Burke was among a number of chimpanzees held at the Gen-Sys Laboratories for experimental research into the "ALZ-112" drug, when wild African chimp Bright Eyes was first brought to the facility. Other chimps held there included Lorelei, Chambers and Verdon. A military-sanctioned variant of the drug was administered to Burke and Verdon, the latter of whom was shot attempting to escape. Burke later retreated into a fantasy world as the experimental drug drove him insane. He was taken away from the lab as he was of no further use.
- Verdon and Burke share their names with astronauts Alan Virdon and Peter Burke from the 1974 Planet of the Apes TV series. Ian Brill, editor of the comic, suggested names Verdon and Burke.