Sometimes an ape's gotta do what an ape's gotta do.
That will be the motto of ATLAS star Gorilla-Man-also known as adventurer Ken Hale-when he branches out on his own this July for a three issue limited series by writer Jeff Parker and artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo. Like many fans, Parker has a soft spot in his heart for Hale.
"In the Shakespearean tradition of the Fool getting to comment on Kings, Ken Hale often gets to say what many readers think about certain Marvel characters," the writer reveals. "He stands in for us when we would like to zing Iron Man or Wolverine. Also, I think people like that he's unflaggingly loyal to his team-if the Gorilla-Man has your back, that's something you can count on."
And count on him Atlas head Jimmy Woo does, as he sends Hale off on a mission that will both clean up some of the organization's more dastardly holdings and also unearth aspects of Hale's past readers have never seen before.
"Jimmy Woo is trying to step things up with reforming the network of villainous operations that are part of the Atlas Foundation; they're done with playing a bad guy role and need to clean up the act," Parker says. "So most of the team has to go deal with certain outfits on their own, and
|GORILLA-MAN #1 cover by Dave Johnson|
As he has since bringing the team back in 2006, Parker doesn't plan to just explore the Agents of Atlas' current exploits but also fill in the huge holes in their histories, beginning with Ken Hale.
"I've imprinted my own blueprint all over [Gorilla-Man's past], the basic origin story was about a man dreaming about this gorilla that he had to hunt," Parker reminds. "I kept the part about the curse, that you become the gorilla [when you kill the previous gorilla], but I wanted a more freewheeling knock-em'-up character for Ken Hale. His name was great, we kept that too. But I wanted more background, a roguish past. And for there to be a good reason that he was always so good with weaponry, so he became a soldier of fortune."
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