The amphibious superhuman mercenary Orka is a member of the water-breathing Homo Mermani race, often called Atlanteans since their leading civilization is the undersea kingdom Atlantis. In modern times, Atlantis has often been ruled by the royal-born, half-human hybrid warrior Namor the Sub-Mariner; however, the ruthless warlord Krang has repeatedly sought to seize the Atlantean throne. One of Krang’s most slavishly loyal followers was Orka, a markedly large and strong but simple-minded soldier. When Krang was banished from Atlantis for treason, Orka sought him out in a stolen cruiser and offered to help Krang attack Atlantis with it, but Krang had grander goals. Planning an alliance with barbarian chieftain Attuma, Krang and Orka began gathering treasure to fund their efforts when they stumbled upon the undersea fortress of brilliant criminal scientist Doctor Lemuel Dorcas. An old enemy of Namor, Dorcas formed an alliance with Krang bent on conquering both Atlantis and the surface world, and Krang agreed to let Dorcas use Orka as an experimental test subject.
Having re-created the procedure which empowered the rogue amphibious superhuman Tiger Shark, Dorcas believed that Orka’s limited intelligence made him an ideal candidate for this process since he was less likely to rebel against his benefactors. Dorcas subjected Orka to a series of painful electro-shocks and irradiations which gradually enhanced his physiology, culminating in Orka’s mutation by a “morphotron” device, which imprinted Orka with the genetic traits of a group of killer whales. Far stronger than before (and able to augment that strength further with a power-absorbing belt linked to Dorcas’ machines), Orka could now breathe in both air and water as well as communicate with and command whales.
While Orka tested his new powers alongside an army of whales specially treated to survive long periods without air, Dorcas and Krang plotted the conquest of Atlantis. When Namor stumbled upon their operation, Orka twice defeated him and the criminals enslaved Namor using a special control collar. As further insurance, Dorcas and Krang also held hostage several Atlanteans, including Namor’s beloved Dorma and advisor Vashti. After the captives escaped, Krang ordered Orka to retrieve Dorma (whom Krang had long coveted) and kill the rest. Orka’s whales pursued the escapees, killing all but Dorma and Vashti until Tiger Shark happened upon the scene and defeated the whales, saving the two survivors. Tiger Shark then promised to save Atlantis from Krang’s forces in exchange for Dorma’s reluctant vow that she would marry him. When Krang, Dorcas, Orka and their whale army attacked Atlantis with Namor as their prisoner, Tiger Shark led the Atlantean army against them. During the conflict, Namor freed himself and Orka clashed with Tiger Shark, a battle so destructive that a huge fissure opened in the ocean floor and swallowed them both. The cowardly Krang and Dorcas had already fled by that time, and Orka’s now-leaderless killer whales dispersed.
He was hired by the Hobgoblin to break him out of prison. He has not been seen since their failure.