Telepathy is a terrifying power on its own, now imagine if that power were in that of a super-intelligent 600 pound gorilla. What you get is Gorilla Grodd, the tyrant of Gorilla City, the furriest Flash villain, and the topic of today’s Character Spotlight. How does a gorilla, let alone a city’s worth, come into being? Let’s find out!
When a radioactive meteorite or an alien in its spaceship (time has changed the origin) crashes near a troop of gorillas, the natural thing to occur is that the gorillas are given human-level intelligence, and two of them get telepathy. Duh. This led to the development of Gorilla City, an advanced city shrouded by cloaking technology, and led by one of the telepathic gorillas, Solivar, who was a benevolent ruler. Grodd plotted his way to take over the city, and eventually the world. Thankfully, the Flash, the fastest man alive, showed up to aid Solivar and the other good apes of Gorilla City in fighting off many attempts from Grodd and those he either commanded to his side or joined him willingly.
Grodd is your classic villain who craves power over others and knows that his telepathy, strength, and intelligence give him advantages. He realized that teaming up with other villains increased his chances and allowed him to be cutthroat with his own allies. He became a frequent member of teams like the Injustice League, the Anti-Justice League (running out of ideas there?), Secret Society of Super Villains, Tartarus, and the Simian Scarlet, which sounds like a really cool all ape version of the Scarlet Letter.
Grodd used his powers to not only try to take over Gorilla City, but Flash’s hometown, as well, by making everyone love him, which he used to try to become Governor and eventually President of the United States. This is why I love you, comics. Flash was able to foil his plan by using his powers to vibrate at the frequency of a solar flare. Because that’s how you disrupt that kind of telepathy.
Grodd’s goals are pretty simple and often involve either using his telepathy or some weird technology. Sometimes his goal is to wipe out humanity for a gorilla-run Earth, naturally run by Grodd. One of my favorite attempts to do this was when a machine was made to turn all humans into gorillas, thus resulting in all your favorite heroes becoming gorillas and giving us the JLApe. That’s our Gorilla Grodd! For a short period of time Grodd took over Africa, but that was a bad story so that’s all I’ll say about that.
In the New 52, Grodd is the only member of Gorilla City who does not believe in the prophecy that states Flash is the chosen one, and that his wielding of the Speed Force is proof of it. Grodd gets hooked up to the Speed Force, so now we have a 600 pound gorilla with telepathy and super speed, awesome. This is short lived, as Flash takes him down, and now many mind-controlled gorillas are free but under arrest in Central City. That’s where we are with DC’s most famous gorilla villain. Join me next time when we talk about my favorite gorilla villain (I love that there is more than one), Monseiur Mallah!
The Flash #106
Flash Annual #4
Birds of Prey #23