The Gibbon is a very minor, mostly comedic Spider-Man character. He first appeared in 1972, and has continued to pop back up a few times every decade since.
These are very old notes, mostly based on memories from his appearances during the 1970s and 1980s. These should be overhauled eventually, but I must admit that the Gibbon isn’t terribly high-priority. As these things go.
- Real Name: Martin “Marty” Blank.
- Other Aliases: Apeman.
- Marital Status: Single.
- Known Relatives: None.
- Group Affiliation: None.
- Base Of Operations: Mobile.
- Height: 5’9”? Weight: 190 lbs?
- Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown
Powers and Abilities
Martin Blank has been superhumanly agile and strong all his life. Most probably he’s a mutant.
His strength is enough to defeat Spider-Man and he’s dexterous enough to jump and climb the walls of skyscrapers with no effort at all. For instance, he could jump out from a helicopter, catch on to a wall, jump away at Spider-Man and knock him down.
If it wasn’t for his bad self-confidence this guy actually could become a real hero.
The story of Martin Blank is a sad one although it ended happily. Martin Blank had been living in an orphanage all his life. By some strange twist of fate Blank had superhuman agility and dexterity. Since he, so to say, wouldn’t win in a beauty contest either, he as a child was often mocked for being like an ape by his peers.
He never got adopted by anyone and grew older. When he was too old to stay at the orphanage he left for the streets with very little self-esteem. He wanted to find a place to fit in, but he lacked the money to travel there.
Blank began to work in a circus wearing a gorilla suit, while calling himself Gibbon after the ape. But since he no longer could take people laughing at him he quit.
While living in a home for poor people he, once when up on the roof, met Spider-Man, who got impressed by his agility. Marty, whose only belonging was the monkeysuit from the circus, decided that perhaps this was the big chance that he had been waiting for.
Thus he put on the suit and went looking for Spider-Man in the city. He did find him and offered to become his sidekick. But Spidey turned his offer down laughing at him. Marty got enraged and tried to kill Spider-Man. He failed and Spider-Man swung away leaving Marty a broken man.
But suddenly the old foe of Spider-Man called Kraven the Hunter appeared. Kraven told Gibbon his latest defeat at the hands of Spider-Man and convinced him that they should join forces. Gibbon thought that should teach everyone not to laugh at him and agreed.
Kraven powered him up with some herbs and sent him against Spider-Man. What the herbs actually did was to give Kraven mental control over the Gibbon in case he lost confidence and conviction. Gibbon actually managed to defeat Spider-Man, but broke out of Kraven’s control just when he was about to kill him too.
Gibbon passed out and Spider-Man took him to the hospital, unbeknownst to him robbing Kraven of his victory.
Several months later Blank had found a work as a photographer’s assistant. When he heard about a company being interested in getting photos on Spider-Man he immediately volunteered. The photographer Jack and Blank went to New York. Blank saw that this was his last chance for redemption and brought with him his old costume.
After scanning the skies of New York for a while they came upon Spider-Man swinging around. Marty changed into the Gibbon costume and told Jack to start filming. Spidey, however, defeated him easily this time.
While Spidey was examining Gibbon his old foe the Beetle attacked. Beetle pulled an entire wall over both of them, but Spidey managed to get Blank away (but not himself) before it crashed down. The Beetle and Spider-Man began to fight, but neither seemed to win.
Beetle realized that the upgrades of his suit still weren’t enough to defeat Spider-Man. Thus, he tried to get away. After a while when Gibbon woke up again, he decided that he could try to redeem himself by defeating the Beetle for Spider-Man. He only got in the way, however, and ended up being the Beetle’s prisoner.
Assistant beetle, and assistant bear
Later when Spider-Man tracked down the Beetle, Gibbon was his prisoner. Spidey managed to free Gibbon, but almost got defeated by the Beetle. Gibbon studied the situation from a distance and though that Spider-Man would die unless he did something. He bravely attacked the Beetle by surprise and actually knocked him out.
The Beetle was brought into custody and Marty was made the hero of the day since the entire fight had been photographed and filmed by journalists. People now thought that Marty was a tough and cool Apeman…redemption was finally his.
Fairly recently, the Gibbon and the Grizzly have been trying to make a go of it as superheroes of a sort. The Gibbon is the Grizzly’s sidekick. They had a Grizzlymobile, built by the Gibbon. However, they lost this car when Grizzly drove it off the pier before Gibbon could tell him that he had not put an aquatic mode in because of the expense.
The tow truck-driver that pulled it out of the water kept the vehicle until they could pay him. On the bright side, they did defeat the White Rabbit, when Spider-Man “couldn’t”. Actually, Spider-Man had feigned unconsciousness, to let them save the day, since he figured that it was better to have them as heroes, than villains.
Marty alias the Gibbon is a big, muscular, but not so handsome man. He body language is a bit ape-like since he moves with extreme dexterity.
When he’s in the hero/villain business he usually dons an ape costume that covers every part of his body, except his face, hands and feet. The costume is in brown color and very hairy. Unfortunately the costume looks more ridiculous than impressive.
Martin has during his entire life been mocked by others. He has a very strong desire to feel needed and to prove himself. He would foolishly risk his life for this desire. He no longer takes insults from people, but will often threaten them back or even attack those who do so. Often he will so completely lose temper that other peoples’ lives are at danger.
His main drawback is his extremely bad self-confidence and esteem. Although no fool, these drawbacks have held him back from doing anything productive. He both loves and hates Spider-Man since Spidey is all that he ever wanted to be. Interestingly he has met new foes of Spider-Man each time he has put on the Gibbon costume.
Although he’s done some bad things he’s basically a good man at heart. Marty finally became a hero and hopefully has ridden himself of his old ghosts.
DC Universe History
Gibbon can be inserted into the DC Universe just as he is. He could be introduced, unexpectedly, as a superpowered civilian. He should be a part of any adventure that includes some hero figure that he can look up to.
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
|Dex: 08||Str: 06||Bod: 04||Motivation: Unwanted Power|
|Int: 04||Wil: 04||Min: 03||Occupation: Loser|
|Inf: 03||Aur: 02||Spi: 03||Resources: 002|
|Init: 015||HP: 015|
Possibly Spider-Man (Low).
MIA (proving himself), MIH (people laughing or taunting him), Uncertainty.
If you really want to downplay him as a loser, add the Innocent Drawback.
Source of Character: Spider-Man comics, Marvel.
Helper(s): Richard Lyon.