54 years ago - Gorilla Grodd is born in Gorilla City.
37 years ago - 17-year-old Grodd fathers Malavar.
26 years ago - 28-year-old Grodd develops rare psychic powers, begins his long-term plotting for the overthrow of Solovar.
13 years ago - 41-year-old Grodd's plans are triggered when William Glenmorgan uses the Simeon Talisman to become Congorilla. He captures him to learn about the outside world. Glenmorgan escapes, not knowing that Grodd already has what he needs.
11 years ago - 43-year-old Grodd stages his coup and takes over Gorilla City, imprisoning Solovar. He moves to take S.T.A.R. Labs in Central City. The Flash & Kid Flash try to stop him, so he allies himself with the Rogues, but once they discover his endgame (to turn all humans into Gorillas), they turn on him and help the Flash capture him. He is imprisoned in Iron Heights.
8 years ago - 46-year-old Grodd escapes Iron Heights & becomes a weapons broker as he plots his return to Gorilla City. He stablizes Giganta's powers, taking her own as a cohort. They join Dr. Sivanna's Secret Society.
5 years ago - 49-year-old Grodd's forces attack Gorilla City, allowing him to return. Solovar contacts the Flash, who is helped in overthrowing Grodd by Giganta & Wonder Woman. Grodd is imprisoned within the city.
2 years ago - 52-year-old Grodd engineers the assassination of Solovar, disrupting Gorilla City's entrance into the global community & facilitating his own escape.
Grodd is one of the inexplicably huge number of gorilla characters in DC's roster. They can't even be tracked back to a specific era when interest in gorillas might have been higher; DC has simply been cranking out gorilla characters practically as long as they've been publishing. Even among that crowd, however, Grodd absolutely stands out. He's quite simply one of the most effective Super Villains in all of comics. He brings an immediate comic book lunacy to any story, infusing it with menace and danger and fun in a way that is so unique. Usually when we write out a characters timeline we have to jump around the website and fix all the links referencing the character; to do Grodd we almost had to rewrite the whole thing, because he's such an amazingly effective character that we have whole teams revolving around him. This is a delight of a character.
Gorilla Grodd's Comic History
Gorilla Grodd is yet another invention of John Broome & Carmine Infantino. He was created in 1959, a new enemy for the Flash in an era absolutely wrought with them. On the surface you could argue that he is, like all of Broome & Infantino's inventions, a pretty gimmicky character. Rather than having a cold gun or liking boomerangs, however, his gimmick was simply 'this guy is a gorilla'.
The invention of this character, however, not only meant that the DC universe now included an entire secret city of scientifically advanced Gorillas, but also gave us a hulkingly powerfully mad scientist with psychic powers that would totally eat people. There's just so much there that he became a huge player in the larger DC mythology, constantly included in stories beyond the scope of the Flash. He was a featured member of the animated Legion of Doom, and has constantly been used as a major player in practically every larger crossover featuring groups of villains. Sometimes he's played up as being absolutely terrifying, sometimes he's played as hilarious, and it always feels completely correct.
Our Gorilla Grodd Story
Grodd is such a huge character that we wound up using him all over the place. Just doing his story justice means we needed to make sure that his main goal, to rule both Gorilla City and the world, is a constant part of what he does, but he also has a tendancy to ally himself with other villains and build his own teams.
The very particular energy he brings to a story, the automatic increase in comic book insanity and the level of suspension of disbelief he requires makes him an ideal story device to use when explaining other characters that might need a little push into believability, and we used him for characters like Congorilla, Titano & Giganta to make them feel more connected to the reality of our world. Otherwise, we've used him constantly in a variety of stories to threaten and challenge characters all over the map; obviously the Flash as he's first and foremost a Flash villain, but also characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, and even the Rogues themselves.
Of course, we've even taken a page from the animated Justice League series to make the modern Legion of Doom Grodd's creation. While other supervillains might build gatherings of their fellow baddies to further their own ends, the sheer audacity and scope of the Legion seems like something that could only come from the arrogance of this superintelligent simian.
Gorilla Grodd's Future
Our timeline, as it stands, is closing out with the Legion of Doom ramping up to pose a major threat to the new Justice League and to the Watchtower. Grodd's plans are always typified by his violence, his utterly insane ambition, and his brilliance, so a story featuring his Legion of Doom is going to, by it's very nature, be absolutely looney tunes.
What comes next for him? There are plenty of elements in the classic DC mythology that we've had to cut out just because their stories are simply asking to much of the premise. The evil alternate-reality Justice League, the Crime Syndicate of America, is a good example. Without using the multiverse, there's just no functional way to incorperate them.
Grodd is a huge jolt of the verve and childlike wonder that permeates the early years of comics and give it all it's wonderful energy. This is the stuff that makes comics fun, and lets us extend our disbelief. If we wanted to do any of those crazy stories, then Grodd is going to continue to be the thing that lets us do it.