Orka was an Atlantean and grew to become one of the strongest (but relatively dim-witted) soldiers in Warlord Krang's army. Orka stayed with Krang when he attempted to gain the throne from Prince Namor, and was exiled with his leader.
Orka was chosen to be the test subject of Dr. Dorcas, who wanted to imbue a soldier with the power of a killer whale. (At this point, Orka needed to wear a belt which transferred the power of Dorcas' captive killer whales.) Namor defeated the rebels, and, while battling Tiger Shark, Orka was buried in an undersea avalanche.
Orka managed to get free but was defeated by Namor again. The Brand Corporation, subsidiary of Roxxon Oil, contacted Orka and augmented his abilities to not require a power-transferring machine and cause him to grow in size. He defeated the Avengers who had returned from another reality, but was himself defeated by Thor. Orka managed to escape prison and found his way to the Atlantic, where he was among Attuma's henchmen when Attuma attacked the United States. Later, Orka was among those villains recruited by the self-proclaimed Master of the World in his attempt to overthrow the United Nations, only to be captured by the Heroes for Hire team.
Orka came to Knightwing Restorations, Ltd. looking for help. Being away from the sea caused an oxygen imbalance in his brain. Because he could not answer his questions, he pummeled Otis Johnson around the office. He could not understand why he wouldn't die. After a while he stopped hitting Otis and waited patiently for the rest of Knightwing to return. After that the two became friends.
Orka later became a member of Heroes for Hire. During an adventure he was killed by a Doombot that was reprogrammed by the Headmen. He appeared in the Underworld where he was part of Pluto's jury at the trial of Zeus. However, Orka later turned up alive, as one of the captives of Empire Unlimited.
After Namor changed his policy on the relationship between the ocean and the surface, he declared his territory off-limits to all but its native inhabitants. Orka appeared as one of the members of the Defenders of the Deep, Namor's own super-team assembled to impose his will on the surface world's presence in the oceans.
Orka originally possessed several conventional attributes common to the Atlanteans, though many were far more developed than the majority of the Atlantean race. However, after undergoing a number of painful radiation treatments at the hands of Dr. Lemuel Dorcas, the scientist responsible for giving Tiger Shark his powers, Orka's physical attributes were considerably enhanced.
Amphibious Physiology: Orka's physiology was unique among the Atlanteans since he was among a small minority. Orka could breathe both on air, as a result of possessing lungs, and could breathe underwater due to a unique dorsal hole, similar to the blow hole of a whale, that aided in his breathing underwater due to the fact that his Atlantean gills were contained within great amounts of blubber. Orka's senses were enhanced for the purpose of allowing him to see, smell, and hear within the ocean depths with the same clarity that humans possess while on land. Due to his amphibious nature, his senses also functioned normally by human standards while he was on land. His enhanced circulatory system enabled him to withstand the freezing temperatures found deep within ocean depths and his superhumanly powerful physiology could withstand the great pressures commonly found there as well.
- Superhuman Strength: Orka possessed great superhuman strength. Like all Atlanteans, Orka was at full strength while immersed in water or was at least wet and could lift about 95 tons. While dry, his strength was somewhat diminished though still far superior to most Atlanteans and could lift about 75 tons. Through an unrevealed process, Orka could actually draw energy from killer whales within his vicinity for the purpose of increasing his strength. While empowered by the whales he was presumably able to lift more than 100 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Orka, despite his great size, was capable of running and moving at speeds beyond the capabilities of the finest human athlete. Orka's speed extended to swimming in particular and could swim faster than most other Atlanteans. At his peak, he could reach a top speed of about 60 miles per hour.
- Superhuman Stamina: Orka's advanced musculature generated considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a human being, or most other Atlanteans. At his peak, he could physically exert himself at peak capacity for several days before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood began to impair him.
- Superhuman Durability: Orka's bodily tissues were much harder and more resistant to physical injury than those of a human being or most other Atlanteans. Orka's body also contained layers of blubber similar to that of a killer whale, which only further increased his body's durability. He could withstand tremendous impact forces, exposure to extreme levels of cold, high caliber bullets, powerful energy blasts, and anti-tank missiles without sustaining physical injury.
- Superhuman Agility: Orka's agility, balance, and bodily coordination were all enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Orka's reflexes were similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
- Aquatic Telepathy: Orka also possessed at least some degree of telepathic powers that enabled him to mentally communicate with and control killer whales. He often used this power for the purpose of summoning killer whales into his vicinity for the purpose of absorbing their energies to enhance his physical strength whenever necessary.
Orka was an experienced hand to hand combatant and, though he had little formal training, his physical capabilities alone were enough to make him a formidable opponent.
Like all Atlanteans, Orka's physical vitality was dependent upon his exposure to water. Contact with water would immediately restore him to the peak of physical health. Though this dependence was considerably less than most other Atlanteans, he did occasionally need to spend time in the water or he would start to become mentally and emotionally unstable. He was also particularly vulnerable to tremendous amounts of heat. Though the heat caused little damage to his body, it would dehydrate him and cause him to rapidly lose physical strength.
- Orka was classified as an Omega Level Threat by Fact Channel.
- Marvel Atlas #2 lists Orka as citizens of "Sharka", (a typo of "Skarka" repeated throughout the profile). It is unrevealed whether this is an error (based in Orka's affiliating with Attuma on occasion), or if Orka was indeed made a member of the tribe proper.
- 51 appearance(s) of Orka (Earth-616)
- 7 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Orka (Earth-616)
- 3 minor appearance(s) of Orka (Earth-616)
- 3 mention(s) of Orka (Earth-616)
- 1 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Orka (Earth-616)
- 17 image(s) of Orka (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Orka (Earth-616)