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Encyclopedia > Gorillas in comics
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #98, containing an intricately contrived plot involving Jimmy almost marrying a gorilla.
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #98, containing an intricately contrived plot involving Jimmy almost marrying a gorilla.

For various reasons there were a large number of gorillas in comic books during the silver age of comic books. Supermans Pal Jimmy Olsen #98 This image is the cover of an individual issue of a comic book. ... Supermans Pal Jimmy Olsen #98 This image is the cover of an individual issue of a comic book. ... Jimmy Olsen (full name James Bartholomew Olsen) is a fictional character who appears in DC Comics’ Superman stories. ... Type species Troglodytes gorilla Savage, 1847 distribution of Gorilla Species Gorilla gorilla Gorilla beringei The gorilla, the largest of the living primates, is a ground-dwelling omnivore that inhabits the forests of Africa. ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... Showcase #4 (Oct. ...



Preceding the start of the "Silver Age", there was an inordinate popularity of stories involving gorillas in other media, most notably movies such as King Kong and Mighty Joe Young, which were extremely popular. The comic book industry attempted to cash in on this craze, and similarly increased the appearance of gorillas in their media. This continued into the 1970s, which reflects the continued popularity of "gorilla movies" such as Planet of the Apes. In the late 1980s, the appearance of gorillas in comic books sharply declined, partly due to the decreasing depictions of them in other media, as well as the end of the Silver Age of Comics, and the backlash against "silly" plot-devices in the comic book form. Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... King Kong battles a pterosaur in the original 1933 version. ... The original Mighty Joe Young movie poster. ... Template:A year The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... This article is about the book. ... The 1980s refers to the years of 1980 to 1989. ... Showcase #4 (September-October 1956), often thought the first appearance of the first Silver Age superhero, the Barry Allen Flash. ...

Silver Age

Gorillas were frequently used as a gimmick to increase sales for comic books during the Silver Age of Comic Books; this was most frequently seen in DC Comics. A common criticism of the comic covers of the Silver Age in general was that the covers would rarely correspond with the actual plotline in the comic book, as they were usually just created to snag interest from casual browsers. The gorilla covers were no exception, as many of the books featured only a panel or two with the actual gorilla plotline. These plotlines tended to be extremely contrived, characterized by an abundance of King Kong pastiches and human-gorilla brain transplants. Though these plotlines are now viewed as ridiculous, especially at a time when comic books are ostensibly becoming a more respectable art form, these classic covers have gained considerable collector's value. Showcase #4 (Oct. ... DC Comics is one of the largest American companies in comic book and related media publishing. ... The word pastiche describes a literary or other artistic genre. ... A whole-body transplant, or brain transplant, moves the brain of one being into the body of another. ... Comic Collectors are people who collect comics or comic books (terms with considerable overlap). ...

There are several rumors surrounding the wide use of gorillas in comic books at the time:

  1. Publishers believed that placing a gorilla on a comic book cover, regardless of the context or relevance, would automatically correspond with an increase in sales for that title; Irwin Donenfeld was the first to notice this trend.1 The claim eventually became self-fulfilling as certain comic book collectors with an eye for "oddball" comics, would single out these issues, and purchase them for their collections.
  2. Due to the first rumor, it is also reported that DC Comics was worried about abusing the winning formula, so had an unwritten rule that there could be no more than one gorilla cover per month across all of its titles (except, of course, during the occasional "gorilla month").2

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that, in being made, actually causes itself to become true. ... Oddball, Oddballs, or Odd Ball may refer to: In fiction: Odd Ball, character that appeared in the first edition of the British comic Whizzer and Chips Odd Ball (clone pilot), Clone commander in Star Wars Oddball, eccentric tank commander played by Donald Sutherland in the movie Kellys Heroes In... DC Comics is one of the largest American companies in comic book and related media publishing. ...

Silver Age Characters

Strange Adventures #75, featuring a typical gorilla villain.
Strange Adventures #75, featuring a typical gorilla villain.

In addition to the cameo appearances and splash shots on comic book covers, several recurring gorilla characters were introduced during this time, most of them villains. Strange Adventures #75 This image is the cover of an individual issue of a comic book. ... Strange Adventures #75 This image is the cover of an individual issue of a comic book. ... Strange Adventures was an American comic book published by DC Comics. ... One popular concept of the villain, meant to mimic the purposely distinctive visage of villains from silent films of the early 20th century. ...

Gorilla Grodd is a fictional character appearing in DC Comics, primarily as an opponent of The Flash. ... The term psychic comes from the Greek psychikos, meaning of the soul, mental, which is in turn derived from the Greek word psyche (soul/mind). ... The Flash. ... Solovar is a DC Comics characters For many years, Solovar was the leader of a hidden city of hyper-intelligent gorillas. ... Monsieur Mallah is the name of a DC Comics supervillain. ... The Brotherhood of Evil is a group of DC Comics supervillains, arch-enemies of the original Doom Patrol and the Teen Titans. ... The Doom Patrol is an idiosyncratic DC Comics superhero team that has been through several incarnations. ... Angel and the Ape was a humour comic book published by DC Comics. ... Titano the Super-Ape is a fictional character appearing in DC Comics, primarily as a foe of Superman. ... Superman is a comic book superhero, originally created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian artist Joe Shuster and published by DC Comics. ... The Ultra-Humanite is a fictional supervillain appearing in stories published by DC Comics. ... Caucasian, male, aging, crooked teeth, messy hair, lab coat, spectacles/goggles, dramatic posing — one popular stereotype of a mad scientist. ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... Superman, catalyst of the Golden Age: Superman #14 (Feb. ... Londons Carnaby Street is in the district of Soho and just to the east of Regent Street. ... Animal Man is a fictional superhero in the DC Universe. ...

Modern Age

Since the silver age, several modern comic book writers have made references to the bizarre preponderance of gorillas in comic book history. Wolverine, a member of the X-Men, a popular franchise in the Modern Age, and an anti-hero, a popular character type The Modern Age of Comic Books is an informal name for the period in the history of mainstream American comic books generally considered to last from the mid...

The Weeping Gorilla from Promethea #1.
The Weeping Gorilla from Promethea #1.
  • "Mondo Simian", a graphic novel by Patrick Joseph featuring a "Planet of the Apes"-inspired world of intelligent apes.
  • The "Weeping Gorilla Comix" in Alan Moore's Promethea.
  • "King Solomon", a gorilla with a genius-level human brain that serves as Tom Strong's assistant (also created by Alan Moore).
  • "Rex Mantooth, Kung-Fu Gorilla", a ninja gorilla, written by Matt Fraction.
  • "Sky Ape", a millionaire gorilla with a jetpack, written by Philip D. Amara & Tim McCarney.
  • "The Trial of the 800 pound Gorilla", a storyline in Batton Lash's indie comic Supernatural Law paid homage to the iconic "talking gorilla" as well.
  • "JLApe", a crossover through the various 1999 annuals of the Justice League of America members' series, in which a bomb planted by inhabitants of Gorilla City turned the United Nations and the League into gorillas.
  • "Kriegaffe" ("War ape"), a series of bionically enhanced talking gorillas, created by Nazi scientist Herman Von Klempt in Mike Mignola's Hellboy.
  • "Don Uggie Apelino", head of the Ape Gang, a criminal mob of sentient gorillas in Judge Dredd.
  • "Urban Gorilla", a commuting gorilla in a business suit created by Scott Shaw!
  • "Axewell Tiberius" from Art Adams's Monkeyman and O'Brien.
  • "Cy-Gor" (short for "Cybernetic Gorilla"), a half-man, half gorilla character in Spawn, published by Image Comics.
  • "Brainiape", a gorilla which hosted a mutated, psionically-powered human brain encased in a globe on top of the gorilla's skull, a recurring villain in Image Comics' Savage Dragon. Brainiape's human brain was ultimately revealed to be the amnesiac mind of Adolf Hitler, rescued from death and mutated by the processes that preserved it.

The Weeping Gorilla from Promethea #1, Page 16 This work is copyrighted. ... The Weeping Gorilla from Promethea #1, Page 16 This work is copyrighted. ... Promethea is a comic book series created by Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III with Mick Gray, published by Americas Best Comics/Wildstorm. ... Alan Moore (born November 18, 1953, in Northampton) is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. ... Promethea is a comic book series created by Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III with Mick Gray, published by Americas Best Comics/Wildstorm. ... King Solomon Latin name (Hebrew: שְׁלֹמֹה, (Shlomo) Standard Tibe88rian ; Arabic: سليمان, Sulayman; all essentially meaning peace) is a figure described in Middle Eastern scriptures as a wise ruler of an empire centred on the united Kingdom of Israel. ... Tom Strong was a bi-monthly comic book created by writer Alan Moore and artist Chris Sprouse published by Americas Best Comics, an imprint of DC Comics Wildstorm division. ... Matt Fraction is from Kansas City, MO and is a comics writer. ... Sky Ape is is a comic-book character and black-and-white comic-book series published in the late 1990s. ... Beware the creatures of the night -- they have lawyers! Yes, even monsters need lawyers. ... The Justice League is a DC Comics superhero team. ... Mike Mignola (born in Berkeley, California on September 16, 1960) is a American comic book artist and writer. ... Hellboy is a fictional Dark Horse Comics character created by Mike Mignola. ... This is a list of minor characters in the British comic strip Judge Dredd appearing in 2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine and related publications. ... For the 1995 film, see Judge Dredd (film). ... Scott Shaw (often spelled Scott Shaw!) is a United States cartoonist and animator. ... Arthur (Art) Adams is a comic book creator, best known for the series Monkeyman and OBrien published by Dark Horse. ... Monkeyman and OBrien is a comic book created by Arthur Adams and published by Dark Horse Comics. ... Look up spawn in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image Comics Logo Image Comics is an American comic book publisher. ... The Savage Dragon is a long-running comic book by Erik Larsen, published by Image Comics since 1993. ... Hitler redirects here. ...

Other media

Ookla the Mok's song "Gorilla City" on its Smell No Evil album lists many of the Silver Age gorillas, as well as "apes, chimps, gibbons, baboons, and that one manta ray we can't seem to keep out of the men's room." Ookla the Mok is the name of a filk band fronted by Rand Bellavia and Adam English. ...

Mojo Jojo is a simian evil genius in the humorous animated superhero series The Powerpuff Girls. Mojo Jojo, as he appeared in The Powerpuff Girls Movie Mojo Jojo (voiced by Roger L. Jackson) is a fictional character in the Cartoon Network animated series The Powerpuff Girls. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

See also

This is a list of fictional apes (Bonobos, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans, and Gibbons) and other non-human higher primates. ...

External links

  • The Gorilla Age of Comics - A comprehensive list of appearances of gorillas on comic book covers and in comic book storylines.
  • Everything's Better With Monkeys - A list of highlighted comic covers with gorillas, along with limited commentary.
  • The Gorilla Cover Gallery - Hundreds of gorilla covers from golden age to modern comics.


Note 1: Interview with Irwin Donenfeld in Comic Book Artist # 5. Irwin Donenfeld was the son of Harry Donenfeld, cofounder of the DC Comics company, and worked for them from 1948 to 1967. ...

Note 2: Man of Two Worlds, Julius Schwartz. Julius Schwartz, editor for DC Comics Julius Julie Schwartz (June 19, 1915 - February 8, 2004) was a comic book and pulp magazine editor, and a science fiction agent and prominent fan. ...

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