PLANET OF THE APES #26

“Northlands!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Herb Trimpe & Virgil Redondo

Jason, Alexander and the others have just escaped from the Psychedrome. They find themselves in the snowy mountains. Fortunately there is warm clothing. A blizzard comes up and Lightsmith is captured by some mysterious figures. The group goes after them and runs into some Viking apes lead by Eriko. After a fight they find out the Viking apes didn’t kidnap Lightsmith but some others known as Snow-Shamblers did. These Snow-Shamblers are mutant human/ape hybrids and Eriko offers to help. First they go by Viking longboat to their village for a feast. Then they track down the Snow-Shamblers and kill the one who has looking after Lightsmith. This snaps Lightsmith out of his brainwashing. Seems the Snow-Shamblers were not evil and the whole group learns a valuable lesson. The Viking Apes give the group their longboat to get home but keep the alien keeper since he was foretold in a prophecy.

“Man and Ape: Reflections in an Imperfect Mirror”
By Lee Overstreet.

A flowery article about how the apes world reflects the world of man. I found it a bit pretentious.

“Assault on Paradise”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Dino Castrillo

Aldo has seized power and locked up the humans. Caesar meanwhile is paralyzed by grief over the death of his son. He does snap out of it long enough to confront Aldo but by then the mutant army has arrived. Fierce fighting between the gorillas and mutants with the mutants victorious. Aldo flees and abandons his gorillas. Then the mutants turn their artillery on the city with plans to wipe it off the map.

So we get another Terror installment. I do enjoy these stories. So now its Viking apes. A sad story with the killing of a gently creature. Lightsmith is out of his brainwash stupor finally. So the group are now sailing on a Viking ship home where Brutus and his gorilla/mutant army are marching on.

The article was crap which I am afraid of as the well of ideas is pretty much exhausted by now.

Finally the Battle adaptation is coming to an exciting conclusion. I loved the battle scenes as they were so much more epic than what the movie actually had.

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PLANET OF THE APES #25

“A Taste of Mutant Hate”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Sonny Trinidad, Yong Montano & Dino Castrillo

Caesar, MacDonald and Virgil are now trying to leave the underground bunker after finding the archive tapes of Caesar’s parents. Only they have to fight the various mutants. Caesar goes through a very hot radioactive room and manages to ambush the mutants. Then the three get out and head back home. At a council meeting Caesar tells of the mutant threat and that apes must form some sort of defense. Aldo and the gorillas are angry that humans are brought into the council and leaves. In the city Breck gets a report back from a scout of the location of the ape settlement and prepares to attack.

“A Catalogue of the Apes”
By Steve Clement

An article about the various merchandise available from the apes franchise. He goes to various stores and finds all sorts of stuff.

“The War Machine!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Sonny Trinidad & Virgil Redondo

Aldo is preaching to his gorilla followers that they must seize power from Caesar. Cornelius Caesar’s son overhears this while playing around in the trees. Aldo tries to catch him and cuts the branch he was on. It falls and seriously injures Cornelius. Breck leaves on an expedition to destroy Ape city. He leave Mendez behind with orders to use the bomb if he fails. Along the way a scout is attacked and three gorillas killed. Aldo uses this to seize power.

So in this issue because of some sort of screw-up we get two installments of the Battle adaptation. It is mostly like the movie. Some major differences are that Caesar gets a high dose of radiation and starts to lose his hair and get sick. The mutants are more dumb and crazy than in the movie. Otherwise it follows the script. As for the article it was OK. Kind of fascinating to see that apes merchandising was still going strong back in the seventies.

PLANET OF THE APES #24

“The Doomsday Spawn”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Caesar, Virgil and MacDonald head out to the ruins of the city to find the tapes of Caesar’s parents. They find the horror of the city which is now a molten mass of steel and concrete. They enter the bunker and find that there are survivors. Governor Breck and his mutants are still active and gathering weapons. After viewing the tapes of the interview they try to find a way out and are walking into a mutant ambush.

“Man & Ape: Reflections in an Imperfect Mirror Part I”
By Samuel Maronie

An article on the five apes film and how they portray humans.

“The Shadows of the Haunted Cathedraulus”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Tom Sutton

Alric, Greymalkyn, and Strakor from the Freedom Reaver are climbing on a city ship they find drifting. It has a huge cathedral on it. They group splits with the humans going one way and the ape another. They find a frightened member of their species and each tells a story about the New Order. That after the war their people were looking for food and came on the cathedral. Only the humans or apes that controlled it wouldn’t share. A brave member kills the leader and thus starts some strange religion that involves the ritual eating of human or ape.

The two groups meet up and decide to check out who is really behind this religion. At a ceremony some white robed figures are leading black robed ones to sacrifice. It is revealed that the sacrifices are crew members from the Freedom Reaver. The cultists are mutant apes and humans that want to spread their religion by purifying all the old unmutanted apes and humans. They free their fellow crew members but find out their ship has been sunk. That the cathedral is radioactive and soon they will turn into mutants.

So the Battle adaptation is mostly accurate from the movie. They used governor Breck which I believe was how it was originally written but the actor couldn’t do it so Kolp was replaced as the mutant leader. The mutants in this are truly deformed mutants which the movie didn’t manage to portray.

The article was a filler and OK but as most of them have now become not really needed.

Finally the next installment of the Future History Chronicles was excellent. A cool story that told the same story only from different points of view. At the end we find the crew now trapped on this radioactive Cathedral ship with no way of escape.

PLANET OF THE APES #23

“Messiah of Monkey Demons”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Tom Sutton

Brutus has the nuclear weapons and crates of laser rifles in the Psychedrome. He can’t wait to use them to destroy all humans. Just then Jason, Alex and Lightsmith come in the subway car they stole. Brutus gloats and is about to kill Jason when the monkey-demons attack. This allows Jason and his friends to escape. They eventually find themselves back in the Psychedrome and force the alien keeper to lead them out. He takes them to another subway car that leads to the outside.

Meanwhile Brutus is distracted by the arrival of Maguanus of the Asissimians. One of the mutant drones radios his masters and informs them of the situation. They order him to destroy the missiles which he does. Brutus is angry at losing his weapons and casually has Maguanus shot. Then goes off to find Jason. Jason and company find themselves on a snowy hill. Meanwhile in Ape city the Lawgiver lies at death’s door. A young orangutan decides to go to the Forbidden Zone to find the knowledge to save him.

“Ape Out-takes!”

A montage of pictures showing the actors in ape costumes doing various things.

“The Weapons Show of Paradise!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Vicente Alcazar & Sonny Trinidad

In 2670 A.D. North America an orangutan tells the early story of Caesar. The ape city is being build but there is clear tension. Aldo thinks he should be in charge. At school he gets angry because he isn’t very smart and the human teacher inadvertently uses the forbidden word no. This requires the intervention of Caesar to stop him from being killed. Later at dinner Caesar and MacDonald talk about the situation. MacDonald tells Caesar that the future is grim and offers proof in the testimony of Caesar’s parents. It is in the command post of the old city. So the two with an orangutan go to get weapons for the journey to the old city.

The Terror story is one weird story. Which isn’t a bad thing but I was glad to see it come to a conclusion. Time to move on to more interesting parts of the world. Malaguena and Jason’s relationship is heating up. I loved Lightsmith and his brainwashed babbling. So Brutus mad plans are stopped for now. Still plenty of future action between our main protagonists and antagonists.

The outtakes were a filler with some behind the scenes pictures. Was sort of amusing.

Finally the beginning of the Battle adaptation. So far an accurate adaptation. Interesting to see how this series was not very nice to the gorillas. They are the dumb brutes while the chimpanzees and orangutans are the smart ones. I remember they also just used the clothing the apes wore in the future which I found a cop out. They should have had some different clothes but I suppose it was easier to use the old clothes.

PLANET OF THE APES #22

“Quest for the Planet of the Apes Part I: Seeds of Future Deaths”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Rico Rival

A story set between Conquest and Battle. It is two years after the nuclear war. Apes are using humans as slaves to build their new city. Aldo is particularly a brutal overseer. This causes Caesar to intervene. A fight for leadership of the apes ensues. Aldo challenges Caesar to a quest to the old city. The one who brings back the most valuable item is the leader. So the two head off. Caesar is shocked at the devastation and decides to bring back the knowledge of what happened. Aldo finds an armory with guns and brings those back. Meanwhile Governor Breck with his followers escape and manage to grab the guns.

“Thirteen Decades of the Ape”
By Jim Whitmore

An article of apes in fiction. Starting with the first stories from the ancient Romans to the early explorers. Goes on about King Kong and the various imitations until the current times and the Planet of the Apes.

“From Shakespeare to Simian”
by Robert Cleveland

An article on Maurice Evans who played Dr. Zaius in the first two films. He started out as a Shakespearean actor on Broadway.

“Quest for the Planet of the Apes Part II: The Keeper of Future Death!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Governor Breck and his followers take Lisa the wife of Caesar hostage. They manage to defeat the renegade humans with great casualties. Caesar chases Breck and his followers Mendez and Alma out of the city. Then he has to fight Aldo for leadership. He uses his brains and defeats the dumb witted Aldo. Caesar decides to free the humans and have them live in an integrated society. He charges the old orangutan Mandemus to watch over the guns in case they are needed in the future.

So we get a story to bridge the gap between the two films. It was an interesting story and shows the ability to create some unique ideas in this series. Moench has been basically the one man behind this entire series and has done an admirable job of it. He sets up the conflict with Aldo and the mutants that happened in the final movie.

The articles were just not that great. I think the well of ideas has run dry for interesting articles.

PLANET OF THE APES #21

“Beasts on the Planet of the Apes!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Herb Trimpe, Dan Adkins & Sal Trapani

Derek Zane from the Kingdom story is now living the life of his dreams in the kingdom of Camelot on the island of Avedon. Only he feels he has a duty to look for the future astronauts so he leaves his wife for the mainland. At the raft he gets in a fight with a chimpanzee named Robin Hood who later agrees to accompany him. They ambush a chimp and take his clothes. Then with Derek as a human prisoner ride into the city. Derek is turned over to a Dr. Cassius who is about to perform an experiment on a talking human woman. Derek distracts the doctor long enough for the woman to escape and stab the doctor. Then the two with Robin escape in a wagon and blow up the armory. Only the woman is killed. At the end Robin goes back to the island while Derek stays behind to continue his search.

“SFX on the Planet of the Apes”
By Tom Sciacca

An article that covers the effects from the other four movies. Not much new or original here.

“Hail Caesar! Hail the King!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

The final installment in the Conquest adaptation. The rebellious apes lead by Caesar manage to make it to the city. They start to burn the shops and manage to break into a gun store. They defeat the security forces and drag Governor Breck and MacDonald out for a fiery speech on the rise of the Planet of the Apes.

So it was nice to see they didn’t forget Derek Zane and his strange part of the planet he is on. I forgot they had this story and I thought it was a nice change of pace. Otherwise the article was bore and the conclusion to the adaptation was good. So I will leave you with the trailer to Conquest to the Planet of the Apes.

And his fiery ending speech.

PLANET OF THE APES #20

“Society of the Psychedrome”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Tom Sutton

Jason and Alexander find themselves in a strange globe that has lakes up above. Jason manages to use his Thompson submachine gun to mow down the flying demon monkeys. They make it to the center and take some strange alien creature with multiple eye stalks hostage. He leads them to the brainwashed Lightsmith who is now a “good person”. They then find a shuttle and take off to escape this strange place. Meanwhile Brutus and his gorilla/mutant army attack the pueblo settlement. He captures Malaguana and Gilbert. Brutus is also looking for the psychedrome and the nuclear missiles that are kept there.

“SFX on the Planet of the Apes”
By James Glenn

An article on the special effects used in the first movie. The spaceship was a model and also goes into squibs for gunshots and matte paintings.

“Army of Slaves!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

MacDonald has found out about Caesar. He lets him escape but he is captured. He is taken to a room and given electrical shocks until he talks. Governor Breck wants to make sure this is the talking ape. Caesar finally gives in and talks. So now he is ordered executed but MacDonald manages to shut off the power and Caesar fakes dying. Later he knocks out his torturer and straps him in for a session with the electro-shock. Then he leads a rebellion at Ape Management. The apes break out and head toward the city.

So this installment of the Terror series is getting weird. The strange globe of the psychedrome was some alien craft that I guess the government was using. The explanation was vague. Brutus is ruthless and about to get nuclear weapons. So it ends with an exciting setup.

The article was dull. I was afraid that they would exhaust ideas and start rehashing stuff like make up and effects which is now starting.

Finally the Conquest adaptation is coming to an exciting conclusion. For the most part sticks to the original movie except for when Caesar straps the torturer onto the table and gives him a taste of it. I believe this was the original writing but changed as it made Caesar not as sympathetic. I kind of agree with that assessment. It does make him seem more sinister.

PLANET OF THE APES #19

“Demons of the Psycedrome”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Mike Plogg & Tom Sutton

Jason and his friends with professor Lightsmith are traveling east. Behind them is Brutus and his mixed army of gorilla terrorists and mutant drones. Both groups are searching for the Psychedrome. A pre-war place that is supposed to have vast amounts of knowledge. For Lightsmith it is a repository of knowledge and for Brutus a way to advance his goal of conquest. Lightsmith and friends find a settlement of pueblos inhabited by a mix of humans and apes. The group is peaceful and their shaman tells of a place that Lightsmith thinks is the Psychedrome.

Lightsmith manages to blow the steel door open using his boom sticks. Inside they are attacked by bat-winged apes. They take Lightsmith and strap him in. So they start to brainwash him. Meanwhile Brutus and his army arrive and start to attack the pueblo settlement.

“Simian Visions: The Written Worlds of the Apes”
By Jim Whitmore

A review of all the movie adaptations and the TV series book adaptations. A very informative look at the books. I will have to read them sometime in the future.

“The Savage is King!”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Armando plunges to his death instead of reveal the secret of Caesar. So governor Breck must now find the intelligent ape. Caesar is devastated at the loss of his foster father. He starts to organize the apes for rebellion. This overloads Ape Management with uppity apes. Inspector Kolp finds out about the shipment from Indonesia that had a chimpanzee when there are no chimpanzees in Indonesia. So they have discovered Caesar. McDonald decides to help Caesar and he reveals that he can speak.

So we finally get another installment of the terror story. Poor old Lightsmith gets his idealistic dream of the Psychedrome shattered. I love the mind control technique. “A good person always says yes. It is good to be a good person.” Moench did have a flare for the satire.

The book review article was very interesting. I know that these books were recently re-released and I am interested.

Finally the adaptation is continuing strong. The story is told effectively with a minimum of dialogue and quite effective.

PLANET OF THE APES #18

“Rites of Bondage”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

Milo and Armando run away after the incident with the police. Armando decides to have Milo sneak into a shipment of apes and blend in with his own kind as he tries to work things out with the police. So Milo enters the slave workforce and is processed at Ape Management. There he sees the brutal conditioning that apes go through to be taught simple tasks.

“What Do Raymond Hamilton & Chief Medical Officer Zoran Have in Common?”
By Jim Whitmore

The second part of the Planet of the Apes glossary from H to Z. The answer is the first and last entry in the glossary.

“To Serve the Slayer”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

So Milo continues his training and passes. He is sent to auction where he is bought by Governor Breck. It is here that he chooses his name from a book offered by Breck. So he is now Caesar. Armando is about to be interrogated using the Authenticator. A machine that detects a lie. He panics and jumps out a window to his death.

So the dreaded deadline mean once again they doubled up the movie adaptations. The adaptations continue to be very well done. I am not sure about the economic feasibility of having ape slaves. Seems like a lot of expense to train someone to do simple tasks. An effective story but not realistic.

PLANET OF THE APES #17

“Graveyard of Lost Cities”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Tom Sutton

Alaric and the Freedom Reaver are going to a Federation of twelve city-ships. There he hopes its leader Grimstark can help him to peacefully free enslaved humans. They find this Federation and Alaric with Starkor and Greymalkyn go on board. They are ambushed by thieves but fight them off. Greymalkyn finds an old friend who tells them about the city. Starkor was seriously wounded and Grimstark is the only one who can help. So they go to the tower in the center ship and find Grimstark. He originally founded the Federation as a peaceful place for all species but it has since degraded to one of superstition.

Meanwhile two disgruntled humans on board the Freedom Reaver decide to take matters into their own hands by rowing over and drilling a hole in the center ship. As the ship sinks the superstitious mob storms the tower. Grimstark escapes in his flying wings but is shot down by arrows. The other three jump overboard and manage to make it back to the Freedom Reaver.

“Glossary of the Planet of the Apes Part I”
By Jim Whitmore

A glossary of people, places and events from all five movies, the TV series and Marvel comics. Contains the A-G.

“Slaves”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Alfredo Alcala

North America 1991. Armando takes a grown up Milo to the city. There he witnesses the enslavement and mistreatment of apes. We get the explanation of the 1982 plague that killed the cats and dogs. How a search for new pets lead to the enslavement of apes. At the end an ape is being beaten and Milo shouts out. Armando takes the blame and is arrested since criticizing government officials is illegal.

So another Future Chronicles story. This one was an interesting idea to have all these city-ships tied together. Graymalkyn the gorilla has started to find common ground with the humans and both groups are set up to continue the exploration of other parts of the Planet of the Apes.

The glossary is a cool idea. Was very good and had many obscure trivia such as the corridor that lead to the mutant city in Battle. The names of minor characters and so on.

The first of the Conquest adaptation starts off strong. Doug lets the pictures tell the story with little need for narration. Also shows that human society in this dystopian 1991 is as much oppressive to humans as apes.