For some reason, humanity has long been obsessed with apes. They’ve invaded pop culture over the years to the point where actually putting together the nominees for this list took longer than writing it. But here they are: the top five fictional apes!
Of course we start with the king. The eighth wonder of the world has appeared in eight films so far (including Kong: Skull Island) making him one of the biggest icons in cinema history. Contrary to what most posters might have you believe, King Kong is more tragic anti hero than a monster, similar to Godzilla. Which is part of what makes it so hard to root for one or the other when they go head to head!
Created by Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto — aka the guy who invented Mario, The Legend of Zelda and the rest of your childhood — Donkey Kong made his debut in arcades as a villain before the mantle was taken on by his son, the DK we all know and love today. He is now easily the most beloved ape in all of gaming.
Almost everything I write for this website is a thinly veiled excuse to bring up the wonders of Beast Wars. I am firmly in the “monkey not trukk” camp. Fight me. Anyway, Optimus Primal is the leader of the Maximals and pacifistic “ancestor” (you don’t know how Transformer ancestry works and neither do I) of the Autobot legend, Optimus Prime. He more than lives up to the legacy as an impressive warrior and the #$%! savior of the whole #$%! timeline. His alt-modes include a silverback gorilla, a shiny gorilla with a flying surfboard, and a mechanical gorilla that turns into a tank. The Beast Wars were awesome.
DC is weirdly obsessed with apes. Solovar, Congorilla, Detective Chimp, Ultra Humanite, Titano and Monsieur Mallah, are just the ones I can name off the top of my head. But one stands above them all: Gorilla Grodd, the evil, telepathic gorilla nemesis of The Flash! Grodd’s not only super strong, he’s incredibly intelligent. Plus, he’s weirdly into the idea of turning all people into apes.
The newest entry to this list, Winston has arguably the coolest backstory of the bunch: He was one of a group of apes that were genetically enhanced and placed on a lunar colony to determine the effect it would have on them, but they rebelled and Winston — the most intelligent and noble of them — fled to earth to join the heroic team known as Overwatch. Also, sometimes he gets mad and turns into a rage monster. Basically, he’s X-Men’s Beast mixed with The Incredible Hulk.