shrink down the population of New Delhi by shrinking down the people one at a time, causing the papers to proclaim a string of mass murder across the country. Power Man and Valkyrie attacked, and Nagan did battle with Power Man before shrinking him and then Valkyrie. The Headmen gathered with the Defenders, Nebulon, the United States president, and others captured in reduced size in a small sphere, where the Headmen planned to observe them. Hulk attacked and freed the prisoners, though, and Nagan was quickly defeated by Power Man. The Headmen were arrested and the Defenders planned to undo the Headmen's political and economic machinations over time.
(Power Man/Iron Fist I#68) - Upon his release from prison, Nagan sought revenge on Power Man and found him in the streets of New York, not realizing Power Man was temporarily depowered. Nagan attacked savagely, using a garbage can and a parking meter in the fight, then pursued a truck he figured Power Man was aboard to Bethphage. The truck stopped at the criminal Bushmaster's mansion, and hired the truck's driver, Cam Connors, to help delay Power Man when he arrived, though Connors ended up getting shot later. Soon, Nagan leapt over the electric fence and followed the sounds of battle until he found Power Man and tossed him into the electric fence, which restored Power Man's powers. Nagan held Power Man in a deathly choke hold until Power Man nearly crushed Nagan's skull, knocking the villain unconscious.
(Marvel Age Annual I#1) - A group of loosely connected villains formed a short-lived team called the Lethal Legion. They attacked a group of heroes at the Marvel Comics office before breaking up. Nagan fought with Captain America and the Beast.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#1 (fb) - BTS) - As Chondu had had struggled with maintaining his sanity with his new transformation, the other Headmen sought to procure a new body for him. They hired the Circus of Crime for three million dollars to test the She-Hulk's strength.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#1) - The Circus of Crime sought to use She-Hulk for their own means. Though Morgan continued to be skeptical of the plan, Nagan disguised himself as a gorilla (using a gorilla mask) and released She-Hulk from the Circus's hypnotized control. The Circus was arrested, and the Headmen sought to have her tested through other means.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Headmen hired Mysterio to test her powers as well, offering him three million dollars but planning on giving him fake cash. Just in case, Nagan developed a piece of equipment that would interact with Spider-Man's spider-sense, tracking him to Mysterio if necessary. By these means, Nagan hoped Spider-Man would kill Mysterio before Mysterio found their money was fake.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#2) - Mysterio captured She-Hulk after using an elaborately constructed attack of the alien Toad-Men and some gas. They paid Mysterio in false bills after Mysterio turned down their offer to join their team, and Nagan arranged for Mysterio to be unable to find them for revenge. Nagan and Thursday consoled Morgan, then used a buzzsaw on She-Hulk's neck.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Morgan took a sample of She-Hulk's skin and cloned a body with a tiny head that sat inside a conductor unit, to allow them to put Chondu's head on the body.
(Sensational She-Hulk I#3) - Spider-Man attacked Mysterio, as planned, but found out where the Headmen were located. Chondu grew agitated and seemed he was going to attack until Thursday roped him down with her head. Spider-Man attacked and evaded attacks by all the Headmen until the cloned body subdued him. They then removed Chondu's head and placed it on the cloned body. When he became aware, he was furious and started attacking his teammates, but Spider-Man soon dislodged his head. The Headmen attempted to escape in an armored tank, but She-Hulk and Spider-Man teamed up to stop them.
(Marvel Graphic Novel: Avengers: Deathtrap: the Vault I#1) - Nagan, alongside many other villains, was released from his cell in a mass breakout. Most of the villains were soon recaptured and imprisoned again.
(Web of Spider-man I#73 (fb) - BTS) - Nagan designed a life support system to place in Chondu's neck to keep him alive.
(Web of Spider-man I#73) - The Headmen tracked Spider-Man to a party Alicia Masters (secretly Lyja Lazerfist) was hosting in order to procure Spider-Man's body for Chondu. Nagan held off the Human Torch and used teamwork with Thursday to fight both Torch and Spider-Man. Spider-Man hurled Nagan into his teammates, though, knocking them out, and the Headmen were soon arrested.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#97/4) - The Headmen, while plotting a scheme at the Bar With No Name, got caught up in a bar brawl, during which Nagan was struck by Batroc the Leaper and accidentally subdued Cobra, until Angar the Screamer knocked them all out.
(Defenders II#9 (fb) - BTS) - Nagan and the Headmen plotted to control an ancient space-god in order to rule the world. Nagan tracked down the idol with which they could control the space god.
(Defenders II#10 (fb)) - The Headmen helped rescue MODOK from another dimension, and he, with A.I.M., allied with the Headmen.
(Defenders II#5) - Nagan accompanied the Headmen to a museum. Morgan injected the black mist into Chondu's brain, and he sent a cloud of paranoia over the patrons. They then pilfered an ancient figurine just before Nighthawk, Hellcat, and Valkyrie (Parrington) attacked. Nagan attacked the heroes, but the Headmen were soon defeated. The Headmen quickly teleported away with the figurine.
(Defenders II#9) - The Headmen resurrected the alien space god, Orrgo, and conquered the world with him, all under their sway except the Defenders.
(Defenders II#10) - Nagan used the world ruling opportunity to solve many of the world's ills from his perspective, from traffic congestion to global warming. When the Defenders attacked, Nagan ordered Orrgo to assemble an army of super-villains to oppose them, but Nighthawk still broke through, seizing the idol and quickly defeating the Headmen.
(Heroes for Hire II#6 (fb) - BTS) - The Headmen stole a Doombot from a young boy, Billy, in New York's homeless district and reprogrammed the robot to serve them. They chased Billy away, and the boy hired the Heroes for Hire to aid him.
(Heroes for Hire II#6) - Billy brought Humbug back with him, and the Headmen attacked, quickly fending off an infestation of bugs and capturing Humbug and Billy.
(Heroes for Hire II#7) - The Headmen transplanted Chondu's head onto Humbug's body, and Humbug's head to a life support system. Humbug's allies Shang-Chi and Orka arrived and attacked them, but the Doombot fired a lethal blast that left a gaping hole in Orka's chest.
(Heroes for Hire II#8) - After Orka passed, Shang-Chi furiously tore through the Headmen's ranks, knocking out Gorilla-Man and Shrunken Bones and knocking Ruby Thursday's head off. She briefly battled with Humbug's head, and Chondu surrendered. He aided them in reversing the transplant, and SHIELD was called in to arrest the Headmen.
(Guardians of the Galaxy II#9 (fb) - BTS) - Gorilla-Man was imprisoned in the Negative Zone prison, 42. When Blastaar and his legions laid siege to the prison, the prisoners were freed from their cells and left to fend for themselves. They savagely battled to hold the facility to themselves for six straight days. Jack Flag, from his wheelchair, became a natural leader among them.
(Guardians of the Galaxy II#9) - When Star-Lord (Peter Quill) was sent into the prison to negotiate, Flag called a meeting with Nagan, Condor, Bison, and Skeleton Ki. Ki planned to open the portal to Earth, but Star-Lord objected, frustrating Nagan. Quill recommended summoning his team, the Guardians of the Galaxy, but Nagan thought he was making it up. Nagan and Bison decided to open the gates to Blastaar on their own, but Star-Lord and Flag stopped them.
(Guardians of the Galaxy II#10) - Bison, Condor and Gorilla-Man attacked Jack Flag and Peter Quill while Blastaar's troops invaded the prison. The Guardians of the Galaxy (Bug, Groot, Major Victory, Rocket Raccoon, Mantis) came to their aid and defeated the villains.
(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched the Headmen including Nagan for Norman Osborn.
(Avengers: The Initiative#27 (fb)) - Before leaving 42, Blastaar appointed Nagan in charge of keeping the prison secure along with other inmates, including Hardball.
(Avengers: The Initiative#27) - The Shadow Initiative attacked 42 to reclaim it. Nagan fired a gun, killing Blackwing, and led the assault against Butterball, who proved invulnerable. Nagan followed Hardball's advice in letting Dragon Man out to attack, but Dragon Man, who was previously affiliated with Komodo, turned on Nagan's forces. Hardball turned on Nagan and the others and the prison was soon retaken by the Initiative.
(Avengers Academy#15) - While seeking to escape the Raft during a mass breakout, Arthur Nagan was detained by Justice (Vance Astrovik).
(Fearless Defenders#9) - The Defenders (Valkyrie, Clea, Misty Knight, Elsa Bloodstone, Moonstar, Warrior Woman) battled the Enchantress (Sylvie Lushton), Quicksand, and the Headmen (Arthur Nagan, Chondu the Mystic, and Ruby Thursday, who were seeking to reanimate some ancient entities who'd taken form in statues, called the Pandemonium Axles, hired by Caroline Le Fey to do so. Chondu's head was on a massive mechanical snake-like body. To defeat the Axles, the women were joined by Iron Fist, Werewolf, Hercules, X-Man, Venom, Cannonball, and Dr. Strange.
(X-Men Legacy II#8) - During a hostage situation, Gorilla-Man was defeated by Captain Ultra.
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Bob Powell.
Nagan received a quarter-page profile under the Headmen entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#3.
The Headmen entry in Update '89 notes that the whole truth about
Nagan's origin does not seem to have been revealed, since apes do not
appear to have the necessary sentience to perform such surgery. I would
suggest that the apes Nagan preyed on were (either unknown or known to
him) the Mangani from Tarzan. The OHotMU 2006 AZ entry for Atlantis
entry references Opar, indicating that the Tarzan stories are
in-continuity. These mangani appear to have a link with the humanoid
primates from Conan the Barbarian I#2, who had mangani names, and were
also mentioned in CTB I#266-267 or so, and in the adaptation of the
Hyborian Age Essay. Or, perhaps Jhebbal Sag is involved.
Another possibility -- maybe those apes who operated on Nagan were actually members of the intelligent alien gorilla race seen in the story "The Gorilla from Outer Space" in Tales of Suspense I#36.
A more likely source suggested by Ed Love: "Not listed here, but I'd recommend Jungle Stories of Fall, 1951, reprinted in High Adventure #86. In it Ki-Gor must go against a tribe of intelligent apes, including their chief who can talk, make humans their slaves and are preparing to wage war on humankind. All in all, the ape-king Tor made for an interesting villain."
Thanks to Brandon Nash for pointing out Billy Delfini's las name from Shrunken Bones' profile in Defenders: Strange Heroes (2012).
Profile by Chadman.
Gorilla-Man has no known connections to
Defenders I#5, p12, pan1
Weird Wonder Tales I#7, p5, pan7
Power Man and Iron Fist I#68, p18, pan7
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#3
Mystery Tales I#21 (September, 1952) - Unknown writer, Bob Powell (penciler/inker)
Defenders I#21 (March, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler). Sal Trapani (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Defenders I#31-33 (January-April, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Jim Mooney (penciler/inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Defenders I#35 (May, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (penciler/inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Defenders Annual I#1 (October, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (penciler/inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Power Man and Iron Fist I#68 (April, 1981) - Mary Jo Duffy (writer), Kerry Gammill (penciler), Ricardo Villamonte (inker), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Marvel Age Annual I#1 (1985) - Jim Shooter & Kurt Busiek (writers), James Fry (penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Jim Shooter (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#1-3 (May-July, 1989) - John Byrne (writer/penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Web of Spider-Man I#73 (February, 1991) - John Byrne (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#97/4 (December, 1992) - Sholly Fisch (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Don Hudson (inker), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Defenders II#5,7 (July, September, 2001) - Kurt Busiek (writer) , Erik Larsen (writer/penciler), Sal Buscema (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#9 (November, 2001) - Kurt Busiek, Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson (writers), Ron Frenz (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#10 (December, 2001) - Kurt Busiek, Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson (writers), Erik Larsen (penciler), Sal Buscema (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#6 (March, 2007) - Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray (writers), Alvaro Rio (penciler), Scott Koblish, Tom Palmer (inkers), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#7 (April, 2007) - Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Zeb Wells (writers), Al Rio (penciler), Tom Palmer, Terry Pallot (inkers), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#8 (May, 2007) - Zeb Wells (writer), Al Rio (penciler), Scott Koblish (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy II#9 (March, 2009) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Brad Walker & Carlos Magno (pencils), Victor Olazaba & Jack Purcell (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy II#10 (April, 2009) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Brad Walker (pencils), Victor Olazaba & Livesay (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#27 (October, 2009) - Christos Gage (writer), Rafa Sandoval (penciler), Roger Bonet (inker), Jeannine Schaefer (editor)
Avengers Academy#15 (August, 2011) - Christos Gage (writer), Tom Raney (penciler), Scott Hanna, Andrew Hennessy (inkers), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Fearless Defenders#9 (2013) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Will Sliney (artist), Ellie Pyle (editor)
X-Men Legacy II#8 (2013) - Simon Spurrier (writer), Tan Eng Huat (penciler), Craig Yeung (inker), Daniel Ketchum (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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