First Appearance: Men's Adventures #26 (March 1954).
Appearances: Men's Adventures #26, What If v1 #9, Avengers Forever #3-6.
Years Active: 1953-?

Rather than me do another dry recital of the facts of Gorilla-Man's origin, I thought it best to let the indefatigable Ronald Byrd describe it:

Rich Bellacera's very nice Gorilla-Man MicroAnyway, in What If, Uatu sort of skimped on the details of the origin of Gorilla Man (spelled sans hyphen in the story); one got the impression that it was a basic hunter-looks-for-trouble-and-pays story, but it turns out to be a bit more complex and tragic. Some time prior to December of 1953, Ken Hale (who despite such a perfect white-hunter name is naught but an office-type; his wife is named Lil (and not Barbie Hardy, as one might have theorized); he lives in a town called West Haven) begins to be haunted by a dream of two Gorilla Men locked in combat. Driven to distraction by it, Ken becomes determined to learn more about Gorilla Men and gets information from his friend Benson at the Explorers' Club (!), presumably the same club that saw the formation of the Monster Hunters only a few years later (so it's near West Haven, then). Benson notes that there is a rumor that such creatures (that's plural, mind you) exist, and that "there comes a time when the leader has to fight for the kingship to the death." Setting off to Kenya, Ken has no luck finding a guide, but he feels driven to blaze his trail alone; in true mood-setting fashion, the dreams have stopped since his arrival, but Ken remains obsessed. Finally discovering the Gorilla Man, Ken aims his rifle at the creature, but then, still driven by the force that has brought him so far, he hurls it aside and meets his nemesis in combat. As the battle rages, the narrator, who's been addressing Ken throughout the story ("And that's how it came about that you, Ken Hale," you know, that sort of thing), ponders "Where did you get such strength? What made your muscles so hard, your energy and will so strong?" And, as Ken finally stands triumphant over his dead opponent, well, he figures it out.
In the modern era this ending was slightly revised, so that Hale, by killing the Gorilla-Man, became subject to its curse and became the new Gorilla-Man, keeping his own intellect and power of speech but taking on the form of a gorilla.

In 1958 FBI agent Jimmy Woo brought the Gorilla-Man together with several other heroes, including 3-D Man, Venus, Marvel Boy (III), and Human Robot, to form the Avengers.  This group of Avengers fought against the Yellow Claw. However, the events of Avengers Forever have erased that adventure, and although the individual heroes were still heroic, in current Marvel continuity they never formed a team.

The current status of the Gorilla-Man is not known.

Write me!

Go back to the Pre-FF #1 Heroes page.