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Kenneth Hale (Earth-616)

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Quote1 I call the runt with the claws. Quote2
-- Gorilla-Man src


Kenneth Hale (Earth-616) Human Form

Human form.

There are two accounts explaining how Kenneth Hale became the Gorilla Man. The earliest account suggested that Hale was plagued by nightmares of a Gorilla Man in deepest Africa. Becoming obsessed with finding the Gorilla Man, Hale traveled to Africa where he tracked down the mythic beast and fought it to death. In killing the Gorilla Man, Ken Hale himself was transformed into a new Gorilla Man[2].

However, the true account of Ken Hale's transformation into the Gorilla Man is much more detailed. A soldier of fortune, Ken Hale lived for thrills and adventure. Fearing old age and death, he sought immortality on the African continent. He heard tell of a gorilla that stands like a man, and that if he killed it, he would live forever, never aging. He hunted the beast, but when he met it, he could not kill it. Leaving it alive, Hale wandered the jungle, becoming lost and sick. The gorilla found him and forced Ken Hale's hand. Ken killed the beast in self-defense, not knowing that he had just taken the curse of the gorilla man upon himself.

He obtained his immortality, but it came along with spending the rest of his immortal life in the body of a gorilla[3].


The Gorilla Man was eventually approached by FBI agent Jimmy Woo who recruited him into his G-Men during the 1950s. There first mission was to save President Eisenhower from theYellow Claw in his Mongolian fortress. The president was rescued but the Yellow Claw escaped. 6 Months later the G-Men were disbanded. [4].

In the Fall of 1959, Gorilla-Man saved the life of General Hill when he was the target of an assassination attempt by ICON. Powell McTeague had warned Nick Fury about the danger to the General's life. Fury told Namora, who telephoned Woo. Woo, in turn, contacted Hale and asked him to stake out the general's house. When the two men investigated the assassin's body, however, they discovered that the man appeared to have been dead for days prior to his being shot.[5]

When Xavier vanished after sending out a telepathic distress call, Miriam Christiansen suggested Hale as a guide to her nephew Angel. The X-Men eventually located Xavier within a cave with an entrance carved to resemble a face. The cave's mouth closed when they entered and the X-Men where overwhelmed by feelings of despondency. Hale was unaffected and forced Cyclops to breach the cave roof with his optic blasts and then helped the X-Men escape. After the cave's collapse, Hale declined to return to the US with the X-Men. [6]

Howling Commandos

By the modern age, the Gorilla Man was recruited by Nick Fury into SHIELD's Howling Commandos unit. The Howling Commandos launched an assault on a doomsday cult that was utilizing technology bought from the Lords of the Living Lightning.[7].

Gorilla-Man was to track down and capture Groot. Afterwards, He and Warwolf met with the Commandos' newest recruit, The Glob and explained their situation to him.[8]

When Goom broke out of his cell, Gorilla-Man brought him down single-handedly. He then discussed with Groot the terms and conditions of being a member of the squad. When the recently-freed Merlin's forces attacked, Gorilla-Man was among the Commandos to face them down.[9]

With Area 13 overrun by Merlin's forces, Warwolf and Gorilla-Man realized that the portal to Merlin's location was still open. They had the cells of the giant monsters being held opened, and jumped through the portal just before a stampede of monsters followed them. [10]

The Commandos waited just outside of Merlin's camp, and were soon joined by dozens of other Commando members who followed them through the portal. The group then launched an assault on Merlin's forces. During the battle, Gorilla-Man and Warwolf located Merlin, who fled when he realized he couldn't win this fight. [11]

Agents of Atlas

Later, Gorilla Man was brought into a new group being formed by his old ally Jimmy Woo, called the Agents of Atlas[4].

Wolverine & Fat Cobra

Fat Cobra (Earth-616) and James Howlett (Earth-616) from Wolverine Vol 4 18 0001

Wolverine and Gorilla Man begin battling there adversaries that are trying to stop them. Unfortunately, since they are heavily outnumbered and overpowered by dragons, they are forced to give up as the old master and young boy are captured. Wolverine and Gorilla Man are left to the mercy of the dragons as the old master is pushed down a bottomless pit and they young boy is taken to the Jade Claw's hideout. There he is put to work in the fields. Meanwhile, Wolverine and Gorilla Man manage to free themselves, and with the aid of Fat Cobra , manage to devise a plan to infiltrate the Jade Claw's base.[12] They battled the Jade Claw and defeat them, Yuen Yee rescues the slaves. In a fight Soulstriker attempts to take Logan's soul, but fails due to Logan's run to Hell and back. With her domain is crushed Suwan runs back to China.[13]


Mystical Enchantment: As a result of killing the last Gorilla-Man, Hale has inherited the enchantment and has been physically transformed into a gorilla. As a result of his transformation, Hale possesses various attributes associated with the enchantment.

  • Superhuman Strength: As Gorilla-Man, Hale is as strong as an adult mountain gorilla. At his peak, he possesses sufficient strength to lift approximately 1,500 lbs.
  • Superhuman Stamina: The enchantment has dramatically increased Hale's musculature and it is significantly more efficient than that of a normal human. His muscles produce less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the muscles of an ordinary human. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him.
  • Superhuman Durability: Hale's bodily tissues are harder and more resistant to some types of injury than the bodily tissues of a normal human. For instance, he is much more resistant to impact and blunt trauma forces than a normal human. He can withstand impacts, such as falling from many stories up or being repeatedly struck by a superhuman foe, that would severely injure or kill a human with little to no injury to himself.
  • Superhuman Agility: Hale possesses the natural agility of the great ape in which he's named for. His agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
  • Superhuman Dexterity: As with an actual gorilla, Hale is able to use his feet to perform most of the same purposes that he can accomplish with his hands. For example, he is able to tie knots with his toes and can use weapons such as guns or knives as comfortably with his feet as with his hands.
  • Superhuman Sense of Smell: As Gorilla-Man, Hale has a sophisticated and highly developed sense of smell. Hale is able to remember, identify, and track individual targets by their natural scent even through dense jungle terrains and if the scent has been greatly eroded by natural factors.
  • Immortality: Another part of the Gorilla-Man enchantment is the fact that Hale is functionally immortal. As long as Hale is Gorilla-Man, he is immune to further aging and is also immune to the effects of all known Earthly diseases.


Hale is a skilled armed and unarmed combatant, having received training from various military groups. His natural prowess as a combatant has been greatly improved with the addition of his superhuman powers.


The enchantment doesn't grant Hale complete immortality. He can't die through natural means, such as old age and disease, he can be killed in much the same way as a normal human being. For instance, Hale can be killed by a bullet just as he used to kill the previous Gorilla-Man.


He is an expert in weapons usage with a preference for firearms.

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