FULL BEAR TRAP!
"You can ignore my great advice but I do not recommend it (look at my scars)!"--Summer and Eve
I did too, though I absolutely could not grasp its scale from his drawings, and I really really wanted to fully immerse myself in that visual concept. I know that the lead feature stories for the POTA magazine were written in the Marvel style, and that, for the "Terror" installments, Moench generally began by asking Ploog what he wanted to draw and then hashed out a plot from there. If "Nomads" was written in the same way, then we have Sutton to thank for the awesome concept, but I think a different artist could have done said concept more justice.
That being said, there were some truly awesome panels. I just get frustrated easily when I can't tell what the heck is going on in a panel, and that seemed to be the norm in this story.
Planet of the Apes (Curtis/Marvel) #14
First off, this issue marks a price drop to only 75 cents per issue, as well as a loss of 14 pages. It's a pretty good trade-off, if you ask me, especially since most of the 14 cut pages were made up of low-interest articles, letter column space, and interior advertisements. Unfortunately, the lead feature and film adaptation installments are cut to 20 pages a piece as of next issue, though I have no doubt Moench will still make them work. I'm also going to miss the Marvel house ads, which were generally quite entertaining.
Terror on the Planet of the Apes, Phase Two: "Up the Nose-Tube to Monkey Trash"
writer: Doug Moench
art: Mike Ploog
Moench's titles may be getting dumber, but "Terror, Phase Two" is really picking up. We've got Jason and friends getting blind drunk inside of Mount Rushmore and later launching grenades out of Abraham Lincoln's nose at the Assimians (Moench definitely starts having a little more fun amidst all the seriousness in this issue), Brutus pulling a master coup over the Inheritors (and I love Moench's misdirection -- Jason was WRONG about where Brutus went), and we're even given quite a bit of information about HOW human society came to an end just before "Conquest for the Planet of the Apes." Really, there isn't much more you could ask from this issue.
What we learn about the decline of human society:
- "The Africans" (a continent-wide government?) and China dropped hydrogen bombs on the U.S.
- The Ape rebellions occurred soon after (implies that the bombs had already been dropped prior to "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes"?
- The President and government took refuge in the Lincoln Tunnel at first and then, presumably, a secret room in Mount Rushmore.
Meanwhile, the tension is heating up as the Assimians remain a constant threat, Brutus is now armed with war machines and mutant soldiers, and Lightsmith is still headed for the Psychodrome in NY (which we now understand to be nothing more than a brainwashing machine).
Truly, things are getting more exciting with the issue, and Moench's tone is becoming more versatile as well, juxtaposing intense moments with truly fun and/or funny ones. I doubt I'll ever lose the image of Jason's astonished face upon sitting on a couch for the first time, turned off by how soft it is.
Lightsmith, Gilbert, and Malaguena may not be quite as rich and endearing as Gunpowder Julius, Steely Dan, and the Lawgiver (though we know the first two will be returning at some point), but this is still a new high point for the series, arguably the most fun and imaginative it's been yet.
- I'm amazed that Brutus has chosen to take mutant soldiers with him on his campaign. What insurance does he have that Be One won't have them turn on him?
- Brutus got from the Mutant City to Mount Rushmore in the span of a single issue. How is that possible by horseback if the Mutant City is in New York???
"Shaping a Simian World!" article by Samual J Maronie. Yet another article exploring the look and set designs of Planet of the Apes, though this time the focus is the now defunct TV show (still no mention of the animated series having started yet).
"Trouble in Paradise Lost!" (continued "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" film adaptation) by Moench and Rival. This chapter begins at the end of Zira and Cornelius' senate hearing and ends with Dr. Hasslein convincing the president to have Cornelius and Zira fully interrogated.
Last edited by shaxper; 03-06-2012 at 06:33 PM.
Yes, that's Marcos.
Mike Ploog was the first artist on both Werewolf by Night and Ghost Rider (flaming motorcyclist version), making him one of the key artists of the early-70s horror boom at Marvel.
Ploog was great - especially on Werewolf by Night and Frankenstein. Anybody know whatever became of him? As I recall, he didn't work in the field too long.
Co-moderator, CBR Batman Forum
I suppose it's a bit unfair to expect great artists to produce with both consistent quality and quantity, but that's the business.
Oh, and here's Ploog's current website: http://www.mikeploog.us/
Last edited by shaxper; 03-07-2012 at 07:40 PM.
Planet of the Apes (Curtis/Marvel) #15
The shortened page length can really be felt in this issue as the 30 page lead feature (written before the page cut decision was made) leaves no room for supplemental materials, instead running directly into the film adaptation segment.
Future History Chronicles II: "Dreamer in Emerald Silence"
writer: Doug Moench
art: Tom Sutton
I didn't realize that the Future History Chronicles stories made up one continuing storyline. I had hoped each would be a stand-alone science fiction island unto itself.
Oddly enough, I feel exactly the same about this story as I did about Future History Chronicles I (from POTA #12). There was a fantastic concept at the center of the story (in this case, Dwelleron, the living underwater ship piloted by Ambrosia), but the story itself didn't do much for me (the co-existence message felt far more forced than usual this time, and the characters were less than remarkable), and Sutton's work still flip-flopped between being impressive and frustratingly difficult to decipher. I must say, though, I really enjoyed Ambrosia and Alaric playing chess while discussing the fate of the ships above them. Cliche as they are, dramatic chess matches in comic books and films always go over well with me.
Truly though, I absolutely cannot see the appeal of writing a third chapter in this saga. I simply do not care about these people. And now that we know that the apes have a homeland and that there are many city ships out there, the initial concept has lost some of its unique charm as well.
"In the Cradle of a Father's Sins" (Escape from the Planet of the Apes film adaptation) by Moench and Rival. This chapter includes Hasslein interrogating Cornelius and Zira, reporting the findings back to the commission, and the commission ruling that the pair be sterilized and the birth aborted.
Last edited by shaxper; 03-09-2012 at 08:25 PM.