Real Name: Ken Hale
Identity/Class: Human transformed by magic
Occupation: Adventurer, formerly Office worker
Affiliations: Benson, Human Robot, Jann of the Jungle, Marvel Boy, 3-D Man, Venus, Jimmy Woo
Enemies: Cold Warrior, Electro, Great Video, Skull-Face, Fritz Von Voltzmann, Yellow Claw
Known Relatives: Lil Hale (wife)
Base of Operations: Golden Age Kenya, Africa
Silver Age U.S.A.
First Appearance: Men's Adventures #26 (Atlas, March 1954)
Powers/Abilities: Gorilla-level strength and agility.
History: (Men's Adventures #26, ga) Plagued by a persistent dream of two Gorilla Men fighting, office worker Ken Hale became obsessed with learning more about the creatures which haunted his nights. His explorer friend Benson informed him that legend said such creatures existed in Africa, and so Ken put his suburban life aside and travelled to Kenya. Unable to find a guide, Ken nevertheless set out into the jungle to locate a Gorilla Man. Eventually his quest was successful; having sighted that which had bedeviled him, he made to shoot the Gorilla Man, but some instinct made him set aside his rifle and attack the creature hand-to-hand. As he gradually gained the upper hand, he failed to realise that some magic was transforming him; it was only when he stood over the corpse of his downed foe, that he realised he had become a Gorilla Man himself.
(What If v1 #9, Avengers Forever #3-6) Ken retained his intellect and ability to speak, and some months later was recruited into a team of superpowered individuals brought together by F.B.I. agent Jimmy Woo to battle similarly superhuman agents of the Yellow Claw. The Gorilla Man joined on the understanding that Marvel Boy would help him find a way to become human again.
Comments: There is a far more in depth profile for Gorilla Man here. I don't see the point in duplicating the excellent work there, so the above is just a basic run-down on the character.
Thanks to Jess Nevins for allowing me to use information from his excellent Golden Age Heroes Directory and his Guide to Golden Age Marvel Characters. Thanks also to Richard Boucher & Darrin Wiltshire @ PR-Publications for permission to use information from their equally brilliant collection of Golden Age Sites, PR Publications. Their knowledge of Golden Age characters far outstrips my own.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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