Welcome to another installment of Pick Five, where one of our writers picks five of whatever comic related “fill in the blank” that tickles their fancy.
Everyone knows that monkeys are awesome, and comic books have a special place for our simian friends. Here are five of my favourites.
5. The Super Apes
The continual companions of the Fantastic Four villain The Red Ghost, this trio of super-powered Russian apes are awesome in their ridiculous hilarity. Each ape had a different super power: Mihklo the Gorilla was super strong; Igor the Baboon could change his shape; and Peotr the Orangutan can control gravity or magnetism (it really depended on the writer). These three monkeys were given their super powers by the Red Ghost, and the origin story is something about the space race between the USA and the USSR, but these lovable brutes have been consistent antogonists for the FF (since issue #13) and others in the Marvel Universe.
The newest of the ape characters in comic books, Hitmonkey appeared in this own mini-series and then in the pages of Deadpool. A human assassin was left for dead in a jungle and nursed back to health by a group of monkeys. One monkey studied the assassin’s moves and when his band of monkey-kin are killed he becomes the assassin we all know and love. So incredibly absurd and darlingly charming at the same time, Daniel Way achieved the impossible in today’s comic world: he created a brand new character.
The first super villain that Superman ever fought (way back in Action Comics #13) the Ultra-Humanite was in brain power what Superman was in strength. However, the villain used his vast intellect for several attempts of world domination instead of helping his fellow man. He is on this this list because he can transfer his brain to other bodies, and his most visited form is a giant albino gorilla.
Mercenary Kenneth Hale went to Africa after hearing “whoever kills the Gorilla-Man will achieve immortality”. Hale succeeds in killing the Gorilla-Man but at the cost of becoming the Gorilla-Man himself. Now immortal, he worked with the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., The Howling Commandos, and finally the Agents of Atlas. His years of fighting have given him a brilliant tactical mind and his gorilla form provides great strength.
1. Gorilla Grodd
Was there any doubt that GG would be on this list? A super-intelligent Gorilla with vast mental powers, Grodd rules Gorilla City and has been a constant thorn in the side of the Flash since his debut in Flash #106. He can use his mental powers to control the minds of others and even succeeded in turning the entire Justice League into apes during the terrificly awful JLApe storyline.
No Angel and the Ape?
What about Rex Mantooth?
Primaul? the Nazi Vampire Ape?
Monsieu Mallah? He should have been number one!
I know, I know, but really with this category it could have been Pick Fifty and we still would have to leave some great apes out.
Hit Monkey could have been left out.
I take my monkeys very seriously, apparently.
It’s “pick five” and Anthony picked five. Sounds like we need another next week with Pete behind the wheel.
No way! Look at that picture! How could you exclude a monkey is a suit holding 2 guns? For shame sir, for shame.
Just on style alone, I would choose Hit-Monkey. He looks daper.
Plus he’s a baboon – gotta cover all your monkey types, otherwise you get into exclusionary territory.
And In all seriousness – it’s the little, skinny ones you have to look out for. They can be quick.
you wanna talk dapper? How about the Mad Mod Gorilla Mob Boss from the original 60’s “Animal Man”? A gorilla in a swingin’ sixties black and white pinstripe suit — the height of Carnaby Street fashion. Austin Powers, eat your heart out!
Monkeys bring such joy in comic books. Too bad in real life they always go for the face.
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