PLANET OF THE APES #1

“Road to the Planet of the Apes”
By Roy Thomas

An editorial on how this magazine came about. They had the option to the rights years ago but didn’t do anything until now since the movies were released on TV and a series was being produced. How difficult it was to negotiate those rights now than it would have been earlier. The magazine would adapt the five movies and have a six movie they created called Terror on the Planet of the Apes.

“Terror on the Planet of the Apes”
Writers: Doug Moench and Gerry Conway
Artist: Mike Ploog

Jason a human and Alexander a chimpanzee are teenage friends about 100 years after the Battle movie. Jason has somewhat a chip on his shoulder about how apes dominate things. One day the lawgiver abdicates and leaves a weak orangutan in charge then heads out to the Forbidden Zone. As the two go home Alexander finds out that his father was beaten my masked gorillas for being too friendly with humans. Alexander goes to warn Jason but finds him at his home. Masked gorillas came and killed his parents. They track them to their camp and are taken prisoner. They witness the leader Brutus who is head peacekeeper kill his wife because she was going to report him. Brutus frames Jason for the murder and Alexander breaks him out of prison. The two head to the Forbidden Zone to find the lawgiver.

“Escape from the Battle for the Conquest Beneath the Planet of the Apes An Overview of the Apes Series”
By Gary Gerani

An article that summarizes all the five films.

“Rod Serling Recalls”
By David Johnson

An interview with Rod Serling the one who wrote the original screenplay. He tells of how the original one with modern ape society would have cost over 100 million to do. Blake Edwards was the original director. Says that the dialogue was mostly replaced by Mike Wilson. Also talked about his time with Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.

“The Face of the Apes”
By Ed Lawrence

An article on how the makeup for the apes worked. The designer John Chambers got his start during WWII by designed prosthetic limbs.

“Planet of the Apes”
Writer & Artist: Uncredited

Three astronauts crash on an unknown world. They trek across a desert and find a lush valley with mute dumb humans. Suddenly gorillas riding horses and carrying guns attack. Taylor is shot in the throat.

The the first issue of the classic Planet of the Apes. I loved this magazine. I remember finding it being sold at a comic convention held in a bowling alley for $1 each twenty-five years ago. I am glad I got such a deal since this is now so rare. So basically they had an ongoing original series that picked up 100 years where the movie left off. So we were treated to new adventures in the ape universe. They also would have other original stories and some interesting articles. The Rod Serling interview was awesome. I love the Planet of the Apes and this was probably the only source for new material at the time. A very excellent series.

CONAN CLASSIC #10

“Beware the Wrath of Anu!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Barry Smith

Conan and Jenna are trying to get admittance into a Corinthian city as the gates are about to be closed. The guards don’t think Conan is desirable but get called away when two thieves are approaching. Conan decides to intervene and save their lives by knocking the aim of one guardsman’s bow. So Conan joins the two thieves and finds out one is his old Gunderman friend Burgun. They make it to the temple of Anu where the high priest is the main fence for stolen goods. Unfortuanetely the young thief Igon dropped the gold chest so they have nothing to fence. They meet up with Jenna and she hits it off with Igon. Conan and Burgun partner up and become successful thieves. One night they steal from the Red Priest who is the real power in the city.

So the captain of the guard makes a deal with the priest of Anu. They ambush Conan and Burgun with Burgun being captured. Later he is hung and Conan goes to the temple to get revenge. The high priest calls forth Anu and a giant red bull appears but Conan steals the amulet that controls it. So Anu decides to take his revenge on the priest and crushes him. Then Anu becomes like a spirit and floats up into the sky. Conan later takes the body of his friend and burns the gallows. He gives Burgun a proper burial.

So this was a fun story. Conan is reunited with his friend and the two have a successful crime spree. Jenna and Igon become an item. I can tell you I hated Igon for the beginning. He is a whiner and general dipshit. Someone you could not trust and the next issue will show his treachery. I have no respect for Jenna for hooking up with such a dipshit. Anyway a good story that showcases Conan’s barbarian sense of honor. That he never abandons a friend and will always seek revenge.

SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #1

“Untitled”
Writers: Marguerite Bennett and Christina Trujillo
Artists: Moritat and Dimi Macheras

Sheena is out shooting down drones with her arrows. She then arrives at her village and finds armed mercenaries from Cadwell Industries. They are looking for a lost surveyor and have found a piece of his clothing. Sheena and her animal friends come and stop the mercenaries from killing the villagers. She comes to an agreement to find the missing surveyor in three days. Otherwise the mercenaries will start killing the villagers. Sheena goes and tracks down some man who is walking by a river.

So the first issue of Sheena is OK. It seems to start out slow. I think the mercenaries are a little too evil. I don’t think corporate mercenaries would cause so much trouble for a missing surveyor. As for the art I think Sheena looks beautiful but I wish there was more color. Everything is so brown and dark. It could use some more brighter colors. A slow start but I am keeping an open mind.

BSG VS. BSG #4

“Untitled”
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Edu Menna

Kali the first Cylon is meeting with Bill Adama and Colonel Tigh. She tells that she was on a world that was out of synch with time so that is how she managed to be around 1000 yahrens later. She claims to have opened the wormhole because she wanted to join their Battlestar. She also claims the other Battlestar can’t be trusted. That they will turn on them. Baltar is leading Gaius Baltar when he bumps into Kara who recognizes him and takes him prisoner. The Cylons get a visit from Count Iblis who is able to mind control the Cylons. Kali discovers that Athena is a known Cylon to the Galactica crew and decides that maybe they are not worthy of her help. The news causes a rift between the two Adamas. Sheba is arrested by her father Cain for questioning why he trusts Kali.

So there was a lot of subplots going on. The introduction of Count Iblis who has the goal of destroying humanity and taking over the Cylons. Kali who has some ulterior motive and is actively sowing dissent between the two Galacticas. She is definitely working with Iblis. Cain also seems to be under the malevolent control of Iblis and showing erratic behavior. It all flowed smoothly and is setting up something that I look forward to. I admit that this is stretching my memory of both series but I can still follow the basics and am enjoying the series so far.

THE WARLORD #116

“Revenge of the Warlock”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Ron Randall

So Morgan is back in Shamballah and no closer to finding a cure for Jennifer’s aging disease. Things are happening not too far away in the city of P’Thun. Muldahara the gender fluid sorcerer who Morgan first went to has appeared with a scepter. He has used the gems that Morgan stole for him and can control the aging process. He turns the current king to dust and takes over the city. Seems he was present when Jennifer was afflicted by the aging disease. He was at the camp to find out information to sell the New Atlanteans when he saw the creature Ankanar come and use his gem eyes to blast Jennifer’s tent. Her powers managed to deflect the brunt of the blast into the ground. So he knew the power of the creature’s eyes. So after he got them from Morgan he than sent him on the wild goose chase while he figured out how to control the gems.

When Morgan hears this he goes nuts and heads out to P’Thun. He runs into a maze but the ring Zinn gave him shows the way. Then a plant monster attacks but he sets it on fire. Reaching Muldahara he finds that the scepter keeps him at bay. Jennifer uses her last power to transport herself there and shatter the gems. Muldahara gets a well deserved beating and Jennifer’s youth is restored. Meanwhile Redmond is flying a stealth fighter to Dinosaur Island in search of an opening to Skartaris and a pterodactyl crashes his plane. Also a mysterious strong blonde woman has arrived.

So the quest is over. Finally. It was kind of amusing to find that the cure was where Morgan first started and he was lead on a wild goose chase that lasted forever. Well it did give us some adventures and some were quite interesting. It was a clever idea to use Muldahara and the story was plausible. So Jennifer is back to being young and the disease is over. All the loose ends are tied so we are starting on a fresh slate going forward. I can’t remember the issues that are next so it will be like reading them for the first time. Should be interesting.

PLANET OF THE APES VISIONARIES

“Rod Serling’s Planet of the Apes”
Writer: Dana Gould adopted original screenplay by Rod Serling
Artist: Chad Lewis

A spaceship with four crew goes into suspended animation to visit a star called Terra. The ship lands on a planet and they awake with one of their crew Steward dead due to a malfunctioning pod. So the three get into a vehicle and head out into the desert. They find a jungle with scarecrows and the vehicle sinks into quicksand. The three find the sea and here are met by primitive humans. Later helicopters and jeeps arrive with apes that start to shoot the humans. Thomas the main character is hit in the throat and passes out. The apes think he escaped from a circus and take him back. At the compound he escapes and into the modern Ape City. Here he sees apes dressed in dresses and business suits with cars and movie theaters and store mannequins. He is found and captured by the gorilla police.

Back at the compound he manages to get a clipboard and write out that he is intelligent. Dr. Zira wants to further study him but Dr. Zaius has plans to give him a lobotomy. As he goes to surgery he recovers his voice and shocks the apes. So he becomes a celebrity and talks to gathering of apes. He wears a suit and tie and talks about Earth. He also takes Nova and starts to teach her to talk and dress.

One day he is invited to an archeological dig. They find remains of humans in a bunker with a talking doll. It is proof of a human civilization that predates apes. Zaius has the site destroyed and tries to kill Thomas. He escapes and comes on the Statue of Liberty. He stands in shock allowing the apes to shoot him.

When I heard they were doing this I knew I had to have it. I know that Serling originally wrote the screenplay as a more faithful adaptation of Boulle’s book. That is an ape society with modern cars, TV, electricity. This was obviously beyond sixties ability so it was toned down to a more primitive society. Still the main elements were retained. There is still the shock ending only a bit more sadder. The Thomas character is more of a traditional hero than the Taylor character who was more cynical and of the anti-hero mold of the seventies. Indeed the artists drew him more along the line of Paul Newman than Charlton Heston. Some elements were later used in the Escape from the Planet of the Apes movie. I could really see this movie come alive and only wonder at the possibilities. I loved the original movie and also loved this alternate version. I am glad they have given us a chance to see this.

CONAN CLASSIC #9

“The Garden of Fear”
Writer: Roy Thomas adopted from story by Robert E. Howard.
Artist: Barry Smith

Conan and Jenna are riding away from the pursuing Corinthians when they are ambushed by primitive hillmen. They chase off their horse but the chief Hialmar calls off his men. He is actually quite friendly with Conan and takes them back to his village. There the two are fed barely cooked meat which Conan has no problem wolfing down. As Conan and Jenna leave a winged creature swoops down and abducts Jenna. Conan finds out that the creature resides in the far end of a valley. So he descends and finds a herd of mastodons.

The mastodons are friendly and Conan passes unmolested. He crosses a river and finds a green tower surrounded by flowers. A black winged man comes and drops a captive hillman into the flowers. The flowers suck its blood. So Conan goes and starts a fire to stampede the mastodons. They crush the carnivorous flowers so Conan can climb up to the top and rescue Jenna. He also kills the black winged man in a fight and the two find the exit and head on out of the valley.

“Conan the Marvelous A Cimmerian’s Garden of Curses”
By Roy Thomas

An article on the origins of this story. It was a Howard story of James Allison. Allison was a modern man who recited his past incarnations that occurred in the pseudo-history of Howard’s. Always a barbarian tribe this one took place by an Aesir. By now sales were rising and would continue to rise.

Another Howard story adapted to Conan. Roy did this so expertly. I loved how he managed in his entire time on the series to piece Howard’s writing like a jigsaw puzzle and fill in with original stories. He really had a passion for Howard’s creation and it shows in his writing. Also Barry Smith as usual was up to his beautiful standards.

SHEENA QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE #0

“Sheena”
Writers: Marguerite Bennett and Christina Trujillo
Artist: Moritat

In the Amazon jungle its protector Sheena is taking aim with an arrow to bring down a Cowodi(Outsider) Flying Turtle(drone). She hits it but it falls into a forbidden temple. The temple is forbidden to even a tiny insect but the drone is a major desecration. So she violates the temple to retrieve the drone. Inside she finds living vines whose pollen is deadly. She manages to get the drone and keep the deadly pollen inside the temple. As she goes back to her village another drone watches and some student at the university of Val Verde wonders what he saw.

So a zero issue is usually a low cost introduction to a series. This Sheena is the one that Desouza created for Moonstone/DDP and now Dynamite has. I love Sheena and am happy to see that Dynamite now has the title. They are a perfect fit for this as they have experience in many retro properties. So far I love the art and Sheena looks awesome. Looking forward to getting into the main story next issue.

BSG VS. BSG #3

“Untitled”
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Johnny Desjardins

The two crews of the Battlestars start to get to know their counterparts. The Tighs explore how each Battlestar functions. The Starbucks frak and Starbuck gets into a fight with Starbucks husband for fracking his wife. The wormhole opens up and the Pegasus returns. It brings with it Kali who wants to meet the Adamas. It also brings Count Baltar who goes and finds Gaius Baltar’s cell. He offers him a chance to escape if he comes with him. Six advises against it but Gaius decides to take the other Baltar’s offer.

So this issue is mostly taking the time to explore the interactions between the two crews. Obviously the two have some culture shock since one has the social mores of the seventies and the other that of the twenty-first century. Starbuck is very shocked how Kara Starbuck is so casual about her infidelity. A humorous moments is that the curse Felgercarb is a toothpaste in one universe and gets a reaction that when Starbuck utters it that “This is when he wants to brush his teeth.” There is also the mysterious Kali who seems to have a mysterious agenda and also is responsible for the wormhole. A bigger mystery is how Baltar managed to get on the Pegasus and what his plans are. So far an interesting series.

THE WARLORD #115

“The Citadel of Fear”
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Ron Randall

Y’salla the Vashek assassin is using the technology of Desaad to impersonate the Warlord and is raiding caravans. She takes the prisoners to Desaad’s citadel so they can be tortured for the sadists enjoyment. Meanwhile the real Warlord with Mariah and Shakira find themselves not too far from Shamballah. Shakira is sick of Morgan’s behavior with Mariah and decides to leave. Morgan and Mariah continue on and are taken prisoner by a village that thinks Morgan robbed them. They plan to burn the two at the stake. A loyal follower of Morgan’s rescues the two and tells that Tara was captured by Desaad. So the three head out to his citadel.

There he confronts Desaad and the ring Zinn gave him helps to see through the deception. In the fight the machine holding Tara is damaged and about to explode. Morgan can only rescue Tara or Mariah and Mariah decides the love amulet is a mistake. She destroys it and Morgan comes to his senses and rescues Tara. Shakira come and rescues Mariah. Morgan and Tara are reunited and Desaad must go back to his master Darkseid in failure.

So the second Legends crossover comes to an end. Frankly I was not impressed. It seemed rushed to get it over with. I think it was a mistake to merge Warlord with the DC universe. This issue show that the story has no soul. The dumb Mariah love spell comes to an end thankfully. That was dumb and also went nowhere. The only positive is that the quest is finally promised to wrap up next issue.