Silver Age kid that I am I've always had a strange fascination for the intelligent apes of the era. I love the Super-Ape minions of the commie comic book villain the Red Ghost. And what Silver Age kid wasn't a fan of Gorilla Grodd,arch-enemy of the Flash? My personal favorite intelligent ape of the 60s however was Monsieur Mallah. A six feet three inch 400 lb. French speaking gorilla.
Created by Arnold Drake (writer) and Bruno Premiani (illustrator) Monsieur Mallah first appeared in the pages of THE DOOM PATROL No.86 (March 1964) from DC Comics. He was the subject of an experiment of a scientist. The scientist raised a captured gorilla's I.Q. through shock treatments and other methods to the genius level of 178. The scientist who would later become the super-villain the Brain after losing his own body. One of those disembodied brains that you find so often in pulp fiction and B-movies. He would name the beast Monsieur Mallah and educated him for the better part of a decade training him as his assistant. The pair would become charter members of the Brotherhood of Evil and sworn enemies of the super-hero team the Doom Patrol.
Of course as a gorilla Mallah was a physically formidable foe. Standing 6' 3" he was quite a bit taller than an average gorilla.But just as strong. Silverback gorillas are 6x as strong as humans per kilo bodyweight. So a silverback gorilla (220 kg.) weighs about twice as much as a large human. So a silverback is about 12 times as strong as a human athlete. And even more impressive is the fact that they can run between 20 to 25 mph. To put that into perspective Usain Bolt ,the 3-time Olympic champion has been clocked at 23.25 mph.
In the Silver Age before CGI if you were making a Doom Patrol movie featuring Monsieur Mallah or a Flash movie featuring Gorilla Grodd you would be using an actor in an ape-suit. But we Silver Age kids were so use to men in ape-suits from repeated viewings of serials and monster movies from the thrilling 30s and fabulous 40s we wouldn't have cared. We had our own super-power. We had the ability to suspend belief.