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  1. #16
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    I love the first two movies, but found the rest of the films pretty hokey. Almost tempted to look for some of the mags just for the artwork, though - Ploog, Alcala, Alcazar, ...
    That's an interesting perspective. Most fans find the second film hokey, but feel the series really hits its momentum with the third and fourth films. Personally, I'd rank my favorites as #5, #1, #4, #3, and #2 last.

    Beyond that, though, I do feel Moench takes the "Terror" storyline well beyond the scope of the five feature films. It's solid storytelling that uses the Planet of the Apes premise remarkably well, regardless of whether or not you cared for the films, and the characters are entirely new creations anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Parch View Post
    If you say the later issues are even better then it must really be impressive.
    Well, later as in "after #3". I haven't read beyond #8 yet.

    The movie adapatation artwork was quite simplistic compared to the terror story.
    If you read the first three issues, you would have been looking at Tuska's work. I really enjoyed it.


    Quote Originally Posted by foxley View Post
    Discludes? Shouldn't that be excludes?
    Yes, but being quite ill to the point that I can sometimes barely string together sentences has certainly rattled my internal thesaurus Advantage = more time to read comics. Disadvantage = harder to write about them without making tons of errors.

    Pedantry aside, I'm looking forward to this as I know nothing about these series. I have vague memories of watching the 1970s animated series, but that's about it for my Planet of the Apes knowledge.
    The animated series was quality, but it was also a significant departure from the rest of the franchise (most obviously in making the Apes technologically advanced). I wouldn't gauge your expectations of the comic based upon the animated series.


    Quote Originally Posted by CromagnonMan View Post
    I read that the Lawgiver was someone who was able to keep the peace between apes and humans, rather than an ideal leader.
    Well Jason certainly puts him on a pedestal (and Jason rarely even likes anyone). I do agree that he's probably doing his best to keep the peace, but then you'd expect that moment along their journey when he reflects upon his own frustrations as a leader or even expresses regret over his decision to empower Brutus and Xavier. He doesn't.

    Why he left that bumbling Xavier in charge in his absence i cant remember, isnt there a reason given? Something like he's the only impartial one (albeit weak and incompetent and easily leaned on).
    As far as I recall, no reason has been given as of issue #8. Maybe an explanation will be given once they all return to Ape City.

  2. #17
    Senior Member CromagnonMan's Avatar
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    Ive never been a fan of the movies either. They were slightly "just before" my time, and once Star Wars was released, they were instantly dated, feeling much more like films of the 1960's than the 70's.

    Ive tried to watch the first fiilm umpteen times, but have never managed to sit through it all (yet).

  3. #18
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CromagnonMan View Post
    Ive tried to watch the first fiilm umpteen times, but have never managed to sit through it all (yet).
    It's incredibly slow moving at first, and I dislike Charlton Heston, but Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter really make the film for me once they start getting some decent screen time, and once you get to the excavation site towards the end, Rod Serling's ideas really start to take center stage and the full potential of the premise begins to take hold.

  4. #19
    Senior Member CromagnonMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    It's incredibly slow moving at first, and I dislike Charlton Heston
    An old-school actor for an old-style slow moving film

    Maybe this has subliminally been putting me off while ive been trying to watch!

  5. #20
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CromagnonMan View Post
    An old-school actor for an old-style slow moving film

    Maybe this has subliminally been putting me off while ive been trying to watch!
    heheh.

    Truly though, none of the Apes films are by any means "perfect." Each has its flaws in spades. Yet, each film is built upon strong sci fi concepts, and all but the second one really touch upon serious universal themes of substance. So, while Star Wars knocked the Apes franchise off the pop-culture map with films that were generally better executed and nearly free of flaws (until the prequels), I still watch the Apes films far more often because they have depth to them and cause me to actually do some thinking and feeling.

    For what it's worth, I was born in '79 -- a tad too late to catch either franchise in the theaters, though Star Wars was certainly still HUGE when I was growing up. I didn't watch the Planet of the Apes films for the first time until after college.

  6. #21
    Senior Member CromagnonMan's Avatar
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    im a 78-er, the earliest Star Wars i watched at the cinema was Return of the Jedi when i was about 4 or 5 which i can barely remember. But Star Wars was so big when i was growing up as a juve, all the toys and constant repeats of the films on tv. also, friends having older brothers kind of got me into the whole Star Wars thing pretty early.

    Im actually not that keen on the franchise any more, but as a youngster, boy, was i ever

    i think youre right, POTA is a more adult film dealing with a more mature theme, but basically got eclipsed by the whole Star Wars thing which is probably to blame for me never having given them much time.

    anyhow, end of derailment, on with the reviews!
    Last edited by CromagnonMan; 02-23-2012 at 01:44 PM.

  7. #22
    world of yesterday benday-dot's Avatar
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    I'll take the original Planet of the Apes over any, save the first two, movies in the Star Wars franchise any day.

    And as a kid I played with PotA toys much more than Star Wars toys.

  8. #23
    Senior Member CromagnonMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benday-dot View Post
    I'll take the original Planet of the Apes over any, save the first two, movies in the Star Wars franchise any day.
    Well yeah, the 1st two SW movies are what it is all about really.

  9. #24
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    Planet of the Apes (Curtis/Marvel) #9

    Lots of changes this issue, including a temporary new lead feature, new editor (AGAIN!) Archie Goodwin, and an unusual supplemental feature.

    “Kingdom on an Island of the Apes, Chapter 1: “The Trip,” and Chapter 2: “Arrival”
    Writer: Doug Moench
    Art: Rico Rival

    Grade: B

    “Kingdom” is certainly a major change in direction for Moench. Whereas “Terror” is primarily a fantasy story set in a sci-fi post-apocalypse world, “Kingdom” begins as more of a generic 1950s sci-fi comic story, and whereas “Terror” took more interest in action and new developments, “Kingdom” is a densely written, character-intensive piece that spends the entire first part of this four part story giving us a sense of who the main character is before even getting him to the Planet of the Apes.

    It’s incredibly well written, and Rival (who I have never heard of) does a great job mirroring Moench’s darker, deeper tone through his art.

    What’s odd, though, is the title of this story. Unless it’s a reference or quote I’m not familiar with, I have no idea what an “island” has to do with this story at all. Derek Zane is transported to what appears to be the exact same location and general time period that Taylor and his crew visited in the first Apes film. General Gorodon and the unseen ape leader, Xirinius, would seem to indicate either that this is not the exact same time period or that this is a slightly different future, altered by Caesar’s presence in the 4th and 5th Apes films. Of course, the introduction takes the safest explanation, merely promising that the story is “freely based on the concepts founds in 20th Century Fox and Pierre Boulle’s thrilling PLANET OF THE APES” without any specific mention of it fitting into a pre-existing continuity. Of course, Moench’s references to Taylor and Otto Hasslein in this story suggest otherwise.

    A good story that spends most of its energy on getting Zane into the time machine, but once he gets there, there isn’t much to captivate me yet. Only two chapters left for the story to find its footing; I hope Moench is up to it.


    Supplemental materials:

    In the editor’s letter section, new editor Archie Goodwin explains that Moench’s departures from Terror are intended to give Ploog a chance to catch up on the artwork, as well as the fact that we can expect more of them from time to time in the future. He also informs us that “Kingdom” was originally intended as a stand lone four part story for a POTA Annual that never took shape (they decided to take the regular magazine monthly instead).

    “On Location: Conquest!” by Al Satian and Heather Johnson. Here’s a mystery for you. This article is a behind the scenes report on a film made almost four years earlier and written by people who are not regular contributors to this magazine, and yet there is no introduction to explain the origin or inclusion of this article. Also weird that it’s the ONLY article in this issue. Usually, we get 2 to 3 of them.

    Beneath the Planet of the Apes [film adaptation], Chapter Three: “The Horror Inquisition!” by Moench and Alcala covers Brent’s telepathic inquisition up to the moment when the mutants unmask during the church service.
    Last edited by shaxper; 06-18-2012 at 04:48 AM.

  10. #25
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Planet of the Apes (Curtis/Marvel) #10

    Kingdom on an Island of the Apes, Chapter 3: "The City," Chapter 4: "The Island out of Time," and Chapter 5: "Battle"
    writer: Doug Moench
    art: Rico Rival
    grade: A

    "Kingdom" concludes here and yet tells a story so much larger than you'd expect in 31 pages. Our hero first goes to Ape city, makes an arch rival out of Gorodon, gets framed by Gorodon for murder (this felt WAY too similar to "Terror"), escapes his pursuers, travels to a nearby island and ends up in a replicated Camelot with apes and humans playing out the roles, makes an arch rival of Sir Gaiwan, proves himself as a wizard and knight, gains a love interest, defeats Gaiwan, and leads a battle against Gorodon and the pursuing forces from Ape City. Truly, this could have been a twenty or thirty part serial on the same level of "Terror," and yet Moench consolidates it so well in this issue, introducing compelling subplots, taking us to strange and imaginative new lands, and ending it all on a strong note that resolves all conflicts and thematically answers the issues established at the beginning of the story.

    Of course, there were lots of minor issues that didn't make sense, most prominently the abrupt shift in characterization Derek experiences in this issue. Last issue, he was a helpless dreamer who took himself too seriously and spent too much time in his head. Now he's a muscular hero who is constantly aware of what's going on and what next step to take, has very brief and simple internal monologue that's all slang (whereas it was once complex and verbose), is an excellent shot with a gun, recognizes gunpowder on sight, can build a raft in minutes, and is an expert lassoer.

    It's a fun fantasy, but the transformation is fully unearned.

    And, once again, Moench is careful NOT to answer the question of where these various Apes stories occur with respect to one another. This COULD be the same time period that Taylor and the others were sent to, or it could not. Certainly though, it can't be the same time period as "Terror" since that story continues after the events of the 4th and 5th films (which existed in a revised timeline that is different from that of the first two films).


    Supplemental features:

    The Editor's letter announces a new assistant editor. Seriously, people are changing around almost every issue!

    The letter column concedes the cancellation of the TV series, provides an address to write to CBS, and also announces the forthcoming animated series.

    The letter column also contains several concerns/criticisms from fans about the dwindling availability of topics for apes articles in the magazine.

    "Finding the Future on the Fox Ranch!" article by Samual Maronie -- talks about how the Fox ranch was used for so many of the sets and scenes in the films

    Beneath the Planet of the Apes [film adaptation], Chapter 4: "Children of the Bomb!" by Moench and Alcala covers the church service scene up to the approach of the Apes into the Forbidden Zone and the mutants' decision to prime the Omega Bomb.
    Last edited by shaxper; 02-26-2012 at 04:04 PM.

  11. #26
    Longstanding Member MWGallaher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    (and just why does Zane mention “Herbert George” twice? From what I can tell on Wikipedia, he was a chemist – not a physicist and certainly not concerned with time travel)?
    That would be referencing Herbert George (or "H. G.") Wells, author of The Time Machine.I was following this magazine fanatically throughout its publication (I am very grateful that you didn't bring up my letter to the editor that I think had seen print by this point in the run--embarrassing!), and "Kingdom" was much more the kind of story I had originally hoped for when the mag started: time travel to a future world where apes rule. And while I was not a big fan of the Philipino artists of the era, I distinctly remember this comic instilling a pretty big appreciation for the work of Rico Rival, who was not ever as popular or ubiquitous in the US comics as, say, Alcala, deZuniga, or Redondo.
    "We're Santa's elves, and we're here to tell you about ourselves!"--Summer and Eve

  12. #27
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWGallaher View Post
    That would be referencing Herbert George (or "H. G.") Wells, author of The Time Machine.
    Oh. Yeah, that would make more sense (smacks head).

    (I am very grateful that you didn't bring up my letter to the editor that I think had seen print by this point in the run--embarrassing!)
    Issue #8. It was actually one of the more intelligent letters they chose to publish as (I recall) you addressed the demands placed upon the artists churning out 25 pages per month.

  13. #28
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    Planet of the Apes (Curtis/Marvel) #11

    Terror on the Planet of the Apes: "When the Lawgiver Returns"
    writer: Doug Moench
    art: Mike Ploog

    grade: B+

    Sadly but surely, Moench abandons the fantasy/adventure aspect of the series this issue, having Gunpowder Julius, Steely Dan, and Trippo bid our heroes farewell as they return to Ape City and to the conflict and premise with which the series began. Moench handles it well enough, finally making the Lawgiver a presence to be reckoned with (it's now clear that he is and was a great leader doing his best to maintain the peace), and the hatred within Jason explodes to new levels, finally resulting in him renouncing the Lawgiver, socking Alex in the face, and fleeing Ape City, swearing to never return, only after having savagely beaten Brutus within an inch of his life.

    Oh, it's powerful stuff, but it's not as fun as the quirky band of heroes and sci-fi villains Moench left behind outside of Ape City's borders. That's where the true magic was, in my opinion. Still, Ploog's artwork (particularly his exaggerated Lawgiver faces and usage of torches and nighttime shadows) really took this already pretty good issue to the next level of awesomeness.


    Two minor details worth noting:

    - The gorilla military leader kills the useless orangutan leader (Xavier, not the Lawgiver) and blames it on humans. Once more, "Terror" and "Kingdom" overlap a tad too much.

    - I first noticed in #5 that the gypsy leader wished well to our heroes by instructing them to "Look to the mountaintop." The saying is used again twice in this issue, once by Gunpowder Julius, and once by Jason. Six years later, Moench still liked this saying enough to build an entire Batman story around it (Detective Comics #533, in which Barbara Gordon stands vigil over the commissioner's hospital bed, recalling that he once gave her that advice). Honestly, I don't see what's so great about the line, but Moench apparently did.


    Supplemental features:

    "Outlines of Tomorrow" by Jim Whitmore. This is a pretty ambitious and fascinating attempt to blend the movies, TV show, and "Terror" comic into one coherent timeline, adding facts when appropriate to create a comprehensive picture of the future. There are minor issues I take with it, but it's a great read nonetheless. Truly the first supplemental feature in this magazine that I've actually felt was worth owning.

    Beneath the Planet of the Apes [film adaptation], Final Chapter: "Holocaust of Hell!" by Moench and Alcala. It's become apparent by this point that Moench is working off an early script of the film that is very different from the final film that hit theaters. That in itself might make this adaptation worth reading (though I haven't taken the time to do so, myself). This final chapter begins with the Apes entering the mutant city (thankfully, Taylor isn't wearing a white leisure suit in this version), foreshadows the ending of the film a bit better by having Taylor show early on that he's fed up and wants everything to be "finished," and goes all the way up to the end, which is the same as what we saw in theaters. I happen to like how Alcala chose to depict that ending on the comics page. Very subtle, beautiful, and detached.
    Last edited by shaxper; 02-29-2012 at 02:43 AM.

  14. #29
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Planet of the Apes (Marvel/Curtis) #12

    Future History Chronicles I: "Nomads"
    writer: Doug Moench
    art: Tom Sutton

    grade: B-

    A fantastic fantasy premise about a war torn city, divided into two halves, aboard a giant ark on the ocean. It echoes a theme established by Moench in "Kingdom" of an insular society that prefers to separate itself from the rest of the world, though the reason for this goes unexplained in this story. Unfortunately, the best thing about this one is the premise (I think I could have stuck with a full series exploring what civil war on a giant boat would be like!), as the story, itself, involving a mysterious character attempting to instigate war between Orangutans and Gorillas, isn't anything to write home about beyond the surprise revelation of who/what he truly represents.

    Also, Tom Sutton is no Mike Ploog, Rico Rival, or Alfredo Alcala. I know Sutton has some hardcore fans out there, but this is my first look at his work, and what I saw here didn't work for me at all. I found his panels crowded, unclear, and sometimes lacking accurate perspective/size ratios. More than anything, they felt like work to look at.


    What's perhaps most worth noting here is that we are up to issue #12 of this series, and yet we have only had seven issues of "Terror" thus far -- barely more than half the run. Normally, this would be a disappointment except that every filler story Moench has done while Ploog has taken the time to catch up on deadlines has been extraordinary in one respect or another. It could be argued that the Jason and Alex vs. racial injustice premise might be the least interesting of the ones Moench has introduced in this series, though it's still a remarkably high quality series in its own right, only diminished by the competition its own author gives it in this magazine.

    My own personal ranking of Moench stories thus far:

    1. Terror on the Planet of the Apes (POTA 1,2,3,4,6,8, 11): In spite of the tired premise and simple main characters, I love so much of what this series has accomplished, especially in its rich supporting cast and imaginative settings.

    2. Kingdom on an Island of the Planet of the Apes (POTA 9, 10): Brilliant, imaginative 5 part story that wraps up having accomplished everything it set out to do by the end.

    3. Nomads (POTA 12): Great premise, decent story.

    4. Evolution's Nightmare (POTA 5): Set out to tackle the exact same theme as "Terror" with somewhat lesser results, though the ending was a nice one.

    (NOTE: POTA #7 contained no original Moench stories).

    Sad to consider that the upcoming Boom! reprint may only contain the "Terror" chapters, missing all these other wonderful Moench concepts.

    Also worth noting is that "Terror," "Evolution's Nightmare," "Kingdom," and "Nomads" all concern themselves with racial tension as a major theme. In each series, there is absolutely no inter-breading between humans, gorillas, chimps, or orangutans, and (in fact) there are no mixed friendships aside from Jason and Alex. Granted, the fringe cultures we visit in "Terror" have intermixing, but not in the central culture in the story. Also and finally, in "Terror," "Kingdom," and "Nomads," the species hierarchy remains the same: Orangutans are in charge and on the verge of being usurped by the more war-like gorillas. Meanwhile, the chimps obey the orangutans, and the humans are at the bottom of the hierarchy. Only "Evolution's Nightmare" deviates from this hierarchy, focusing on the relationship between man and apes to the extent that this single issue story never even establishes what kind of ape the co-protagonist is (seems to be a gorilla) or whether his ape society even contained different ape species.

    A final minor point -- the chimps of "Nomads" appear to have devolved, expressing far less intelligence than either orangutans or gorillas, treated like slaves and unable to even speak in full sentences. Certainly, their being forced into slavery less than a generation earlier (our protagonists still recall when it happened) could not be the cause of this.

    Supplemental features:

    It took three editors and two assistant editors, but this magazine finally actually seems enthusiastic about Ape-dom. The letters page is just full of energy and pride for the content of the magazine, and I'm glad to finally see this, especially in the wake of the TV series being cancelled and the clear writing on the wall that Ape madness has peaked.

    "Two People Who ARE The Planet of the Apes!" Part 1 interview by Jim Whitmore. This is a rather sad interview with the actors playing Cornelius and Zira in a licensed traveling show that, while huge to the most dedicated Ape Fans of the time, was obscure to the larger readership even then. While you can tell that Jim Whitmore is thrilled to talk with them, it's more a reminder to me of the high profile interviews that were missing from this mag. Where's an interview with Kim Hunter (the REAL Zira), or maybe even one with Roddy McDowell (the REAL Cornelius) that lasts more than a page?

    Escape from the Planet of the Apes [film adaptation], Part 1: "Escape from the Planet of the Apes!" by Doug Moench and Rico Rival. I was enticed by the cover to this issue (the most gorgeous one yet, in which Cornelius witnesses the destruction of Earth from space) and read into its subtle promise that THIS adaptation of the film would cover the pivotal missing scenes from the actual film -- the ones that show HOW they get aboard that ship and end up back in 1973 (renumbered to 1975 in this issue, presumably to make it the "today" of the magazine instead of the near future of the now aging movie). Unfortunately, what Moench adds, unrestrained by the financial restrictions of the filmmaker, really isn't what we were looking for. We still don't know how they got Taylor's ship working and launched, they offer a brief rationale of wanting to escape the planet before the war (implied: between apes and mutants) breaks out (of course, then what was their plan? Who decides to plummet into uncharted space without a destination or adequate supplies rather than face the possibility of a war that their side has a reasonable chance of winning?), and seem remarkably underwhelmed as they witness the planet's destruction. From there on in, it's pretty much the beginning of the film as we all remember it. Oh well.
    Last edited by shaxper; 03-22-2012 at 07:49 PM.

  15. #30
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Planet of the Apes (Curtis/Marvel) #13

    Terror on the Planet of the Apes, Phase Two: "The Magic Man's Last Gasp Purple Light Show!"
    writer: Doug Moench
    art: Mike Ploog

    Grade: B+

    Beside the entirely unnecessarily complex title, I have to say that I was thoroughly in love with this one. Whereas I feared Moench was taking the "Terror" storyline too far back to basics in the previous chapter, we're out on wild adventures once again in this one, and Moench is laying foundations for several future adventures this time, strongly suggesting that he's now comfortable with taking the "Terror" storyline far away from Ape city (where the Lawgiver is now back in control). The "Phase Two" designation further makes it clear that, with Ape City back under the Lawgiver's control, the title is now free to explore the far looser central conflict of Jason pursuing Brutus. In short, this is now a whole new exciting chapter in the "Terror" saga.

    This issue introduces Lightsmith and Gilbert, his mute ape companion, who travel in a steam-powered "Wonder Wagon," espousing the wonders of lost technology. Lightsmith exhibits the same rich characterization we've come to expect from all of Moench's supporting cast, and his understandings of our culture are both amusing and (mostly) logical.

    Additionally, we meet the savage Assimians led by Maguanus, learn about the Psychedrome (where all information about past civilization is supposedly stored), hear about a tribe of winged monkey demons that you just know are coming back, and let's not forget that both Brutus (possibly aided by remaining sympathizers) and the Forbidden Zone mutants are still out there somewhere, along with Gunpowder Julius, Steely Dan, and Trippo. The world of "Terror" is certainly expanding quickly.


    Minor details:

    - Let's take a closer look at Brutus' map on page 10. We know the Forbidden Zone is or includes New York already, and we know the other mark on the map is South Dakota. This means the map is drawn "upside down" with South being up. It also places Ape City in Michigan, with Brutus's camp in Ohio, and both Lake Erie and Lake Michigan seeming to no longer exist. I find it hard to believe that Brutus' camp would need to be so far away from Ape City though (that's several days' journey by horseback). And this would also mean that Taylor and his crew walked from New York to Michigan in the beginning of the first film (it seemed that they'd only traveled for a day, never depicting nightfall or the three stopping to sleep). Perhaps the map is not drawn to scale.

    - Why would Brutus have ever been as far out as South Dakota? And doesn't that ruin some of the surprise of this series is the antagonist already knows about all the weird civilizations out there along the way?

    - I'd always assumed the editors were being polite when they responded to a fan letter, promising to pass suggestions on to Moench, but a few issues back, a fan received such a promise in response to suggesting that Moench put some gibbons on the Planet of the Apes (makes sense -- there are more than three species of apes, after all!), and lo and behold, Gilbert is a gibbon!

    - Seems far too convenient that Jason, Alex, and Malaguena ended up traveling in the same direction, resulting in Jason discovering the Assimian tribe just before they killed Alex and Malaguena. When you add to this the fact that Jason got there by traveling on foot and Alex and Malaguena were on horseback, the timing seems even more absurd.


    Lightsmith: 1st appearance
    Gilbert: 1st appearance
    Maguanus: 1st appearance
    Jason's "weirdling" horse: 1st appearance


    Supplemental features:

    - A continuation of the interview last issue with the actors who play Cornelius and Zira in a licensed traveling show that was big with Ape fantatics of the time.

    - The Escape from the Planet of the Apes adaptation continues, spanning from Zira first speaking to the doctors to the end of the congressional hearing session with Zira and Cornelius. Honestly, I think Rival's artwork might be too striking for this more grounded Apes story. The action looks like it's going to explode each panel, but this is a story about congressional hearings and celebrity status -- at least until the end.


    Strong issue all around, more for the potential it promises than for the actual "Terror" story (which was adequate). I am excited for the future of this title!
    Last edited by shaxper; 03-22-2012 at 07:49 PM.

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