Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Supervillainy A-To-Z: J is for Jack-An-Ape

I want to open this post with my heartfelt condolences and best wishes for the citizens of Boston, Massachusetts after the tragic events of this Monday, April 15th, 2013.

I do not wish to be pessimistic but it is difficult not to be. The utopian future of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, once a great inspiration to me, seems so far away and unrealistic now. Not because of transporters and aliens or spacecraft that can move faster than light, but because a universe in which all the nations and peoples of Humanity has joined together in peace seems to push the suspension of disbelief too far.

Homo sapiens, I challenge you. Prove me wrong.

-Adam Dickstein, 'Barking Alien', April 16th, 2013




True Identity: Jack (Unspecified Test Subject 'J')
Description/Appearance: At just under 4 feet tall and weighing roughly 80-85 lbs., Jack wouldn't seem to be the most striking of individuals. Yet somehow, what he lacks in mass he makes up for in presence.
Jack is a typical chimpanzee, with the exception of his attire. He has some. As a matter of fact, Jack has amassed quite a wardrobe. His favored mode of dress is a child-sized grey or black suit, a white button up shirt and a tie. He sometimes wears V-neck sweaters with a shirt and tie underneath. He prefers to go barefoot but is often seen donning a fedora type hat.
While a cigarette or cigar often dangles from his lips, it is never lit.
Origin and Background: The Cerebtellectual Alpha Wave Modulation Helmet was to be one of Master Plan's greatest triumphs, if, it in fact worked. Of course, if it malfunctioned, instead of raising his already incredibly intelligence it could leave him a blithering vegetable. What to do, what to do.

With the hired help of some other, lowered powered super crooks, Master Plan was able to, hmmm, 'liberate' a chimpanzee from a L.I.F.E. Laboratory facility just outside the Chicago city limits. Returning to his secret hide-out, Master Plan secured the chimp and attached the helmet to his head. Unbeknownst to the belligerent baron of back-up brainwork, the chimpanzee, or 'Test Subject 'J', had already been the subject of genetic engineering in an attempt to cure the condition of autism.

The combination of his altered genetic structure and the alpha waves from the helmet resulted in a violent fit and then a comatose state. Ready to dump the body somewhere, Master Plan and his men were totally stunned when the chimp woke up, escaped the chair he was strapped to, grabbed a ray gun and started blasting. The chimp escaped, smashing the helmet in the process and returned to the L.I.F.E. Lab he was taken from. Once there, he freed most of the other animals and damaged a good deal of the equipment. When a security guard entered to see what was happening, he shouted out, "Who's there?". The answer came back...

"Jack. An ape."

Powers and Abilities: Jack is, for the most part, a healthy chimpanzee with the intellect of a very clever, normal Human being. He is not superhumanly intelligent. He is super intelligent for a chimpanzee. Most of his knowledge and skill, obtained by reading books and the internet and watching TV, covers everyday things like driving, reading and writing and how to fire a machine gun. Yeah.

You see, trying to make your way in the world as a talking chimpanzee isn't easy and with his intelligence, agility and small stature, Jack quickly made his way through the ranks of Chicago's criminal underground, eventually coming out as a Northern Mid-West kingpin. He now uses his numerous flunkies and confidants to do most of the dirty work for him but isn't above getting his hands (all four of 'em) dirty if need be.

In addition to continuing to learn and improve his skills, vocabulary and understanding of the modern human world, Jack retains his animal instincts and never tries to hide or ignore the fact that he is a chimp.

Personality and Motivations: Jack is a renaissance man...er...ape and is interested in literature, art and music. He will often be involved in crimes to obtain rare books, paintings or other items of culture. His own style and culture is a bit of an 'evolved' (sorry for the pun) gangster. He is a big fan of gangster films and period shows like 'Mad Men'.

Periodically, when anger or extremely frustrated, Jack 'loses it' and suddenly seems to divorce himself from his human level intelligence, 'going ape' as it were and performing all manner of monkey business (randomly throwing things around, screeching and jumping for place to place, etc.).

Jack retains a soft spots for animals and a powerful dislike of cages, L.I.F.E. Labs (even though they actually treated him relatively well) and Master Plan. While out of his league against the big MP, he will team with other villains or even heroes to stick-in to that malign, meticulous maniac.


Jack was originally created for Villains & Vigilantes and has been used in Champions and Mutants & Masterminds as well.

Seriously, what comic book universe would be complete without a talking ape? I love getting to play him. I see him much less like Gorilla Grodd or even Monsieur Mallah or that type of ape villain and more like an cross between a Batman mob villain and Detective Chimp.

Jack-An-Ape for ICONS:

The illustration is straight up taken from comic book artist Brahm Revel. I was going to draw my interpretation of Jack when I saw this and thought it was just too perfect. I did the coloring.

Barking Alien


  1. Replies
    1. I am liking it a lot. I just wish real life would stop being such a pain so I could get to do it at a better pace.

  2. You're theme is GENIUS. Seriously, awesome. And I love a good villainous chimp.

    Happy A to Z blogging.