Sam Simeon: 1997 - Present
Sam Simeon was born 'Drogg,' the child product of Grodd forcing himself on Boka, the wife of Solovar. Though it was in his rights, by Gorilla law, to abandon the prodigy begat in such a manner, Solovar chose instead to raise this child as if it were his own. Solovar gave the child a name which meant the opposite of Grodd, indicating his intent to not allow this child to follow the path of his biological father.
Unfortunately, other Gorillas did not have as much faith in the child as Solovar. Drogg was a pariah among the other young Gorillas. It did not help that Drogg had inherited the immense psychic potential of Grodd either, further alienating him from his peers and feeding a constant flood of his empathic and telepathic impulses of disgust and hate directly to Drogg's mind.
Shunned by his own kind, it was no surprise that Drogg sought out a different kind of existence. Drogg used the recovered alien tech of Gorilla City to surf the internet and quickly became something of a sci-fi geek and comic book nerd. So interested in these escapist fantasies was he, that Drogg began to make actual plans toward his escape of Gorilla City to live among the humans... he even secretly gave himself a human name: Sam, a reference to the protagonist of one of Drogg's favorite television serials about a man who could literally leave his own body and leap into another life. But before Drogg could enact his plans, Grodd returned to Gorilla City and overthrew the government, exiling Drogg's only true ally, Solovar.
Grodd made himself the new overlord of Gorilla City and though he was pleased to learn that Solovar had not killed his child, this father and son reunion was anything but joyous. As Drogg used his psychic powers to simply shield his abilities from his father's senses, fearing that Grodd would give him extra unwanted attention if he knew that Drogg was psychic like himself.
As Drogg continued to make arrangements to flee, an expedition of humans finally found Gorilla City. Drogg knew he would never have a better chance and used his abilities to scan the minds of the humans. Drogg found a truly remarkable woman among the group and so he acted fast to save her while Grodd was busy slaughtering the rest of the humans.
Having escaped with Angel O'Day, Drogg was asked to supply the US. Government with vital details on Gorilla City. He was happy to do so, on the condition that he be allowed to have the honor of being the first gorilla recognized as a full U.S. citizen.
Renamed Sam Simeon and getting his wish, the gorilla heard his new friend Angel planned to go into business as a private investigator and decided to join her.
At first, it was just meant to be a job while he earned some money and attended art classes at the local college, aspiring to be a comic book artist; but as time went on, Sam learned the hard way that people were genuinely afraid of him. Sure there were those that felt he was a novelty or who tolerated his existence, but there was only one human who treated him as a real person and Sam did not want to abandon her so he continued to work as her partner even after Blaze Comics hired him on a trial basis to work from home.
When he's not inking the pages of Deus Ex Machina Man, Sam is backing up Angel as she tackles everything from murders, blackmail, extramarital affairs, kidnapping, and private security jobs. The two have even broken up a few big cases truly worthy of the sorts of heroes that wear capes and have earned the attention of ARGUS who occasionally hires the peculiar pair to work cases for them in and around Sun City where they now live, having moved out of Gotham after Sam had a bad run-in with the Joker.
- Metagorilla Physiology: Sam is a metagorilla and has all the powers that entails. In fact, Sam, like Grodd, is an exceptional example of his race and has more more potent abilities than the average metagorilla.
- Enhanced Strength: Sam is exceptionally strong, more so than a standard gorilla and even many metahumans. Sam's strength is classified as Class IV, allowing him to over fifty tons, but he typically only seems capable of doing that when enraged. More typically, he displays feats of strength more in line with Class II. Sam often uses his strength to navigate the urban jungles in which he now lives, often grabbing Angel and throwing him over his shoulder as he leaps several stories in the air to find cover or get into places that your average private investigator couldn't.
- Enhanced Resilience: While not bulletproof in the strictest sense, Sam's skin is thick enough that low caliber bullets or glancing shots often are only leave bruises. Sam can also take blows from powerful foes like Killer Croc or be hit by a bus and quickly get back into the fight.
- Enhanced Speed: While not a speedster, Sam is much faster than unpowered humans and can keep paces with vehicles moving through busy city streets. Sam can also combine this with his incredible leaping ability and prehensile feet to allow him to take shortcuts to aid him in his pursuit.
- Enhanced Jaws and Fangs: Sam's teeth are able to rend steel. It's possible that the focused force of his bite might even be as powerful as his father's which has been shown capable of drawing blood from Kryptonians. I feel it worth mentioning that Sam has excellent oral hygiene and I'd much rather be bitten by him than his father.
- Psychic: Like Grodd, Sam is an exceptional psionic. While he has just as much potential as his father, Sam's abilities are still developing and have not been augmented by Cadmus influence and as such, he is much weaker than his father in this regard.
- Telepathic Reception: By far his most used psychic talent, Sam is able to not only read surface thoughts easily, but he can also pluck specific pieces of information from people's minds if they are distracted.
- Illusions: Sam is able to make himself appear like a human so long as not too many people in the crowd are actually focusing on him. Sam can also make people overlook his and Angel's presence, so long as they're not actively looking for them.
- Empathic Reception: Sam can accurately gauge the emotional impulses of most beings in his presence.
- Animal Kinship: Animals will often ignore Sam's presence, even if the presence of a giant gorilla would normally cause an animal to flee in terror. This ability only works so long as Sam has no aggressive intent toward the animal.
- Telepathic Suggestion: Sam can give one word commands to those who are not strong-willed or who are not actively resisting. Commands often used by Sam include sleep, calm, run, quiet, stay, and speak.
- Psychic Scanning: Sam can scan the minds of those in his proximity to look for a particular person or find someone with a specific psychic signature or trigger. If focused on a single person, Sam can identify if the person is being influenced by any mind-altering psionics, drugs, magic, or metahuman powers.
- Possession: By placing his own body in a state of stasis, Sam can exert mental control of another for short periods of time.
- Intimidation: Sam is really good at scaring criminals... and normal people, even without the use of his powers. Of course, he is a nearly fight-foot-tall gorilla that talks.
- Investigation: While not the deductive genius that Angel is, Sam is an exceptional detective, especially when he can make use of his psychic powers.
- Multilingualism: Using his telepathy, Sam is a master of practically any language he needs to use. However, he is fluent in English and Latin, in addition to his native tongue of Gorillese (which is based off of the languages of Zambesi and Korikaan).
- Marksmanship: Though he does not care to use them, Sam carries a pair of pistols modified for his large fingers but also able to be used by Angel. Sam is a remarkable shot even when dual-wielding.
- Martial Arts: Sam is a master of the Gorilla City combat style. He is an excellent wrestler and brawler, but he admits he mostly relies on his brute strength and coordination rather than any actual training.
- Artistry: Sam is a remarkable sketch artist, cartoonist, and comic book style artist. He also has a wonderful singing voice, often singing Frank Sinatra classics while making breakfast.
- Cooking: Sam is teaching himself to be a gourmet cook, having become quite the foodie ever since Angel took him to try Asian fusion.
- Large: Sam's sheer size often poses a problem for him while navigating environments made for humans. For instance, he can't use a normal computer as his fingers are just too big and he has to have all his clothing tailor-made (hence his preference for suits).
- Animalistic Rage: When injured or sufficiently enraged, Sam's primal urges override his intelligent mind, causing him to become incredibly aggressive. He has been known to attack allies during such instances as he has a hard time distinguishing human faces and voices when so consumed. Angel O'Day has shown that she is the exception to this rule, but usually when Sam is so triggered, it's because Angel was put out of commission or is in danger.
- Angel O'Day: As alluded to above, Sam cares deeply for Angel and if she is put in danger or threatened, Sam cannot think rationally. Of course, this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that Sam realizes just how capable of a human Angel is and she is able to take care of herself more often than not; but should a being pose a significant threat to Angel's well-being, whether physical, mental, or emotional, Sam can be easily coerced to do most anything to prevent such harm.
- Human Wannabe: Sam desires nothing more than to be a human, or at least be treated like one unconditionally. Though he has never betrayed his morals to pursue this desire so far, there is the possibility that a criminal could possibly exploit this.
Trivia and Notes
- In conversation, Angel often talks like she and Sam are a couple, often going on and on about their wedding plans. As far as I know, this is just one of Angel's little mind games and social experiments she enjoys conducting, playing off people's strange notions as to the nature of their partnership and throwing people off their game as they wonder if she's joking or not... and though Sam doesn't often feed into this, he does like to call her 'babe'.
- Sam gives Angel three-quarters of his closet at their apartment to use for storing her fashion supplies. Sam only needs enough room for his five business suits, five large t-shirts, and a few pairs of 6XL gym shorts.
- Sam is an avid reader. While he prefers comic books by far, he also enjoys reading the classics.
- Sam claims his favorite food is fish tacos. He also enjoys just about anything made by street vendors and seems like he is never happier than when he gets to sample a culinary experience for the first time.
- Sam took his first name from 'Sam Beckett', the protagonist of the late 80's/early 90's sci-fi series Quantum Leap. The choice of name not only shows Sam's interest in geek culture, but has a psychological element to as it reveals Sam's interest in being able to leave his own body and leap into another, presumably that of a human.
- When Sam tried to use his mental possession on the Joker, the clown's insanity caused Sam's powers to backfire and the Joker's madness infected Sam's mind. This caused Sam to become one of Joker's henchmen for a period of ten days. During that time, Joker fashioned a ridiculous outfit for Sam and referred to him as 'Jackanapes'. Sam was eventually able to dispel the madness from his mind when he witnessed Joker spray Angel with Joker Venom when she came to rescue Sam; but this event has left Sam with a mild phobia of the Joker... and even of Gotham in general.
- Sam uses the pseudonym "Prime Ape" as his comic industry moniker, not wanting clients to take Angel less seriously if they find out her partner draws 'cartoons'.
- Sam and Kyle Rayner are artistic rivals.
- Sam is a composite character with Sam Simeon and Jackanapes, a Gorilla the Joker raise from crime since it was a baby.
- Sam and Angel's address is a nod to their first comic book appearance: Showcase #77, in 1968, by Oksner and Bridwell.
- His portrait seems to be inspired by this picture.