PLANET OF THE APES THE SIMIAN AGE #1

“Mother of Exiles”
Writer: Jeff Jensen
Artist: Jared Cullum

Amy is a chimpanzee who lives in the Statue of Liberty. She keeps it clean and is some refugee from ape society. She avoids others but one day a mutant comes injured. She helps him enough so he can move on.

“Apex”
Writer: Matt Kinot
Artist: Matt Smith

Apex is a gorilla in the army. He trains and does hard work keeping up the scarecrows at the borders of the Forbidden Zone. One day his unit finds a cave of humans that results in a fight. Later Apex decides to start a revolution to save the humans.

“Cloud and Rain”
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Lalit Kumar Sharma

Cloud and Rain are two young apes with Caesar’s group. They come on an injured human while foraging. While they try to help Koba comes and kills the human. Later Rain tries to get the proof that Koba killed a human to bring to Caesar. Instead Koba beats him to death and blames the human. Later he also decides to get rid of Cloud to cover his secret. At the end he meets with Caesar who shows him his new law. Ape shall not kill ape.

So another one shot. This one being focused on the apes. The first two were intriguing but sadly just too short and vague to really be effective. Now if the story had more room I think they could be quite good. The third was a look at Koba the villain from the new movies. We already see his hatred of humans and desire for power. A cool idea that needed more length to properly bring to its potential.

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PLANET OF THE APES THE TIME OF MAN #1

“Armando’s Tale”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: George Schall

Armando takes in baby Milo and raises him. He has to keep it secret that Milo is the talking ape baby of Zira an Cornelius. Young Milo wants to be part of the world and comes up with the idea of being part of the circus by learning to ride a horse. His act is a big success. Later as time goes by we see Armando being offered a job to train apes as they are starting to be sold as pets that can do simple tasks. He finds out in 1991 he has terminal cancer. We end with him taking Milo into the city.

“Man’s Best Friend”
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Carlos Magno

Lucian is a successful orangutan lawyer who decides to buy a young human boy. He is trained and becomes part of the family. He even manages to save the life of his young son who was drowning. The boys grow up and go off to school. One day the boy named Bolo gets sick and dies. Lucian assures his son when he comes home that Bolo has gone off into the country to be well taken care of. In the end two gorillas talk of making a new coat from Bolo’s hide as he is transported in a wagon on garbage.

“Mountain”
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Morgan Beem.

A group of humans are living an idyllic live on a mountain. One day they come on an ape raiding their freshly caught fish. The ape is captured and the group debates killing him. One is the son of Malcolm who was friends with Caesar. The ape escapes and Malcolm stops the woman from shooting him. At the end other apes come but the captive ape named Roman decides to let the humans have their mountain.

This one-shot issue had three stories from both versions of the apes movies. Armando’s tale was in interesting look into the alternate future of young Caesar’s childhood. A short story that deserves to be explored in more detail. The second was a brutal one about how humans have fallen. It really hits home that even a part of the family a pet human still ends up as garbage. The final one takes place farther in the future. Sounds like it is rare for humans to still talk and the apes are well advanced in building their civilization. Also deserves to be developed in more detail. A solid and enjoyable anthology.

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.

PLANET OF THE APES URSUS #6

“Untitled”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Lalit Kumar Sharma

Ursus is leading the gorilla army into the Forbidden Zone. The Ape council orders Zaius to accompany him. Through flashbacks we see an earlier life. Zaius is visiting Ursus and Qama in Terminus and they are expecting their first child. He wants to offer Ursus a job in Ape City but he refuses. Terminus is a good place to raise a gorilla child and Ursus is dedicated to building his family. Unfortunately his wife dies in childbirth and leaves him alone.

So the army reached the mutant temple and starts to destroy the missile. Ursus is shot after gunning down Taylor. As Taylor and Zaius argue Ursus has a vision of his wife holding their newborn child as the world ends.

The final issue ending as expected. Most was an adaptation of the end of Beneath the Planet of the Apes. It did have some important moments to show Ursus in a more happier time. He had such a tragic life that you can understand why he is filled with such hate. Not only towards humans but God himself. You end up feeling sorry for him and sad at his death. I great way to end his story.

PLANET OF THE APES URSUS #5

“Untitled”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Lalit Kumar Sharma

Ursus is with Zaius and his guardian exploring the No Ape’s Land for the renegade humans. They find ruins and one building holds the statue of Abraham Lincoln. Naturally the apes freak out over a human statue and wonder what this means. While the guardian goes on about his fundamentalist beliefs the humans attack. During the fight Zaius manages to save Ursus’s life. The guardian is killed and Ursus and Qama confess their love. Zaius burns down the human library.

Meanwhile in the present Ursus is upset that his friend Sgt. Moench has come back in a paranoid delusional state. His ranting of heatless fires and disappearing humans further confirms the presence of humans in the Forbidden Zone. His friend later dies and Ursus goes to the museum and takes his grief out on the stuffed astronaut Dodge.

So in this issue it is revealed that Zaius and Ursus visited the old ruins of Washington and discovered the truth about history. The issue quotes the lawgiver and the sacred scrolls a lot which I found an interesting insight into ape culture. This issue once again does an excellent job of portraying the positive side of Ursus. We see him in love. His grief at the loss of his guardian. There is also a touching scene with his friend Moench who was driven nuts by the mutants and later dies. We are getting a real understanding for how Ursus turned out the way he did and some empathy for him.

PLANET OF THE APES URSUS #4

“Untitled”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Lalit Kumar Sharma

Ursus is alienating the ape council with his harsh words and actions. Indeed he is starting to get the gorilla army mobilized for an invasion of the Forbidden Zone. In a flashback we see his time during the human attacks. He is part of the survivors that make it to Terminus to find it captured by humans. His foster father gets everyone jumped up with his fundamentalist rhetoric and they attack the village. The humans are killed but Ursus’s foster father is wounded. Ursus also falls in love with Qama. Sgt. Moench and his squad are in the Forbidden Zone when the mutants cause them to black out. Moench finds himself naked and manages to escape only he is mad.

This issue dealt with showing why Ursus is so filled with hate and fear for humans. It also had a very tender side to him as he falls in love. So in spite of his actions you still feel for the guy. We also see the beginnings of the military dictatorship that forms after the first movie and why they march into the Forbidden Zone with an army.

PLANET OF THE APES URSUS #3

“Untitled”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Chris Mooneyham

Sgt. Moench and his hand picked squad are scouting out the Forbidden Zone. Fire sprouts up but Moench keeps a cool head and notices that it has no heat. They find the ruined city and start to explore as the mutants watch. Ursus has too much berry wine and goes home drunk after talking to a lobotomized Landon. Then we get another flashback. Ursus rescues the doctor that Zaius was with from a group of humans. They continue on to warn ape settlements and come on one that was burned to the ground and all its inhabitants were killed. Ursus is wakened in the morning by a subordinate who reports that a human has escaped. He goes to check it out and is in time for the capture of Taylor and his famous words.

The story is continuing to expand on the backstory of Ursus. We now see his early experiences with rebellious humans in his youth. How him and Zaius were at a young age. An early expedition into the Forbidden Zone by Moench who I am sure is named after Doug Moench. In fact I noticed other ape characters named after artists. I love how the writer slowly unfolds the story so we get some but not all. A good way to keep up the suspense. So we end with Taylor’s “Get your damn stinking paws off me you dirty ape.”

PLANET OF THE APES URSUS #2

“Untitled”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Chris Mooneyham

Landon the captive astronaut is going nuts. He babbles on that this is all some sort of oxygen depraved hallucination. This gets Ursus angry and he decides to start beating the information he wants out of Landon. This fractures his skull and so we find out the origin of how he got his surgical lobotomy. Ursus then goes to assemble a group of gorilla soldiers to scout the Forbidden Zone for other humans.

In flashbacks we find out about Ursus. He was an orphan whose guardian was a traveling fundamentalist gorilla. It was him that instilled the hatred for humans. They come on a village of apes that was destroyed by humans. There are two survivors a young Zaius who was traveling with his mentor and a young gorilla who I believe becomes Ursus’s wife.

So the story expands some more on Ursus’s history and experiences. So far the story ties in perfectly with the movie and answers what happened between the scenes. Ursus is shown to have vulnerabilities like loneliness for his departed wife. We are introduced to more aggressive humans in this world as well as other ape settlements. The story reveals much but still brings up new stuff that the reader is interested in finding out. I am really pleased how this series is going.

PLANET OF THE APES URSUS #1

“Untitled”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Chris Mooneyham

We start where the three astronauts are caught up in the hunt. After the hunt a Gorilla notices the dark skinned human and decides to take it to General Ursus who has an interest in such humans. Ursus meanwhile has just been to a council meeting and is not happy. Humans are destroying the crops and Ape City is in danger of famine. The solution is to turn soldiers into farmers. This doesn’t go over well with Ursus who storms out. Later he is shown the dark skinned human and we get a flashback.

Ursus as a young ape with his traveling father in Terminus. The apes there are using humans as gladiators for sport in the arena. The leaders feel this is the best way to control humans. So back in the present Ursus goes to Zaius and tells of the dark skinned human. From the conversation something real bad happened in Terminus and Zaius was there too. An excited sergeant brings Ursus and Zaius to a talking human.

So this is the first in a mini-series about General Ursus the militaristic “Only good human is a dead human” from the movies. In every story he is a one dimensional character but here we get another side. An ape who lives alone and is a widower. A young gorilla who looks at the world with innocence and wide-eyes. This is a character with a past and history that shaped him. Already we get a hint of a tragedy that involved humans in his life. A friendship between Zaius and Ursus that we never have seen before. I look forward to learning more about Ursus.

KONG ON THE PLANET OF THE APES #6

“When Chaos Reigns”
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Carlos Magno

Kong and Na-ti are running from General Ursus and his army. They come to a cliff at the edge of the ocean. Ursus has his men take a huge wooden spear and start stabbing Kong. Zaius, Cornelius and Zira arrive and try to put a stop to this. Ursus is totally power mad and while they argue Na-ti is shot by Ursus. She falls and Kong falls with her to catch her. They crash through the ground and find themselves in the underground ruins of New York.

Meanwhile back at Ape city the council is going to cover up the whole expedition and its findings. They also plan to make the forbidden zone totally off limits to apes. Zira and Cornelius decide to leave Ape City and get the news of Milo’s discovery of Taylor’s spaceship. Ursus takes his army into the ground after Kong. While tracking him the mutants use their mental powers to project fire which forces the apes to flee. At the end Na-ti is dead and Kong manages to reach the ruins of the World Trade Center where he dies. The mutants see this as a sign that the end is near and plan to detonate the bomb.

So the series comes to a sad end. I figured that Kong was going to meet a tragic end. Appears that Na-ti and the apes in general will also meet one. Indeed the ending set up changes nothing that the original movie didn’t set up. I liked this series. It was done in a clever way to integrate the Apes universe with Kong’s. It managed to stay true to both universes and tell a fascinating if not a tragic story. I wonder what other crazy crossover the Apes universe will get.