Review: Gorilla-Man #2

Published on August 7th, 2010

So what has Ken Hale, everyone’s favorite gruff adventurer trapped in a gorilla’s body, been up to?  Getting in a whole lot of trouble in jolly ol’ Africa, that’s what he’s doing. Gorilla-Man is an adventurer who, thanks to a big heaping helping of magic, was turned into an immortal ape.  About all that is known about him is that he works as an Agent of Atlas so this mini-series has been showing the reader where Ken Hale came from and what he did to lead him down the path toward becoming Gorilla-Man.

gorilla-man

Issue 2 continues from where issue 1 left off where Gorilla-Man is sent after a smuggler in Africa who has amassed his own personal army.  The first few pages are pretty action packed, depicting Hale and Ji Banda (who is also an Agent of Atlas) fighting off the army of the man Hale was sent to stop.  Most of the remainder of this book is flashbacks to Hale’s life before he became part gorilla, occasionally coming back to the present where Hale and Ji Banda are searching the jungle for the smuggler.

Anyone who listened the the POW podcast a couple weeks ago will know how much I loved issue 1 of Gorilla-Man but issue 2 was a little bit of a let down in comparison.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great read, but it was just very heavy with Hale’s back story.  Normally I wouldn’t have a problem with showing where a character came from and what lead them to become who they are, but Gorilla-Man is only a 3 issue series so to spend almost an entire issue on flashbacks felt like a bit of a waste of time. I was also a bit disappointed because throughout almost the entire issue, Hale is using an image inducer to make him look human so that he can make his way through Africa without people saying, “Hey, is that gorilla wearing pants?”  I just like to see a giant talking gorilla shooting people and riding a motorcycle whenever possible.

That said, Gorilla-Man is still a really great read.  Giancarlo Caracuzzo’s art is really great and very well suited for this subject matter while writer Jeff Parker has done a superb job of fleshing out the character of Gorilla-Man and showing the readers where he comes from.

One of the really great parts about this series is the Twitter style Q&A at the end of the book where people on Twitter got to ask Ken Hale any question they could think of.  My favorite one from issue #2 is, “If you could be in any other super hero team besides the Agents of Atlas, what team would it be?”  Gorilla Man’s answer was, “Secret Avengers!  If I gotta listen to anyone other than Jimmy, Steve Rogers would be the man.”  Oooooh, my God.  Dare I dream?

Ian Candish
Ian@comicimpact.com