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Joe first appeared in "Avengers" vol. 1 #77 (June, 1970) as a member of the Split-Second Squad, a criminal group known for the exact timing of their operations. When two of their capers were thwarted by the Avengers (Black Panther, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Vision), they decided to specifically target the heroes.
The Avengers were facing financial problems and had been hired to do menial labor for Cornelius Van Lunt. Learning that the heroes would be working in a tunnel, the Squad arranged for a bomb to explode and kill them all. Unfortunately for them, the Avengers had one too many "accidents" occur to them lately and were highly suspicious of their latest assignment. They investigated the tunnel earlier than the schedule, discovered and dismantled the bomb. Before confronting the Squad in person. Strong as he was, Joe was no match for them.
Joe resurfaced as a member of the villainous Defenders. He served alongside Boomerang, Leaper, Libra, Melter, Pecos, Shocker and Toad. They were soon engaged In combat with their heroic namesakes (Falcon, Jack of Hearts, Prowler, Stingray, Torpedo and Valkyrie). Joe proved his worth by fighting Valkyrie. He was able to get a choke hold on her and almost managed to strangulate her. However, this drew out an instinctive reaction of "warrior madness" from her. She knocked out Joe and proceeded to take out all villains and heroes present. She recovered among a pile of unconscious bodies.
Joe has no actual super-powers. He has a gorilla-like strength and considerable skills in unarmed combat.