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Red Ghost's Super-Apes

The Red Ghost's "super-apes" are actually two great apes and a monkey which gained unusual powers through exposure to cosmic radiation.

Miklho, the gorilla, acquired superhuman strength that made him roughly the equal to the Fantastic Four's Thing in strength. Apparently Miklho's enhanced strength, like the Thing's, has continued to increase over the years. Miklho probably can now lift (press) roughly 85 tons.

Peotor, the orangutan, acquired the ability to project magnetic forces, enabling him to attract or repel objects containing iron or steel. Using his magnetic powers, he may be able to suspend weights above his head that are roughly equal to the amounts that Miklho can lift (press) through physical strength.

Igor, the baboon, acquired the ability to transform his shape at will to mimic that of any object or animal he can imagine. It is unclear whether or not he can somehow increase his mass when changing his shape.

The three "super-apes" have repeatedly demonstrated unusually high intelligence (although certainly not equal to that of a normal adult human being) and appear capable of understanding relatively complex verbal commands. It is unclear whether their high level of intelligence is innate, or whether it was the result of genetic manipulation or mutation by cosmic radiation.

These three anthropoids are owned by Ivan Kragoff, the Russian criminal scientist known as the Red Ghost. Years ago Kragoff impressed the Soviet government with this theories about the mutagenic effects of cosmic radiation based on his studies of the Fantastic Four, American adventurers who had gained superhuman powers through this means. Kragoff proposed that lie and a team of anthropoids he had trained be sent in a spacecraft of his own design into Earth orbit. Kragoff and the anthropoids would thus be exposed to cosmic radiation in a means he believed would endow them with supernormal abilities. Kragoff's superiors approved his project proposal.

Of course, ordinarily, the probability is that exposure to such high levels of cosmic radiation would either kill a human being, ape, or monkey, or would induce cancer, radiation disease, or harmful mutations. It may be speculated that Kragoff had also done advanced research in genetics, and that he manipulated the genetic structure of his anthropoids and perhaps of himself as well so as to ensure that benevolent mutations would occur, even if he did not know exactly what form they might take. Possibly Kragoff even discovered the genes implanted in humanity's ancestors by the alien Celestials that enabled some human beings to develop superhuman abilities in later centuries, and Kragoff managed to implant such genes in his three anthropoids.

Kragoff's superiors were unaware that Kragoff scheduled his flight into space to coincide with a spaceshot to the moon by the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards, whose brilliance Kragoff envied. Kragoff hoped to meet Richards on the moon and utilize whatever superhuman powers tie himself my have gained to defeat and humiliate him in battle.

Both Kragoff and Richards launched their flights into space. Kragoff's ship passed through a cosmic radiation storm similar to the one that had given the Fantastic Four their superhuman powers. Kragoff thus acquired the ability to become intangible at will, and his three anthropoids gained their supersimian powers.

On the moon Kragoff, who now called himself the Red Ghost, battled the Fantastic Four with the help of his supersimians. Ultimately, however, the Red Ghost was defeated, and his three anthropoids turned against him.

Subsequently, however, Kragoff regained the loyalty of the three simians and they fought the Fantastic Four on other occasions. Over the years Kragoff has sometimes abandoned the use of the three "super-apes." On one occasion the three anthropoids were confiscated by the Soviet government (which now regards Kragoff as a renegade). At one point Kragoff endowed two other apes with supersimian powers, but they also developed supernormal intelligence and psionic abilities and turned against him. Nevertheless, the Red Ghost always regains or returns to the use of his three "super-apes." Indeed, Miklho, Peotor, and Igor have accompanied him on his most recent recorded exploits.

First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR #13

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