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[Mini-Africa map] [Gorilla City as it looks today]
Continent: Africa
Region: Congo Basin
First Appearance: Flash v.1 #106 (April–May 1959)
See Also: Solovar, Grodd

Deep in the heart of Africa, somewhere in the Congo Basin,* is a city hidden by mountains and illusion. Where it now stands, a meteor or spacecraft** crashed during the 19th century, its rays imbuing a gorilla tribe with intelligence, great strength and size, and telepathy. There they now live, in an advanced society using science far beyond our own.

Like their ancestors, the gorillas of Gorilla City are generally peaceful, although they can be deadly when provoked. The two extremes can be seen most clearly in the city’s two most famous citizens: its long-time leader Solovar and his rival Grodd.

The gorillas have kept their city secret for over a century, allowing contact with humans only after Solovar was captured by humans and Grodd pursued him to Central City in the United States. When Grodd stole the secrets of Solovar’s mental powers, the city’s leader decided to break his silence and contact the second Flash. The Flash captured Grodd and freed Solovar, but Grodd would not be caged for long. The Flash and his allies would come to Gorilla City’s aid many times over the years.

[Gorilla City as it once looked]

Two Tribes

Gorilla City has twice made itself known to the world at large. When one of Grodd’s escapes made the city visible, Solovar petitioned the United Nations for recognition. (Action Comics #424, 1973) Over time, though, human society proved destructive to the gorillas’ mental discipline, and the city cut off relations with the outside world. In a massive undertaking, they were able to erase memories and records of their city from the minds of everyone in the world. (Flash v1 #294–295, 1981)

Later, Solovar and his advisers concluded that, for good or ill, the fates of humans and apes were bound together. Solovar again petitioned the United Nations for membership, in a highly-publicized world tour—and was assassinated. Under the leadership of Solovar’s nephew Ulgo, Gorilla City declared war on humanity, choosing to eradicate the species by transforming them all into gorillas. Eventually the assassination was revealed as a plot by Grodd’s Scarlet Simian faction to take power. (1999 “JLApe” Annuals)


Since the disastrous war, Gorilla City has again cut itself off from the world. Under the leadership of Solovar’s son, Nnamdi, the city has been rebuilt to be completely self-sufficient. The golden spires and glass domes have given way to giant tree-houses, the boulevards to walkways and waterways. Fearing they cannot prevent mankind from destroying the world outside, they have chosen to ensure that their own world can continue. (Flash v2 #194, 2003)

Recent events suggest that the scientists of Gorilla City have a greater understanding of the speed force than the Flashes themselves. (Flash: Rebirth and Blackest Night: The Flash, 2009)

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Art

  • High-tech Trees: Flash (second series) #194 (March 2003) - Scott Kolins & Doug Hazlewood
  • Golden Spires: JLA Annual #3 (1999) - Jason Orfalas and Jordi Ensign

Origin Tales

  • Secret Origins #40 (May 1989): “Gorillas in Our Midst,” Cary Bates and Greg Weisman


  • Who’s Who in the DC Universe #9 (November 1985)
  • Flash Secret Files #2 (November 1999)
  • Countdown to Final Crisis #14 (January 23, 2008) - origin of Gorilla Grodd

Significant Silver-Age & Bronze-Age Appearances

  • Flash #106 (May 1959): “Menace of the Super-Gorilla!” John Broome
  • Flash #107 (July 1959): “Return of the Super-Gorilla!” John Broome
  • Flash #108 (September 1959): “The Super-Gorilla’s Secret Identity!” John Broome
  • Flash #115 (September 1960): “The Day Flash Weighed 1000 Pounds!” John Broome
  • Flash #127 (March 1962): “Reign of the Super-Gorilla,” John Broome
  • Flash #155 (September 1965): “The Gauntlet of Super-Villains,” John Broome
  • Flash #172 (August 1967): “Grodd Puts the Squeeze on Flash!” John Broome
  • Action Comics #424 (June 1973): “Gorilla Grodd’s Grandstand Play!” Elliot Maggin
  • DC Special Series #11: Flash Spectacular 1978: “Beyond the Super-Speed Barrier,” Cary Bates
  • Flash #294–295 (February–March 1981): “The Fiend the World Forgot!” and “In Grodd We Trust!” Cary Bates
  • Flash #313 (September 1982): “3-Way Fight for the Super-Simian!” Mike W. Barr
  • Flash #331 (March 1984): “Dead Heat!” Cary Bates
  • Flash #342 (February 1985): “Smash-Up,” Cary Bates

Significant Legacy-Era Appearances

  • Secret Origins #40 (May 1989): “Gorillas in Our Midst,” Cary Bates and Greg Weisman
  • Flash #69–70, Green Lantern #30–31 (October–November 1992): “Gorilla Warfare,” Mark Waid and Gerard Jones
  • Flash #151 (August 1999): “Territorealis,” Joe Casey
  • JLA Annual #3, Martian Manhunter Annual #2 (1999): “JLApe: Gorilla Warfare,” Len Kaminski
  • Flash #194 (March 2003): “Run Riot Part 3: Dead or Alive,” Geoff Johns

Significant One-Year-Later Flash Appearances

  • Justice League of America/Justice Society of America: The Lightning Saga (2007)
  • Flash #242–243 (September–October 2008): “Fast Money” Parts 5–6, Tom Peyer

Significant Rebirth-Era Flash Appearances

  • Flash: Rebirth #2 (July 2009): “Dead Run,” Geoff Johns
  • Flash: Rebirth #6 (April 2010): “Fastest Man Alive,” Geoff Johns (cameo)
  • Blackest Night: The Flash #1 (February 2010), Geoff Johns


*In Action Comics #424 (1973), both Sudan and Congo attempt to claim Gorilla City's territory.

**Secret Origins #40 presents the alien spacecraft origin. “Gorilla Warfare” presents the meteor origin. Most stories just ignore the question of what made them hyper-intelligent and simply deal with the fact that they are.

Thanks to Steve P. for identifying the story in which Gorilla City first breaks isolation.

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