There’s a lot to take in with the cover of Outsiders #39. First, there’s the big gorilla in the foreground. I’ve read quite a few comics just because they featured gorillas on the cover, such as Monkeyman and O’Brien, Agents of Atlas, and the issues of The Flash where he fights Gorilla Grodd. Is this Gorilla Grodd on the cover? No, it’s DC’s lesser known gorilla villain, Monsieur Mallah, the leftist radical guerrilla gorilla. Monsieur Mallah has a brain in a jar for a sidekick, simply called the Brain, and, as it turns out, the Brain happens to also be Monsieur Mallah’s lover. As you can see, Thunder (Black Lightning’s daughter, now a member of Outsiders) has decided to brain Monsieur Mallah with Brain!
If that’s not enough, there’s Metamorpho in the background contorting his body to restrain Monsieur Mallah. I should point out that the cover’s a lot better than the issue itself. Incidentally, Monsieur Mallah was later killed in the story Salvation Run by Gorilla Grodd, who beat him with Brain’s metal casing, a tactic Thunder thought of first. R.I.P. Monsieur Mallah and Brain.
If you liked this essay on Outsiders issue 39, you might enjoy this post about DC’s dorkiest comic.