Real Name: Grokko
Identity/Class: Terrestrial human variant (Homo mermani)
Occupation: Prison guard
Group Membership: Attuma's army
the Red Ghost (Ivan Kragoff) was allied with Attuma, and the Red Ghost was allied with a Dr. Jennings (see comments)
Enemies: Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Valkyrie (Brunnhilde);
almost certainly Namor the Sub-Mariner by nature of his alliance with Attuma, although he did not directly conflict with Namor
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Attuma's ship (mobile from off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey to Atlantis (presumably the outpost in the Atlantic Ocean, relatively close to Manhattan))
First Appearance: Defenders I#7 (August, 1973)
Powers/Abilities: Big Grokko is a member of the Homo mermani, granting him superhuman strength (presumably Class 10, although possibly greater), the ability to see in near total darkness and withstand the great cold and pressures at the ocean's depths. He can breathe underwater, but would suffocate on land (see comments).
His desire for female affections, at least in the past, renders him susceptible to being duped/ambushed.
Height: Unrevealed (perhaps 6'8"; the
only estimation I could make was by comparing how far his chin was
above the bars on the 6'3" Valkyrie's cell in comparison to her)
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 350 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed (they were never seen clearly)
(Defenders I#7 (fb) - BTS) - Big Grokko served warlord Attuma in his Red Ghost-allied plot to mutate and control aquatic creatures to facilitate conquering Atlantis.
(Defenders I#7) - Serving as a guard in Attuma's ship, Grokko went to check on and deliver food to the imprisoned Hawkeye and Valkyrie. Intrigued with the Valkyrie, Big Grokko called her "little pretty" and told her that he had brought food, but that if she wanted it, she would have to be nice to him.
Having agreed to an escape plan with Hawkeye, Valkyrie asked him what he meant by "nice." As he replied, "You know, little pretty, like putting your soft arms around Big Grokko, and hugging him real ti--" Hawkeye gragged Grokko and held him, while Valkyrie punched him, shattering his water-containing helmet while denouncing him as a "filthy, sexist pig."
Valkyrie then held Big Grokko at the level of the barred panel so Hawkeye could grab the keys to their cells. Freed, the departed to free Namor from Attuma's captivity.
Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Len Wein, Sal Buscema, and Frank Bolle.
As far as can be seen from the story, the Valkyrie shattered Grokko's water-containing helmet, and then they left him to suffocate while Hawkeye fashioned a bow and arrows from materials at hand. Maybe Valkyrie found a spare helmet to keep Grokko alive and then bound him somehow...but there is no evidence of any effort to save his life in-story. Then again, Hawkeye subsequently used his plain/sharp-point arrows against the Homo mermani they encountered in their plot to rescue Namor, so they were presumably OK.
Presumably their cells had something that prevented the Valkyrie, who can lift 45 tons (although this was when she occupying Barbara Norriss' body and before she recovered her native Asgardian form, so maybe she wasn't that strong), from breaking down the wooden door and requiring the keys to escape.
The fact that Grokko was allied with Attuma may indicate he was a resident of Skarka, but that's obviously unconfirmed.
The Dr. Jennings mystery:
In Defenders I#7, the Red Ghost aids Attuma with the apparently unwilling aid of Dr. Jennings, the “world’s foremost marine biologist.”
Hydro-Base, there is a Dr. Joseph Jennings, a professor from ESU, who had been
transformed into one of the green-skinned and scaled Hydro-Men by Dr. Hydro
(Dr. Herman Frayne) circa Sub-Mariner I#63 (May, 1973).
Jennings wasn’t identified specifically as one of the Hydro-Men until Sub-Mariner I#68 (January, 1974)
However, in Defenders I#7 (August, 1973), this Dr. Jennings is still a Caucasian/non-Hydro-Man forced into serving the Red Ghost. This guy was abducted by Homo merman serving Attuma from Atlantic City, New Jersey. He’s got a beard and doesn’t look much like the Dr. Joseph Jennings seen above.
The Red Ghost plans to bend this Jennings
to his will and forge an army of mutated and/or controlled aquatic life to
allow he and Attuma to conquer Atlantis.
Per the Marvel Chronology Project, Namor’s appearance in Defenders I#7 occurs between Sub-Mariner I#63-64.
The Sub-Mariner stories involving the
introduction of Dr. Joseph Jennings were written by Steve Gerber.
The Defenders story involving Dr. Jennings was Steve Englehart…who also wrote a couple stories involving the Hydro-Men in Super-Villain Team-Up, although I don’t think Joseph Jennings was involved in any of those…
So, despite this Dr. Jennings being the
foremost marine biologist, he’s apparently NOT the Dr. Jennings from
Am I correct in this conclusion, or is there information I’m missing?
Big Grokko had a sub-profile under Attuma done by Chadman 12/16/2005.
This profile was completed 4/30/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by Snood.
Big Grokko should be distinguished from:
Defenders I#7, pg. 16, panel 2 (Dr. Jennings);
panel 6 (Grokko; mostly full, posterior view);
panel 7 (face through bars);
pg. 17, panel 2 (grabbed from behing by Hawkeye);
panel 3 (punched);
panel 5 (lying on floor)
Defenders I#7 (August, 1973) - Steve Englehart (plot), Len Wein (script), Sal Buscema (penciler), Frank Bolle (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
First posted: 09/15/2021
Last updated: 09/14/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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