WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES #1

“War for the Planet of the Apes”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Jonas Scharf

In Nevada a father is going to Reno to trade his pig for supplies. He takes his two children. One is all covered up and wearing a gas mask. In San Francisco a group of humans are fleeing the rampaging apes. Just as it looks like the apes will get them a big explosion draws the apes away. They later watch the apes as they gather their dead and weapons and supplies. Caesar knows the human army is coming and is getting his apes ready to hide in the forest. The watching humans decide to form an army of their own.

On the other side of the country in Florida two men are looking for apes to capture. A research center in Atlanta needs specimens. The two talk about rumors that the whole state of Florida is taken over by armies of apes. This proves true as this army ambushes them and kills the two. One ape takes the flyer for the reward and seems to know that the apes are being taken to Atlanta. So the army marches north. In Atlanta the center is still researching the continuing mutation of the virus and need adult ape specimens.

So this is a prequel to the new War for the Planet of the Apes movie. It bridges the second and third movie. So far it jumps around to several groups of both humans and apes. I thought the movie was just excellent and am happy that there is a story to fill in the gaps between the two movies. So far I am intrigued. Interesting to get some action on the other side of the country where the apes are also mutating into intelligent creatures and thriving. A good start to this series.

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THE WARLORD #91

“Reminiscing”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Dan Jurgens

Morgan and company head back to their main rebel base after setting up the camp for Captain Hawk. When they come to cross a bridge they find a giant has taken it over. Morgan fights this giant and reminisces that it is similar to a fight he had with bully Danny Maddox as a kid. The action runs parallel with him fighting Danny and the giant. Only the fight as a kid just ends in a beat up bully while the present ends with a dead giant.

Later Jennifer Morgan remembers her childhood with her father reading her Robin Hood and other classic adventure. Later her mother dies and she is left with an aunt. In outer space the Monitor decides to take an interest in Morgan’s history and watches a recording of how he entered Skartaris. In Bakwele one of Patch’s men is hunted down and tortured for information on Morgan by the dreaded Vashek assassins. Tara when she comes back notices Tinder admiring her armband. This brings back a flood of memories on how she first met Morgan and got the watch.

So this was an issue with many little vignettes. It was basically to retell the origin for new readers. They did a good job in showing us old time readers some new material and not bogging the whole issue down in a retelling of the origin. Introduces Danny Maddox who will show up later in Morgan’s life. Interesting that even as a kid Morgan had white hair. Odd choice because I always assumed that it turned white when he got older. Also the issue gives us an introduction to the Vashek assassins who will become a major enemy for Morgan.

THE ROOK #6

“Master of the World”
Writer: Budd Lewis
Artist: Lee Elias

Restin Dane finds himself captive of Robar the Conqueror along with Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. Robar is an alien who was fighting in a war that had lasted thousands of years. Tired he deliberately sabotaged his ship. It damaged his body which is why he is more machine that man. He was the only one to survive the crash and decided to build his dragon ship to subjugate the people of Earth and force them into peace. Meanwhile his friends down in Haiti are about to be overrun by hostile natives when Bishop and Manners come back in a time machine they found in the alien cave under Restin’s home. On the dragon ship Restin manages to defeat Robar and with the help of Sherlock Holmes who is real and was disguised as a crewman they escape before the ship explodes. At the end the dean who came to write a book will write about the two Mexican henchmen that accompanied Jennings. Cisco and his sidekick Poncho in The Adventures of the Cisco Kid.

“Viking Prince”
Writer & Artist: Jose Ortiz

Sigfrid, Sampson and Freya are attacked by a horde of giant cyclops. Sigfrid is knocked into a river while his companions are captured. Sigfrid has to fight a giant sea snake that is in the river and barely manages to escape. He tracks the cyclops to their cave and rescues his companions from an evil wizard named Saraveg. Saraveg wants revenge against King Olaf and plans to take it out on his daughter. Sigfrid comes and frees them. He then has to fight a giant lizard and the horde of giant cyclops. Luckily King Olaf arrives and rescues him. Now he finds out Freya who he had feelings for is his half-sister and he was saved by the man he wanted revenge on.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Voltar is in the caves with illusions from the plague he carries. He sees his beloved Elysium fall to the hordes of goblins. He decides to try and cure himself with the writing of the scholars who were murdered. But they wrote in a language he can’t read. He then sees the savior that he is looking for come with a raised sword to kill him. Only its the plague induced fever that makes him see this. In reality it is another assassin from Magog come to kill him.

So the Master of the World story ends with all sorts of goofy action and coincidences. Out of nowhere comes his grandfather and robot who conveniently find the alien time craft. Also convenient is there is a real Sherlock Holmes who is there to help out. I really loved this story. Just fun with tons of action. It started out and ended in a totally different way that I could never have envisioned which I think is an awesome way to write a story.

The Viking Price was another just chock full of wild action from beginning to end. You don’t have time to think as it just goes forward full speed. So now poor old Sigfrid finds out the woman he was attracted to is his sister and his enemy saved his life. Gets real complicated being a prince raised as a peasant. And wow is medieval Scandinavia full of giant monsters. You can’t go 100 feet without running into one.

Voltar was the shortest but still an enjoyable tale. The artwork is just beautiful and the story still moves forward and ends on a cliffhanger. A very solid issue.

KULL THE DESTROYER #24

“Screams in the Dark”
Writer: Don Glut
Artist: Ernie Chan

Kull is in the grasp of the demon-shade. It looks like all is lost but Kull is a determined barbarian. He manages to break free of the demon-shade’s grasp and destroy the outcropping that is causing the shadow. The flower he fought for that he thinks can save Loralei has died with the demon. So he goes back to the hunchback’s cottage to avenge her death. Instead he finds Loralei alive and the hunchback with a sword in his chest. The hunchback miscalculated his formula and paid the price. Later finding a map to the city they take off to rescue Ridondo.

They make it to the city and scale the walls. Then at the palace they find a magician who is entertaining people. Kull forces the man to tell him about the whereabouts of Ridondo. A scream is heard for Ridondo is captive in the dungeon and the mysterious wizards have summoned their master. Kull races down and after dispatching the dumb guard bursts in to find a giant snake.

Another fun story. This one sees that Kull is capable of using his wits as well as his brawn to get out of trouble. He clearly has feeling for Lorelai and she reciprocates. I think she is a perfect match for Kull. She proves herself in the way she handled the creepy hunchback. So Kull finally confronts the master to these strange wizards and it is a giant snake. Can never go wrong with a giant snake in the story.

KA-ZAR #12

“Earth Mother”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Louis Small Jr.

The Savage Land has been saved along with the rest of the universe. Things are getting back to normal except Shanna is now the one people look to as a leader. Ever since she absorbed the power of the terraformer she now has power over nature. This is causing Ka-zar to be a little resentful at his wife’s new found status. After they get into a fight over it he goes off to find the High Evolutionary. The High Evolutionary is back in the Savage Land conducting his goofy experiments on evolution. He is completely disdainful of Ka-zar and shows no interest in fixing the terraforming machine. But when he hears of Shanna’s new found powers he has to investigate.

So the Urban Jungle story is over and we pick up in the aftermath. Thanks to Shanna the Savage Land is still around and not under the Antarctic ice. She seems to really enjoy her control over nature and I can see where down the road it might go to her head. Still Ka-zar does seem to be a bit immature. In fact at the end he does have some concerns since it looks like the High Evolutionary has become a little too interested in Shanna. A good laid back story after the more intense Urban Jungle story.

TRESPASSER #4

“Everything Ends!”
Writer: Justin M. Ryan
Artist: Kristian Rossi

Maria is really sick and the father is gravely concerned. They have a touching moment the father and daughter. Later while the father is drinking there is a knock at the door. Outside are a whole bunch of aliens. The father pleads with them to save his daughter’s life. All the aliens are grim faced but go into the house and take Maria. They then knock out the father. Later Maria wakes up in a hospital. She was found wandering around and brought to a military compound with no memory of what happened. Years later a teenage Maria comes back home to her father. She has a dog with one eye named Gargoyle. They have a happy reunion.

So ends this interesting story of aliens after the apocalypse. It was a dark story but ending with a very happy ending. I hope they continue to explore this world with future issues. There are so many questions left unanswered. Like what was this apocalyptic catastrophe. The military complex at the end has alien bodies hanging from the walls and heads mounted on pikes. Obviously there is some conflict with the aliens. We never find out what that is or what part the aliens played in it. Why are they here? Also Maria has an alien implant behind her ear. So many unanswered questions that could make for great stories in the future. I highly recommend that you try out this title.

THE WARLORD #90

“Demons of Days Past”
Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Rich Buckler

The Wind Shadow has landed at the mouth of the Rampos and they are setting up a permanent base camp. Morgan goes off to contemplate recent events alone. He meets a mysterious old man who tells him that he is an important figure and the choices he makes will determine the fate of many. He disappears and Morgan goes back to camp. He wants to head out to the ruins of Shaban D’Aba. Back in issue 31 he broke the spell to this pyramid that the wizard kings hid their gold in. This gold will be used to purchase freed slaves and buy weapons for the growing army of resistance.

Tara insists on coming alone and the two have to fight some dinosaurs. They reach the temple and are met by local villagers who bring sacrifices to the demon that was freed. The demon a weird blob that materializes from smoke appears. It chases the two into the pyramid. Tara finds a bottle that manages to imprison the demon. Meanwhile Jennifer finds Tinder and Chakka under the spell of the Evil One’s gem. She frees them and takes the gem to study later.

This is a leisurely story for the Warlord. He has a lot to contemplate after his last adventure. Is he up to the task of being a legend. The mysterious old man gives some fortune cookie advise. What I really love about this issue is the introduction of dinosaurs. Skartaris is a world full of prehistoric dinosaurs and other dangers. It has been a while since this was shown and it is about time. Also nice that Burkett shows once again he has read the old Grell stories. He revisits the pyramid from issue 31. He gives it a new demon that was freed and it is a logical plot point that Morgan would want to salvage the gold in the pyramid. He is also starting to bond with his mate Tara. All in all a good solid entry.

THE ROOK #5

“Master of the World”
Writer: Budd Lewis
Artist: Lee Elias

Doyle and Verne wake up to find themselves on the dragon ship. A sailor with a pistol takes them to a hatch with ropes hanging out of the ship. He informs them that they will be over an island and they should lower themselves to the ground. Verne doesn’t want to leave until he finds out more about the ship. They explore and find some grotesque humanoid locked in a room. It comes after them and they jump onto the ropes. Meanwhile Restin Dane finds himself in a wagon with his time machine. The two Mexicans are working from Jennings and take Restin to a mine where the scientist is working. Jennings had discovered a bacteria on a meteorite that when processed can cure practically any form of illness. Unfortunately the dean of his university was a drunk who went away to Haiti to recover. Now Jennings stages robberies to get his own chemical back.

After he accidentally blows up the lab he finds the explosion properly processed his chemical. Now he has to go to Haiti. His old dean says a plague has broken out among the natives and now the natives blame white tourists and there is going to be a bloodbath. Restin takes Jennings and his two Mexican helpers in his time machine to Haiti. There he run into Jenning’s friend being chased by native. While fighting them off they run away at the sight of the dragon ship. Restin notices the rope with two men on it. He jumps on the rope and climbs inside with Verne and Doyle. They meet the master of the ship a bearded man that seems part cyborg. He calls himself Robar the Conqueror.

“Viking Prince”
Writer and Artist: Jose Ortiz

Baldar the Viking rides through the forest with a newborn baby. He has been tasked by Olaf to kill the heir of the kingdom of Thorvald. Baldar instead leaves the baby who is later found by a peasant woman. Baldar is shot with an arrow by Olaf the general who plans to usurp the kingdom by marrying the queen Sybil. Baldar manages to survive long enough to reach the peasant family that adopted the young baby. He tells them that the baby is Sigfrid the rightful heir before dying.

Sigfrid grows to a young man. He meets a dwarf while crossing a rope bridge and gets into a fight. The dwarf Sampson and he break the bridge and become the best of friends. While going home he comes on raiders that have stolen sheep from his father. After defeating them he goes and finds his father dying. The father tells of his true heritage that is in the trunk. The trunk was stolen and the two go after it. They come upon a young woman being pursued by a giant cyclops. They kill the cyclops and will take the girl to safely. He doesn’t know that the woman is his half sister. It ends with other cyclops stalking them.

“Voltar”
Writer: Will Richardson
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Voltar is wandering the caves to the netherworld in the fever of the plague he just contracted. He finds the bones of the scholars that lived there and were killed and eaten by the goblins. A vision of one of the scholars comes to him and says to seek out the savior. Later another assassin to Magog shows up and they get into a fight. Voltar manages to kill the assassin. Weak from the plague he vows to continue the search.

The Rook story is coming along nicely. It was interesting how such different storylines were so successfully brought together. I love the Verne and Doyle characters. The weird Robar character was in some type of armor with pinchers for hands. Interesting how this series hints that the old classics are actually real life events that were made famous by the authors. Looking forward to finding out how it ends next issue.

The Viking Prince is a much better replacement for the slow Jesse Bravo. This story takes the typical lost prince growing up with peasant parents and puts a unique twist with it set in medieval Scandinavia. It also gives him a cool sidekick in the dwarf Sampson. Interesting that the author makes the damsel in distress Sigfrid’s sister and daughter to the man who killed his father and tried to kill him. A lot of complex stuff is coming up.

Voltar also continues to not disappoint me. Alcala’s artwork is just beautiful. The story is dark and moody with a real epic save the world feel to it. I also look forward to see how this turns out.

KULL THE DESTROYER #23

“Demon Shade!”
Writer: Don Glut
Artists: Ernie Chan & Yong Montano

Kull and Loralei are pursuing the condor that has taken Ridondo. They come upon a demon shadow but it is only the outcropping of a rock formation. They rest and talk and get a little romantic. Loralei puts a stop to it since her only memory is a vow to never love a warrior. Luckily a hideous hunchback intrudes on their drama. The hunchback says he knows of a city that the condor may have went to. His master would know so they follow him back to an old shack. The master is gone so he offers wine. Loralei passes out after drinking. The hunchback says Kull must obtain a flower to save the girl.

So Kull goes back to the rock formation and there in a heart shaped patch of sunlight inside the shadow is a flower. He picks it and the shadow comes to life. Meanwhile Loralei wakes and finds out the mad hunchback was lying to send Kull to his death. He wants Loralei for himself and plans to use a love spell on her. Ridondo is taken by the three hooded wizards to an old city and meets their master. It ends with Kull in the grasp of the shadow monster and his life being sucked out of him.

I am really enjoying Don’s take on Kull. Lorelei is a great idea. I always thought Kull needed a woman and she is perfect. Beautiful and brave. She would make a perfect mate for Kull. Too bad he showed such poor judgement in trusting the hunchback. I wouldn’t trust the guy. Ends on a few cliffhangers for all our heroes so looking forward to the next issue.

KA-ZAR #11

“Urban Jungle Chapter Four Garden of Evil!”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Andy Kubert

Ka-zar is reunited with his son Matt and Shanna and Zabu. Things are looking grim. The Savage Land is succumbing to the Antarctic weather. Thanos seems unstoppable. Already he is choking all life from the galaxy. Ka-zar decides to go down fighting and attacks. He manages to lure Thanos to an active volcano and push him in. Then he goes and orders Shield to destroy the terraformer. Thanos comes but he is getting weaker because he is no longer in contact with the inside of the terraformer. Ka-zar shatters the medallion with the map and forces Thanos to go in and try to navigate the maze. Shield then opens fire and Ka-zar knows this will destroy the Savage Land. The result is a huge explosion but the Savage Land is still intact. Shanna was next to the terraformer trying to save animals and absorbed the machines power.

The end of the Urban Jungle storyline. This was an enjoyable story. It gave Ka-zar a foe who was way out of his league but Ka-zar for the love of family found the strength to defeat Thanos. So now it looks like Shanna has some power she absorbed so we will see the aftermath of this in the next issue.