If you’re the kind of monkey maniac who goes ape over apes, there’s no better place in comics than the DC Universe! Famously, editor Julius Schwartz once noted that comics were more likely to sell if they featured an ape on the cover. So during that Golden Ape of comics, the gross of gorillas throughout DC couldn’t help but proliferate. The DC Universe’s love affair with apes is one that continues to this day, showcasing the most satisfactory simians in comics. And also, sometimes a real piece of work like Gorilla Grodd -- who is NOT on the following list of the DCU's greatest apes...
This French guerilla gorilla may be a longtime Doom Patrol enemy and a devoted member of the Brotherhood of Evil, but he’s also got a heart the size of… some animal bigger than a gorilla. The unconditional love he has for his master Brain, a literal human brain in a fancy jar, is one that stretches the parameters of what love can be -- unlike Gorilla Grodd, who’s never loved anything but himself. The world is bigger than just YOU, Grodd.
Congorilla was onec Congo Bill, one of DC’s oldest heroes. Debuting in 1940, Congo Bill spent the first 19 years of his life on the shelf as just your average jungle-delving adventurer. Until, that is, he chanced upon a magic ring which granted him the ability to swap minds with a golden gorilla, as majestic as he was powerful. Naturally, Congo Bill used this ring to fight crime, as CONGORILLA. Eventually, when Bill’s human body was crushed, he took up permanent residence in his gorilla form, and even joined the Justice League! You know, because some gorillas know how to be part of a team, and RESPECT each other. Ever heard of that word, Grodd?
The enormous, whimsically named “Space Ape” is one of the newest inductees into the Green Lantern Corps, having transferred during a brief merger with the Sinestro Corps. Secretly, Space Ape is actually the lost Prince Lorix, rightful ruler of his homeworld -- but he’s left that world behind for reasons still unknown. Here’s a thought, maybe it’s because SOME apes aren’t about that POWER TRIP. They actually CARE about how their actions affect others, and take some RESPONSIBILITY. You hear me, you underhanded, manipulative son of a—fine. I’m over this. Moving on.
Not everyone knows this, but chimpanzees are actually taxonomically considered to be apes, not monkeys! You’ll do well to remember that should you ever meet Bobo, the TRUE world’s greatest detective (no matter what anyone in Gotham says). The problems of the mundane world all too easily solvable for his advanced skill set, Detective Chimp spends his time unraveling the inexplicable with the mystic teams of Shadowpact and Justice League Dark. But you know something? I don’t think it would take Detective Chimp to solve this little mystery of WHO KEEPS EATING HALF THE YOGURTS IN THE BREAK FRIDGE, AND PUTTING THE REST BACK. You think you’re being CLEVER, Grodd? That we wouldn’t notice that they’re already opened and half empty? You LEAVE YOUR FUR IN THE CUPS! THERE’S NO ONE ELSE HERE WITH HAIR ON THEIR KNUCKLES! You’re supposed to be a hyper-intelligent ape, Grodd. Why did you think you can keep getting AWAY with this?
MOGO (no relation) THE BAT-APE
Ace the Bat-Hound isn’t Batman’s only devoted animal companion. For crimes of the jungle, the Caped Crusader is known to rely on—for heaven’s sake, Grodd, those yogurts are for EVERYONE! If you just took a reasonable amount and finished them no one would even be mad! I just don’t get you, dude. Is it because you’re “evil?” Trying to fit in with the Legion of Doom? Well, I’m sorry, but this is pure bush league. I never hear about Sinestro stealing puddings, or Lex Luthor taking whole cakes -- okay, that’s a bad example. But STILL. Maybe if you weren’t so selfish, you’d actually make the cut next time we do a Top 5 apes list. Yeah, use your super-powered brain helmet to think about THAT. Actions. Have. Consequences.
And don’t even get me STARTED on Ultra-Humanite. Bastard.