Orka was originally an Atlantean soldier and loyal follower to Warlord Krang. Orka continued to follow Krang after his exile from Atlantis by Namor. Krang would discover the hidden fortress of Doctor Dorcas as they searched for wealth and treasures from sunken frigates. They agreed to become allies but Dorcas needed a subject for one of his experiments, one with limited intelligence. Orka would be that test subject and be placed inside a chamber attached to various tubes and wires. Dorcas would transfer the power and abilities of the killer whale into Orka where he began to grow in strength and stature. Orka could also breathe indefinitely out of water, communicate with killer whales and was given a belt that formed a connection with the machine that sustained his powers. Namor would discover the hidden fortress when he followed a horde of killer whales to the base and found out that Lady Dorma was being held captive by Dorcas and was in cahoots with Krang. Orka would overpower Namor and place a metal collar around his neck which allowed Krang to control him with a special belt. Orka would command some killer whales to seek out Lady Dorma and kill the other fugitives that managed to escape from Dorcas. Dorma and Lord Vashti managed to reach a sunken cave when the rest of their party were killed when the whales smashed into the entrance, causing a massive cave-in. Things looked bleak for Dorma until Tiger Shark appeared from the reefs and fought off some whales. Tiger Shark was willing to help them out and save Atlantis if Dorma promised to marry him so he would have claim to the Atlantean throne. Out of desperation, Dorma promised to be his bride so Tiger Shark fought off the rest of the killer whales present and brought Vashti and his bride to be back to Atlantis. Krang and Dorcas would no longer wait for the recapture of Lady Dorma so they proceeded to assault Atlantis with Orka leading the charge with an army of killer whales with Namor strapped to one with heavy chains. Namor breaks free when the killer whale he was strapped to is struck by a laser cannon. Namor confronts Krang when he steps out of his vessel and grabs his cloak. Tiger Shark strikes Namor from behind and Krang's cloak wraps around Namor's face. Orka believes his master is being attacked by Tiger Shark so he strikes Arliss. During the fight, Orka grabs a massive pillar and attempts to smash Tiger Shark with it. However, Orka misses and strikes the ground with so much force that it creates a giant crevice that swallows both Orka and Tiger Shark. The killer whales are no longer in control without their leader and depart Atlantis.
Created by Roy Thomas, Marie Severin and Johnny Craig, Orka first appears in Sub-Mariner #23.
Orka started off as a loyal soldier to Krang until he was experimented on by Doctor Dorcas and morphed into an Atlantean powerhouse with the ability to communicate with killer whales. The ability to control killer whales made Orka a dangerous adversary previously demonstrated on his assaults on Namor and Atlantis with an army of whales. However, his limited intelligence would be his Achilles heel because he was easily manipulated or duped. Orka's physical stature would change once he was employed by the Brand Corporation to protect the Serpent Crown. Orka was dubbed Weapon One and his height grew to at least twenty feet and the density of his blubber became three times thicker enabling him to withstand powerful physical blows from Thor. His gigantic stature would vary throughout the years but most of his appearances have him at his standard height of eleven feet. Orka's primary nemesis in his early appearances has been Namor, but he would encounter numerous heroes/villains and teams like Iron Man, Hulk, Luke Cage, Tiger Shark, the Avengers, Defenders, the Head-Men and the New Warriors throughout the years.
Orka normally associated himself with sea oriented characters but that changed when he became a member of the Heroes For Hire. It was never truly clear how or why he became a member of the Heroes For Hire but he was a valuable member that served as their powerhouse and muscle. Orka's character on Heroes For Hire demonstrated great teamwork, humor and consideration for his teammates including one time when he attended the funeral of Tarantula's father and offered a flask to his team thinking it was customary for human funerals. The most touching aspect of his character occurred when he laid dying after getting blasted by a Doombot and told Shang Chi to tell Misty Knight that he has fallen in love with her.
Major Story Arcs
Rise, Thou Killer Whale
The demon queen, Virago from Zephyrland would come to Atlantis from her dimension and morph into the powerful She-Beast as she attacks the city. She-Beast is forced to flee when she is confronted by Namor and the Atlantean army. She-Beast reaches the southern perimeter of the city and begins to smash rocks out of anger when one accidentally strikes a mine. The mine detonates and opens a section of the ocean floor where Orka is set free. Orka and She-Beast agree to team together and attack Atlantis with a massive horde of killer whales. Orka comes into conflict with his nemesis, Namor and the alien beauty, Tamara Rahn. However, Namor is forced to flee when the killer whales prove too much for him. Namor escapes by burrowing through some coral reef but his momentum is so great that he ends up smashing into a navy vessel carrying large canisters of deadly nerve gas. Namor is severely injured and the chemical, crimson cloud reaches Atlantis where the inhabitants including Orka and Virago choke on the gas and collapse.
Acts of Vengeance
The Wizard is placed in the Vault after the Frightful Four are defeated by the Fantastic Four. While in his cell, a mysterious man appears in front of the Wizard and offers him a chance to leave in exchange for a certain favor. The Wizard agrees and his power suit is returned to him. The Wizard is confronted by the Guardsman but he easily defeats him and reaches an access port to the control panel where he opens all the cells inside the Vault. The Guardsman is able to make a distress call with his helmet so Iron Man and Hawkeye respond. Iron Man finds the wounded Guardsman but is attacked from behind by Orka. The powerhouse slugs Iron Man into a wall and tries to choke him out. Iron Man manages to take down Orka with a repulsor blast to the face.
Orka would be one of many super-powered criminals that attack the Fantastic Four during the Acts of Vengeance. Orka, Stilt-Man, Owl, Whirlwind, Armadillo and Man-Ape attack the Fantastic Four as they testify in front of Congress but they are easily defeated and taken back to the Vault.
Attuma would later employ Lord Arno as one of his lieutenants during Atlantis Attacks alongside U-Man, Tyrak and Krang. The Deviant warlord, Ghaur and Llyra recreated the Serpent Crown in hopes to physically manifest Set on Earth. Ghaur had Attuma lead the attack on the surface world and each lieutenant led a military force to four specific targets. Lord Arno led the assault at the Shoreham Nuclear Plant and was opposed by members of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four which included Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, She-Hulk and the Black Panther. Lord Arno would unleash Orka on the heroes when they revealed themselves. Orka is taken down by She-Hulk and Black Panther forcing Lord Arno to call a retreat.
The Crossing Line
Orka and some of his fellow Atlanteans would once again come into conflict with the Avengers, Alpha Flight and the People's Proctorate over a stolen nuclear submarine called the Waterwind that strayed into Atlantean sovereign waters.
Daughters of the Dragon
Orka comes to the office of Misty Knight and Colleen Wing looking to post bail for Stilt-Man, but the ladies are unavailable so he is greeted by their assistant, Otis. Orka runs out of patience and begins to thrash Otis around but learns that he is indestructible and impervious to pain. Orka gets tired because he has been out of the ocean for a while and is suffering from dehydration. Orka slumps on the couch and Otis gives him a bottle of water. Colleen and Misty come back to the office and take a picture of Orka with Otis cuddling close to him. The girls ask Orka if he has any information on Whirlwind, Freezer Burn, Humbug and 8-Ball regarding a high rise job. Orka provides valuable information that they stole something from an up and coming crime boss named Ricadonna. She was planning to have an underground auction where numerous organizations like HYDRA, AIM, Serpent Society and other heavy hitters would be present. The girls promise Orka that he will remain anonymous and get a discount when he posted bail for his friend, Stilt-Man.
Eventually joining the ranks of Heroes for Hire during the Civil War. He slowly started developing feelings for team member Misty Knight. Moments before meeting his death by a Doombot who was reprogrammed by Arthur Nagan, he confessed his love for her to his friends.
Hercules, Aegis and Amadeus Cho would travel to Tartarus where they are greeted by a welcoming committee consisting of numerous dead villains like Orka in service of Pluto. Hercules charges toward the undead and Orka strikes the Lion of Olympus with a powerful punch. Hercules stands down when Pluto appears with Zeus as his captive.
After the events of Secret Wars, Orka was seen again, seemingly alive and well and back on a quest against humanity. He was defeated by Regent. How he returned to life is unknown, but possibly it had something to do with the restructure of the Marvel Universe after the events of Secret Wars.
Powers & Abilities
Orka is one of the strongest Atlanteans. He can lift 80 tons while on land and over 100 tons while in water. This ability in strength could fluctuate however. His speed and stamina are on par with those of an actual orca. He can communicate with whales in their own language. The blubber in his body grants him some protection from injuries, though he also used protective armor on occasion. Orka is one of the few Atlanteans that can breath above water without aid. Orka possesses enhanced senses, including sight, hearing and sense of smell and taste. Orca, like the Sub-Mariner, has the limited ability to communicate and call upon certain marine lifeforms. Particularly killer whales, whom while within the presence of, Orca can grow decidedly stronger and tougher with them by his side. Vastly increasing his physical strength well beyond the 100+ marker so long as they remain within a limited vicinity.
- Height: 11'
- Weight: 732 lbs
- Hair: Black
- Eyes: Black
Orka would be involved in several stories taking place in the Marvel Adventures comics which are standalone stories and does not take place in the current Marvel Universe continuity.
Peter Parker and some of his classmates take a field trip to Oceana where they observe the "sea life" in captivity. Parker and his class are watching the killer whale show when Orka appears and takes control of Kantu the killer whale. Orka had plans to free his whale brothers by flooding the stadium. Orka is opposed by Spider Man and the web-head frees Kantu of the Atlantean's control. Orka is defeated when Kantu knocks him out of the stadium with his tail and the Atlantean powerhouse is eventually taken in by the authorities.