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A military veteran and the son of a gamekeeper, an adult William "Congo Bill" Glenmorgan became an adventurer in Africa. Over time, he gained an appreciation for the continent and gained a reputation as a naturalist and a trapper, only killing the wildlife of his adopted home when necessary. His strength of character afforded him the trust and admiration of many African tribes and authorities. Congo Bill later began working for the Worldwide Insurance Company as a troubleshooter and special investigator, protecting the company's policies and saving it from fraudulent payouts. While participating in these assignments, Congo Bill stumbled across Janu the Jungle Boy, a young, orphaned boy who had been living in the wilderness of the jungle. Taking the boy in as his ward, Congo Bill and his new sidekick shared more adventures.

At some point during his African adventures, Congo Bill befriended a witch doctor named Kawolo. After taking a lethal fall, Kawolo beckons Bill to his bedside and bestows onto him a magical talisman. Kawolo tells Bill that by rubbing the ring, Bill will be able to transfer his consciousness into the Golden Gorilla, Congorilla. While Bill did not initially believe the claim, he accepted the ring to humor his friend's dying wish. Bill came to learn, though, that Kawolo spoke truth——he could exchange his mind and soul with Congorilla. Thus, while Congo Bill's mind was possessing Congorilla, the animal's mind was in turn inside Bill's human body. A bond was formed, and the two shared many adventures wherein Congo Bill used his new ability to control Congorilla to help others.

Eventually, Congo Bill and Janu, both older now, came to America and started a successful business. Congo Bill and Congorilla, however, soon joined the Forgotten Heroes and shared a few adventures with the team.

At some point, Congo Bill and Congorilla returned to Africa, where Bill became good friends with fellow African hero, Freedom Beast. He found a home among a group of gorillas. Before long, Prometheus organized various attacks across the globe, which led to the deaths of his gorilla family, Freedom Beast, and his human body (as he was inside Congorilla at the time). As a result, Bill became permanently trapped within the body of the Golden Gorilla, marking the moment that Bill officially became the new Congorilla. Seeking justice, Congorilla joins Hal Jordan's ad hoc team with the goal of taking Prometheus down using a more proactive approach. During these events, Congorilla develops a close friendship with Starman. After Prometheus is killed by Green Arrow, Congorilla and Starman maintain their newfound friendship and stay together.

After assisting the new incarnation of the Justice League of America led by Donna Troy, the two heroes and friends are asked to join the JLA, an offer they accept. Congorilla stays on the team for many adventures, gaining a taste for super-heroics. Eventually, the team decides to disband after all of the members individually decide they want to pursue other things. Congorilla decides to return to Africa and use his experience with the JLA to guide other African superheroes and help them better protect their home continent——and become more renown in the process. Additionally, because Freedom Beast's powers originate in an elixir and his mask, Bill decides that he will honor Dominic's memory by selecting a successor himself.

Powers

Abilities

  • Aviation: Bill flew biplanes in the WWI and scouting planes during WWII.[1]
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat: Congo Bill is repeatedly shown to be an excellent brawler.
    • Jujutsu: Bill has demonstrated the ability to use Japanese-style Jujutsu in combat.[2]
  • Hunting: Bill is a safari hunter, hunting wildlife for food as well as trophies.
  • Stealth: Bill can creep forward with cat-like tread, sneaking up on villains without them ever knowing.[3]
  • Survival: Bill routinely adventures into the African wilderness and its deepest jungles with only a pack on his back.
  • Tracking: Bill tracks missing persons as well as criminals through the dense jungles and always manages to find them.[3]
  • Multilingualism: Bill, even as Congorilla, can speak German and Japanese as well as English.

Equipment

  • Kawolo's Magic Ring: This ring, given to Congo Bill by a friend from Africa, allowed Bill the following abilities.
    • Mind Transference (Formerly): For a period of time, Congo Bill possessed the ability to switch minds and souls with the Golden Gorilla, Congorilla, thus gaining all of the enchanted creatures incredible abilities.
    • Decelerated Aging (Formerly): Exposure to the ring that gave Bill his ability to swap bodies with Congorilla prolonged his life so that he was over 100 years old when his human body died.
  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
  • Congo Bill was adapted as movie serial in 1948.

Related


Footnotes


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This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
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