William Congo Bill Glenmorgan was born 1898, the son of a Scottish gamekeeper. At one point he was a member of the IRA [Irish Republic Army] and during World War I [1914-1918] he served as a solider in The Battle of the Somme in France in 1916 and also the Battle of Flander's Field in Passendale, Belgium in 1917. He worked his way up as a spy in Austria. Spying on the [Prussia] German Army and plans on the until the war ended in 1918. At first, merely an adventurer and soldier of fortune, the man known only as Congo Bill soon came to appreciate the native beauty of Africa and her creatures, becoming a noted naturalist and trapper, and refusing to kill any animal unless left no other choice. His honesty, integrity, and courage made Congo Bill a legend among the many tribes of the jungle and the African authorities, and there was almost nowhere he was not welcome.
While working for a time as a special investigator and troubleshooter for the world wide insurance company, Congo Bill came into contact with Janu, the Jungle boy, actually the orphaned son of a famous guide, now living wild in the jungle. For the next several years Congo Bill served as guardian and father figure to young Janu, until the boy left for America to receive a proper education.
Sometime later, Congo Bill attempted to save the life of Chief Kawolo, an old friend and tribal witch doctor, who had fallen off a cliff. Despite Bill's best efforts, the old man knew he was dying and bequeathed Bill a final gift, an ornate ring carved with the image of a Gorilla. By rubbing this ring, the dying man explained, Bill would be able to trade identities for one hour with Kawolo's tribal god, a golden gorilla. To humor the old man, Bill accepted the ring, believing the story to be silly superstition, until an avalanche trapped him in a cave and he had no other hope of freeing himself except to rub the ring. Instantly, Bill found his mind in the body of the golden gorilla, while the gorilla's mind inhabited his body. Now a unique hybrid of man and beast, Bill freed his body from the cave and carved a new legend across Africa over the next several years as the remarkable man-ape called Congorilla.
Finally, Janu, now college educated, returned to Africa and convinced Congo Bill that industry was the hope of Africa's future. Retiring from the brush, Bill and Janu opened a small industrial firm that soon became a large conglomerate with Bill as it's president and Janu as vice president. Though financially successful, Bill found little satisfaction in the world of business, and when the world was threatened with extinction, Bill once more became Congorilla, joining a number of other "Forgotten" heroes and Superman to save humanity from destruction. Congo Bill and Congorilla can speak English, French, and German and other languages. In the 1992 series called Congorilla, Janu took control over the power of Congorilla and Congo Bill had to fight his son to the death. Grief stricken and badly injured, Congo Bill took refuge to recover from his wounds. As a result of the battle, he became blind in his left eye making it hard for him to see. Congo Bill kept out of the public eye after his son's death for seven years until 1999.
In 1999, a very old Congo Bill was featured in a Vertigo comic titled Congo Bill. The four issue comic portrayed him as an old and crazy man with a beard and long hair where he was a prisoner chained to Congorilla. He and Congorilla murdered hunters in the Congo because they where hunting the gorillas. A friend of Congo Bill's he knew from the U.S. came to Congo Africa with some new hunters. Congo Bill remembered him and all the events that happened when he was starting out as a hunter came back in a flashback. Congorilla took Congo Bill's friend to the forest and tied him up. The hunter was in shock to see Congo Bill in chains along side Congorilla. Congo Bill told his friend it was nice to see him after all these years. He told him that he was left behind to die in the Congo and that he learned how to survive all these years with a ring that can turn him into a gorilla. Bill's friend had brought three hunters with him who were now looking for their boss. Congorilla went out of control when he sensed that they had company searching for them. Congorilla killed two of the hunters and Congo Bill put the ring on to save the last hunter from the collapsing caves. However, his friend was killed from the falling rubble. The other gorillas were happy to see the ring on his hand again.
The Return of Congorilla
Congo Bill returned to DC Comics ten years later in the 2009 comic book called Justice League: Cry For Justice, a six part mini-series. Bill had been living with a troop of gorillas in the Congo for many years but they are brutally murdered by hunters and poachers. He was left badly beaten. His human body later died from the injuries and his mind was left permanently in the body of the Golden Gorilla. Congo Bill was 111 years old when he died. He then set out in search of justice. On his search he met Mikaal Thomas (the 3rd Starman) on Blackhawk Island who was on his own mission for justice. The two became fast friends and continued their journey together before joining with Green Arrow's Justice League. After Prometheus attacked the team and destroyed Star City the team disbanded and Congorilla and Mik returned to Blackhawk Island.
Justice League of America
On Blackhawk Island, Congorilla and Mik were attacked by the New Gods Chair and a mysterious woman who appears to be amazonian. They were almost defeated before the newly formed Justice League of America led by Green Lantern, Donna Troy and Dick Grayson came to their aid. Recovering from their wounds, Congorilla and Mik joined the team of heroes in fending off their attackers. After the battle was over Donna Troy invited the pair back to the JLA Satellite where, after most of the new team left, Congorilla and Mik (now calling himself Starman again) joined Batman and Donna Troy as the four core members of the new Justice League of America.
As the team became more used to one another and went on missions, Bill realized that he enjoys fighting with them and found a new reason and purpose for continuing his already very long life. Most recently he has shown previously unused abilities and also proved his worth by taking blows from Etrigan the Demon. Bill is also helping the The Justice League with the Justice Society America to find Alan Scott the Green Lantern with his daughter Jade to stop the mind control power in Green Lantern ring. Bill and Jessie Quick went to Japan to solve the missing part of the puzzle of the whereabouts of Green Lantern. Bill told Jessie Quick that he knew her father Johnny Quick and they did a documentary about Africa in 1953 for a short time. Bill told Jessie Quick that he will tell her the story later when they get their job done. Congorilla was also seen helping Nevada by stopping a water dam from erupting but Supergirl knocked Congorilla to the ground and the dam burst. Supergirl was mind-controlled by Alan Scott's [Green Lantern] power to knock out Congorilla. Congorilla recovered from his blackout and was seen helping Power Girl and Supergirl [Superman's two cousins] in a battle to stop Alan Scott's mind control power from taking over the world. When the battle ended, the Justice League and the JSA got back to their normal life and Alan Scott was back to normal as a Green Lantern. Congorilla asked Donna Troy where Supergirl was and Donna said that she is back in Metropolis protecting the city from her Superman's absence.
Later, Congorilla went to New York City's Manhattan Park on his day off and was seen leaping and climbing and Bill says "I love life." Congorilla did not show up for the role call at the watchtower in space. Congorilla was seen in an Opal City bar where people in the bar where scared of the gorilla. Bill told a detective that he was looking for his friend Starman and that he was in danger for his life. Congorilla helped out Superman and his cousins, Power Girl and Superboy, as the Justice League of America and the JSA were fighting off a green meteor before it struck Washington, DC. Congorilla saw Superman and he left the team on their own to push the green rock back away from Earth. Congo Bill's spirit told Congorilla to find his friend Starman and told Congorilla that something is not right at all. Congorilla, Animal Man, Starman and Rex the Wonder Dog were seen in Washington, DC to stop CSA. They got there in time to help out Superman and the JLA with the Teen Titans and the JSA. After the fight ended, Congorilla said "bravo to you my friends, I'm so relieved and so very proud of you all LADIES, GENTLEMEN I Give You the JUSTICE LEAGUE of AMERICA." Congorilla was also seen helping Green Lantern Jade with the war on Eclipso with the JLA. Congorilla was seen helping his team when he got the emergency call from Donna Troy. He brought his friends Animal Man, Tasmanian Devil, Cyborg and other former members of the JLA to take down Eclipso's shadow army, but Animal Man became mind controlled by Eclipso to attack the Justice League of America. Batman, Starman, Cyborg, Donny Troy, Congorilla and the Blue Lantern all huddled together and moved out to attack. Bill told Animal Man to fight it off and told Mik to wake up. The team was saved for now by Green Lantern's son Obsidian and they got the JLA members off the mind control power. After all the events of fighting Eclipso and the members and past members of the JLA got off the mind control power and defeated Eclipso. In the Last issue of JLA the team broke up and left for reasons. Congo Bill -Congorilla left the team to help his home of Africa and that they have a African Batman to protect Africa. Congorilla said good bye to all his JLA friends and did his World War I salute in the telporter and he telported away to home.
The Return Of Batman
Congorilla was also seen helping the Justice League of America solve the clues to what happened to Batman in the timeline. Batman returned to the present time overwhelmed by the Omega energy due to Darkseid's plan. Congorilla and the JLA fought Batman so he could gain control over the powers of the Omega energy. Congorilla said to Batman that he was very sorry to have to do this. The Justice League of America got the Omega virus out of his system and healed him back to normal.
Congorilla and Starman teamed up in a single issue tie in to the the JLA Omega storyline. The two heroes traveled the globe to find out what the Omega Force was doing to Earth. It is a flash back of the aftermath of a battle in the Gorilla City war. Congorilla and Starman
talked about what they did to help in the battle with Congorilla's gorilla friend helping fight the other gorilla's in Africa. They journeyed to Houston, Texas' space station to pick up Rex the Wonder Dog because they needed him.They then left for San Diego, California to look for Buddy Baker (Animal Man). Buddy told Bill that he had new powers and abilities and it would take time to adjust to them. Rex the wonder dog barked at Buddy to tell him to put his costume on and get to work. They went to Africa to see Congorilla's friend and Congorilla brought his team to fight the other gorillas. Congo Bill said to Congorilla that a battlefield brings back memories to him for the battle at Flanders Field and the Battle of the Somme (World War I) when he was a solider in the war. Near the end of the fight in Gorilla City, Congo Bill and Congorilla saw Tasmanian Devil from Australia helping out the team fighting the last gorilla soldiers in battle. In the aftermath of the Gorilla City War the six heroes got together and talked. Congorilla brought back Tasmanian Devil to his human form and Animal Man told him to go back to Australia to see his family and because they missed him. Hugh Harkins teleported home to Australia and told them that he will keep in touch by the comlink radio they have. Congorilla told Starman that they were just friends and nothing else. The team then teleported to Washington, DC to help the Justice League of America get rid off the green wall and to save the teammates inside.
In the last pages of Brightest Day #15, Congorilla and Starman were playing chess. He told Starman that chess is a game of war with two people. When they noticed something black leaking Congorilla saw that it was tar and that the Justice League Watchtower had been breached by by an old member of the Justice League, Firestorm. He told Congorilla and Starman that he needed help and that he was going to save the world from the Black Lanterns power. Congorilla and the JLA and also the JSA were there to help Firestorm with his power problem and to stop it from erupting a nuclear bomb. Later, Congorilla was with the Justice League of America along with the Teen Titans and the JSA cleaning up the beach in Florida in the aftermath of the Aquawar battle.
In Doom Patrol #20, the team was forced off Oolong Island by the super villains. The Doom Patrol split up and tried to join other superheros teams but it didn't work as planned. Robotman went to see Congorilla because he wanted to be part of the Justice League of America. He was told to leave the Hall of Justice by Congorilla after he called him a monkey and hurt his feelings. Robotman tried to apologize saying that it came out wrong but Congorilla still wanted him to leave. Robotman then left to look for his Doom Patrol friends.
After the events in Flashpoint and the DC Comics Relanch that happened in September. Congorilla has not been seen in the series but he will appear sometime. Congorilla and Congo Bill whereabouts in the DC Relaunch are unknown at this time.
In other media and games.
In 2008 series in Heroclixs called Crisis had Congo Bill and Congorilla as a bystander pog. Congo Bill can move up to 8 moment and his attack is 9 and his range to shoot is 8 and his defence is 16 and he takes 1 damage. When you flip Congo Bill pog to Congorillia his powers are different Congorilla has no range to attack and only attack when near someone. Congorilla can move up to 7 movement has 8 attack 0 range attack 17 defence and 2 damage knock out.
Congo Bill has many skills from his life as a human. After years living in the jungle, he is undoubtedly an expert in the fields of hunting, tracking and survival,a capable pilot and linguist,able to speak English, German, and Japanese and also a well trained hand to hand fighter and marksman. As Congorilla, Bill possesses all of these human skills as well as the physical abilities of the body of the Golden Gorilla which are:
Healing Factor: Congorilla's healing abilities are incredibly powerful and his body heals itself almost instantly after receiving damage. He can survive being shot and stabbed, and take large amounts of blunt force. Whilst his body is capable of taking huge amounts of damage it is still possible for him to be knocked unconscious.
Immortality: According to the legends of Chief Kawolo's tribe, the body of the Golden Gorilla is immortal and how your soul is permanently attached to the body, he can't die.
Size Manipulation: Congorilla's body is capable of growing to huge sizes. Whilst usually able to control his size, his moods can also affect his size involuntarily.
Superhuman Senses: Congorilla has all senses superior than a normal gorillas, he was able to follow the scent trail of a person through continents and even know if a person is lying by the smell exhaled by it in the middle of a lie.
Superhuman Stamina: In Cry for Justice after a fight with robots, Congorilla fell in the Atlantic Ocean and how Mikaal was not strong enough for the carries it, he had to swim eight miles up the European coast.
Superhuman Strength: Congorilla has superior strength than a normal gorilla, the level of strength varies according to his size. In normal size he was able to match with Mikaal Thomas,in giant size he was able to hold a reservoir about to burst.
Transference Rings (Formerly): after saving the life of the tribal sorcerer Chief Kawolo from a deadly fall,in appreciation Congo Bill received a ring with the image of a Gorilla. Chief Kawolo told that the ring would give him,the ability to switch bodies with the legendary Golden Gorilla and that he would have total control over it, but he could only stay out of his own body, for at least an hour or switch would be permanent. After the death of his original body, Congo Bill lives permanently inside of the Golden Gorilla, no longer needing to use the ring.
- Height: 6' 8"
- Weight: 706 lbs
- Eye Color: Blue
- Hair Color: Golden
In the Flashpoint universe, Congorilla killed his human body and pledged loyalty to Grodd. Grodd killed him in a fit of boredom, tearing off his head.
Justice League: The Nail
An version of Congorilla appears in issue 2, fighting alongside Animal Man and B'Wana Beast.
Congo Bill a movie serial was filmed by Columbia Pictures debuted in 1948, The series begins with Congo Bill going to Africa in search of the ''White Goddess'', that was actually an heiress of a wealthy family and facing an unscrupulous man ,who would do anything to get hold of his inheritance. Congo Bill was played by Don McGuire and lasted only 15 chapters,but was reissued in 1957.