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GORGILLA

Real Name: Gorgilla

Identity/Class: Deviant genetic experiment (pre-modern to modern era)

Occupation: Janitor, former jungle god

Group Membership: None;
formerly Fin Fang Four (Elektro, Fin Fang Foom, Googam)

Affiliations: Abraham Lincoln, Doc Samson (Dr. Leonard Samson), Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Woman/Sue Storm, Mr Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Benjamin Grimm), Head Hunters, Monster Hunters (Ulysses Bloodstone, Dr. Druid, Makkari, Zawadi), Monster Island's monsters (Abominable Snowman, Blip, Gog, Goom, Gorgolla, It the Living Colossus, a Lizard Man of Tok, Moomba, Rorgg, Two-Headed Thing, Xemnu, Zzutak and one of the Flora colossus (like Groot)), Roberta, Yandroth

Enemies: Avengers (Captain America/Steve Rogers, Iron Man/Tony Stark), Harvey Elder (before he was the Mole Man), Lizard Men, Russian terrorists (Ivan Zinoviev, Pyotr, one unnamed), Tim Boo Ba, Tyrannosaurus Rex (Deviant), Warlord Kro, X-Men (Magik/Illyana Rasputin, Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde), Zarrko
      formerly Archeologists (Frank, Scotty, Anthony Druid, three unidentified), Monster Hunters

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Ape Man from Borneo, God of Vengeance, Mister President, Monster of Midnight Mountain

Base of Operations: Monster Island, sea of Japan;
formerly Baxter Building, New York
      Midnight Mountain, Borneo, Indonesia/Malaysia/Brunei (see comments)

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#12 (October, 1960)

Powers/Abilities: Although he resembles a 25-foot tall simian, Gorgilla is actually the result of a genetic experiment conducted by the Deviants. Unlike most other creatures the Deviants experimented on (like the inhabitants of Monster Island), Gorgilla possesses a rudimentary intelligence, knows basic English and has shown to be not only helpful and caring, he's also remarkably patriotic with dreams of one day becoming president. His giant size gives him tremendous strength, lifting 55 tons at full size and durability, with bullets unable to pierce his skin. In his reduced size, he's still able to lift 2 tons. Gorgilla is exceptionally long-lived, active for at least several decades before he was first discovered. Despite his shaggy fur, Gorgilla is a natural swimmer.

Height: 6' (originally 37')
Weight: 345 lbs. (originally 40.5 tons)
Eyes: Orange-brown
Hair: Brown

History:

(Marvel Universe#7 (fb) - BTS / Marvel Monsters From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone#1) - Gorgilla was one of several monsters created by the Deviants during their genetic experiments on several urevealed creatures.

(Tales to Astonish I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Gorgilla settled down on Midnight Mountain in Borneo, where he was worshipped as a god by the local head hunters tribe. The island inexplicably was also home to several pre-historic beasts the Deviants had experimented on. The locals kept at bay by erecting a large wall that seperated their village from the rest of the island.

(Tales to Astonish I#12) - Gorgilla was discovered by a group of American archeologists (which included future Monster Hunter and mentalist Anthony Druid) in their quest to find the missing evolutionary link between caveman and ape. Angered by their presence, Gorgilla attacked the archeologists who tried to shoot him with their guns but found the beast's hide was impenetrable. In an attempt to rescue his friend Frank, archeologist and expedition leader Scotty lit a small bush on fire and used it to threaten Gorgilla. Angering the beast even more, he pursued the group as they tried to flee. On the way, they ran into a tyrannosaurus rex who appeared out of nowhere. Gorgilla decided to fight the giant beast instead of the humans. After he had saved them by killing the dinosaur, the archeologists decided not to capture Gorgilla as a sign of respect.

(Marvel Universe#4 (fb) - BTS) - After the archeological expedition to Borneo the NSA became aware of the man-ape's presence. After extensive research on the creature and its origins, the National Security Agency could only conclude the beast was one of a kind.

(Marvel Universe#5 (fb)) - As part of a Deviant plan, Warlord Kro travelled to Borneo to recruit Gorgilla. Ensuring the creature's obedience by placing a "Brain Mine" at the back of its head, the tiny mind control device allowed Kro to secretly ship Gorgilla to New York City by boat.

(Marvel Universe#4) - While meeting with his fellow Monster Hunters, Dr. Druid told the others how he'd recently taken part in an archeological expedition to Borneo. Druid became furious when fellow Monster Hunter, NSA agent Jake Curtis (secretly the Eternal Makkari) produced photos of Gorgilla shot by the NSA. Druid had hoped Gorgilla's identity would have remained a secret.

(Marvel Universe#4) - When the ship containing Gorgilla reached New York City, Warlord Kro used a special signal to awaken Gorgilla. Confused and curious about the strange surroundings he found himself in, the beast broke free out of the ship's cargo hold.

(Tales to Astonish I#18 / Marvel Universe#5) - The ship's crew mistook Gorgilla's greetings for hostile behavior and opened fire. Confused, Gorgilla fled and hid in the sewers beneath New York City. Again trying to make contact with humans, he tunneled to the surface, emerging in the middle of Yankee Stadium, and was once again attacked. Made aware of his presence in the city, Dr. Druid and the Monster Hunters managed to briefly capture Gorgilla and, accidentally, removed the brain mine. Gorgilla once again escaped into the subway system, where he stumbled across three Russian terrorists who planned to set off explosives, supplied by Kro, to blow up the car of a visiting African delegate. Now free of Kro's influence, Gorgilla recognized the Deviant's scent on the spies' bomb and attacked them, injuring two and chasing the third out of the subway. Hoping to escape the creature, the Russian agent hijacked a motorboat and headed to nearby Liberty Island. Unafraid of water, Gorgilla waded into the Hudson River and continued the hunt, eventually reaching the Statue of Liberty. As the spy climbed the stairs inside, Gorgilla scaled the statue's exterior. The Monster Hunters arrived in time to calm him down and captured the Russian terrorist. Druid then took a moment to read Gorgilla's mind, discovering he had been mind-controlled and brought to New York against his will. The Monster Hunters decided to return Gorgilla to his Borneo home.

(Marvel Universe#6) - The Monster Hunters moved Gorgilla from New York to New Jersey on the back of a truck while Dr. Druid used his powers to keep the beast asleep. Makkari, using his guise as FBI agent Jake Curtiss, arranged transport for Gorgilla from New Jersey back to Midnight Mountain. When they arrived in New Jersey, the group boarded a plane en route to Borneo while Zawadi fed the beast melons to keep him calm. When the Hunters left Gorgilla alone in the cargo hold to discuss recent events, the giant man-ape suddenly found the secret stowaway Harvey Elder. But before anything could be done with Elder, Kro attacked the airplane and destroyed both engines. Thanks to Makkari, the Monster Hunters managed to land at Midnight Mountain. Gorgilla then aided the Monster Hunters in staving off an attack by Kro's allies the Lizard People who managed to capture Makkari.

(Marvel Universe#7) - The Monster Hunters bid Gorgilla farewell as they left Borneo to rescue Makkari from Kro. In their final battle against Kro, Dr Druid created an illusion of Gorgilla to confuse Kro and his men.

(Defenders II#1) - While tapped into the powers of the Earth goddess Gaea, the magician Yandroth unleashed a variety of menaces on Earth. Among them was Gorgilla who buried the Avengers under a building he toppled on them. His fight was caught on camera by reporters and aired on the national news broadcast. Other invading forces included the Negative Zone Borers, the Mindless Ones, the Tribbites, Dark-Crawler, Quasimodo, Warlord Kaa and his Shadow-Warriors, the Living Erasers, Vi-Locks and the Microverse native Lizard Men of Tok. After the newly assembled Defenders had defeated Yandroth, Gorgilla and all the other threats automatically were returned from whence they came.

(Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1 (fb) - BTS) - Through unrevealed ways, Gorgilla returned to the United States where his antics caused him to be imprisoned. During his time behind bars, the alien Makluan known as Fin Fang Foom led a five-year legal battle that would grant him, Gorgilla and several other "monsters" American citizenship, as well as allow them to be released on parole. As part of the agreement, Foom, Gorgilla, Elektro and Googam were reduced to human size by Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Gorgilla was then given a job as a janitor at the Baxter building. He excelled at this menial position, deriving great joy from tasks the haughty Lord Foom (forced to work as a chef) found beneath his station.

(Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1) - While Gorgilla was happy as can be about his new life, Googam was frustrated by having lost both his stature and power. Fed up, he hatched a scheme to teleport his conquering relatives to Earth. In order to achieve this, he roped the good natured but not-too-bright Gorgilla into helping him by offering him some bananas if he helped him pull off what he described as "a very funny joke". After helping Googam break into Richards' lab, the innocent minded Gorgilla told Fin Fang Foom all about Googam's supposedly secret joke. Foom realized Googam was up to no good, but couldn't prevent him from activating the teleportation sequence. Googam was the one tricked however, because he didn't bring his family to Earth, but the outerdimensional conqueror Tim Boo Ba who had posed as Googam's father. Bringing his forces to Earth, Ba was ready to conquer Earth, but were stopped by Fin Fang Foom, Elektro and Gorgilla. During the fight, Gorgilla was flung towards the Statue of Liberty. Proud to be an American, he decided to hang out there for a little while.

(Giant-Size Avengers II#1/8) - As part of their parole, Gorgilla and the other members of the so called "Fin Fang Four" received psychiatric counseling courtesy of Doc Samson. As an exercise he asked the group where they saw themselves in ten years. Gorgilla imagined himself as the forty-sixth president of the United States, whose first new law would be to provide enough bananas for everybody. After hearing this, Samson deemed Gorgilla childish and unworthy of responsibility. When Fin Fang Foom started a fight with Googam, Gorgilla figured it was playtime and cheerfully joined in.

(Fin Fang Four Return#1/3 (fb) - BTS) - Gorgilla asked "The Man in the Blue Pajamas" (his name for Reed Richards) if he could visit the famous Lincoln Memorial in Washington, which Reed agreed to.

(Fin Fang Four Return#1/3) - While taking a tour of Washington, Gorgilla noticed how the statue of Abraham Lincoln was transformed into a statue of Zarrko the Tomorrow Man. Moments later, Zarrko himself teleported in and Gorgilla heard the time tossed tyrant say his plan to become president of the world had worked. Angered by this, the man-ape threw a giant slab of pavement at Zarrko, thereby apparently killing him. Gorgilla found Zarrko's time glove and by accident was teleported to April 15th, 1865 where he inadvertently prevented John Wilkes Booth and Zarrko from killing president Lincoln. While grabbing Zarrko he was teleported back to the present (in the diverged Earth-97666) where he noticed the memorial had now changed to a more nutty Abraham Lincoln holding a puppet. This time Gorgilla had become the President himself, he figured he should let the Man in the Blue Pajamas fix this, but only after he enjoyed being president for one day.

(Uncanny X-Men III#33 - BTS) - At some point, Gorgilla relocated to Monster Island in the sea of Japan.

(Uncanny X-Men III#33) - Gorgilla was one of the many monsters who witnessed the arrival of X-Men Magik and Shadowcat. They had come to Monster Island to save a little mutant girl called Bo. After they found her, Gorgolla and several other monsters decided to attack them. Fed up with having to fight monsters, Magik teleported herself, Kitty and Bo back to the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Steve Dikto (inks).

Gorgilla's origin story and second appearance clearly homage (or blatantly rip off) that other famous giant ape King Kong.

Just where Midnight Mountain is supposed to be is hard to tell. The island of Borneo, in real life, is actually split in two, with one half owned by Indonesia and the other belonging to Malaysia. Interestingly enough, Borneo also contains the entire country of Brunei, so Midnight Mountain could be in no less than three countries!

The story in Marvel Universe#5, with Gorgilla "invading" New York, was a revision of Tales to Astonish I#18, which ended with Gorgilla falling to his death after scaling the Statue of Liberty. The most likely explanation for these confusing accounts could be that Dr. Druid used a form of mass hypnosis on the crowds, making them believe the monster was dead, which would allow the Monster Hunters to rescue the man-ape. For my money, having Gorgilla be revealed as a Deviant genetic experiment was a very clever move on Roger Stern's part, organically connecting a Timely/Atlas era monster to the greater fabric of the Marvel Universe.

As a semi-interesting sidenote, one has to wonder who or what Gorgilla was before the Deviants experimented on him. Was he "merely" an ape-like creature they enhanced and blew up to giant proportions? That wouldn't explain his ability to speak, reason or learn. He might well be a caveman the Deviants captured for their tests.

Gorgilla received profiles in the 2005 Marvel Monsters From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone handbook and 2010 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A - Z Update#03. Tales to Astonish I#12 was reprinted in Monsters on the Prowl#9 (February, 1971) and Weird Wonder Tales#21 (March, 1977). The story "Shrink Rap" from Giant-Size Avengers II#1/8 was reprinted in the 2009 Fin Fang Four Return!

Profile by MarvellousLuke

CLARIFICATIONS:
Gorgilla has no known connections to


Tyrannosaurus Rex


The Tyrannosaurus Rex was another of several monsters created by the Deviants, he was probably killed by Gorgilla in their battle as the archeologists claimed the man-ape had destroyed the dinosaur.

Note: It was in the Marvel Monsters Handbook that it was revealed the T Rex was another Deviant creation.

--Tales to Astonish I#12 (Tales to Astonish I#12, Marvel Universe#4 (fb), Tales to Astonish I#12 (fb), Marvel Monsters From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone#1 - BTS


Head Hunters


The head hunters were a native tribe living on the island of Borneo who saw Gorgilla as a god. When an expedition of American archeologists arrived in their search for the missing link the head hunters attacked them in the hopes of keeping Gorgilla safe from harm.


--Tales to Astonish I#12 (Tales to Astonish I#12, Marvel Universe#4 (fb)







Archeologists


The archeologists that initially discovered Gorgilla consisted of expedition leader Scotty, Frank, Anthony Druid and three unidentified members. The group travelled to Borneo and discovered the man-ape Gorgilla. After the ordeal with the Tyrannosaurus Rex the group unanimously decided to leave Gorgilla in peace and keep his existence a secret.

Note: It was revealed in Marvel Universe#4 that Anthony Druid, also known as Dr. Druid, was part of the original archeologist expedition.

--Tales to Astonish I#12 (Tales to Astonish I#12, Marvel Universe#4 (fb), Tales to Astonish I#18 (fb)


Scotty & Anne


Scotty was a young ambitious archeologist obsessed with finding the missing link between cavemen and their ape predecessors. He was supported in his endeavors by his delightful wife Anne. After extensive study, Scotty concluded the missing link could be found in Borneo. He gathered his archeologist friends in the museum to plan an expedition to Borneo. Once there, they discovered Gorgilla and decided to capture him and return with the creature. However, the creature fought back and Scotty was able to rescue his colleague Frank by threatening Gorgilla with a lit branch. Despite this act of agression on Scotty's part, Gorgilla rescued him and the others from a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Grateful, Scotty and the others decided to leave Gorgilla in peace.

When Gorgilla arrived in New York city the events were broadcast on National television, gaining the attention of Scotty and his wife Anne. Scotty tried to inform the local authorities about the truth behind Gorgilla but no one would believe him. Accompanied by his wife, he went to the city in hopes of catching a glimpse of Gorgilla. They eventually saw the man-ape fall to his death from Lady Liberty although this was possibly an illusion created by Dr Druid.


--Tales to Astonish I#12 (Tales to Astonish I#12, Tales to Astonish I#18


Russian terrorists


Pyotr, Ivan Zinoviev and their unidentified leader were communists operating out of New York who were contacted by Deviant warlord Kro to act as unwitting pawns in one of his schemes. Kro supplied the trio with explosives he wanted them to place under the car of a visiting African diplomat. Not wanting to be spotted, they used the subway system to reach their target but ran into Gorgilla, who was on the run himself after Kro brought him to New York as part of yet another scheme. Gorgilla picked up Kro's scent on the explosive devices and attacked, injuring two of the Russians and chasing the remaining one out of the subway. Unaware why the monster was so hell bent on catching him, but desperate to escape, the remaining communist decided to jump in a nearby motorboat and head for Liberty Island, figuring he'd be safe there. However, Gorgilla proved a strong swimmer and followed him to the Statue of Liberty. As the spy climbed the stairs inside, Gorgilla scaled the exterior. The Monster Hunters were on hand to intervene, calming the creature down while capturing the final terrorist. The three of them were later interrogated by Jake Curtiss of the NSA (actually the Eternal Makkari) and Colonel Vulcannin (in actuality Valkin of the Polar Eternals).

Note: 2010 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A - Z Update#03 called them Russian terrorists.


--Marvel Universe#5 (Marvel Universe#5-6


images: (without ads)
Marvel Universe#4, p22, pan1 (main image)
Tales to Astonish I#12, p5, pan1 (first appearance)
Tales to Astonish I#18, p6, pan4 (appearing at Yankee Stadium)
Marvel Universe#6, p16, pan1 (with the Monster Hunters)
Giant-Size Avengers II#1/8, p4, pan1 (as President)
Marvel Universe#4, p14, pan2 (Tyrannosaurus Rex)
Tales to Astonish I#12, p4, pan2 (head hunters)
Tales to Astonish I#12, p3, pan1 (archeologists)
Tales to Astonish I#12, p2, pan1 (Scotty & Anne)
Marvel Universe#5, p14, pan4 (Russian terrorists)


Appearances:
Tales to Astonish I#12 (October, 1960) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Steve Dikto (inks)
Tales to Astonish I#18 (April, 1961) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks)
Marvel Universe#4 (September, 1998) - Roger Stern (writer), Mike Manley (pencils, inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel Universe#5 (October, 1998) - Roger Stern (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Mike Manley (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel Universe#6 (November, 1998) - Roger Stern (writer), Jason Armstrong (pencils), Mike Manley (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel Universe#7 (December, 1998) - Roger Stern (writer), Jason Armstrong (pencils), Mike Manley (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#1 (March, 2001) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Erik Larsen (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Marvel Monsters: Fin Fang Four#1 (December, 2005) - Scott Gray (writer), Roger Langridge (writer, pencils, inks), John Barber (editor)
Giant-Size Avengers II#1/8 (February, 2008) - Scott Gray (writer), Roger Langridge (pencils, inks), John Barber (editor)
Fin Fang Four Return#1 (July, 2009) - Scott Gray (writer), Roger Langridge (pencils), J. Brown (inks), John Barber (editor)
Uncanny X-Men III#33 (April, 2015) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Kris Anka (pencils, inks), Mike Marts, Xander Jarowey (editors)


Last updated: 09/04/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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