In this specific case, the characters created for the POTA magazine couldn't really exist independent of the Apes universe anyway (unlike, say, Red Ronin from Marvel's Godzilla, or the Dire Wraiths from ROM). The "Terror" characters are entirely derivative of the property and its premise.
I believe The 1960s Batman TV show is a similar example. It's clearly a DC/Warner Communications property, and yet Greenway Productions (now owned by Fox) enhanced the property with its own touches. Now the series cannot be legally released on DVD or bluray without Warner and Fox coming to a licensing agreement together. Neither company owns the total product free and clear.
Minor correction: I've been saying APJAK when, in fact, it's APJAC.
Arthur P. Jacobs And Company?
Last edited by shaxper; 05-09-2012 at 06:37 PM.
Planet of the Apes #25
I have not been able to acquire this issue but, since it doesn't contain any non-film adaptation stories, I've decided to skip it. The GCBDB informs us that it contains two chapters of the Battle of the Planet of the Apes film adaptation written by Doug Moench and pencilled by Sonny Trinidad (though, apparently, one page was done by Marshall Rogers). No indication of other supplementary features.
Last edited by shaxper; 05-15-2012 at 03:53 AM.
Planet of the Apes (Curtis/Marvel) #26
writer: Doug Moench
pencils; Herb Trimpe
inks: Virgil Redondo
tones (???): Rudy Mesina
I'm really not sure what the purpose of this chapter was. Our band of protagonists is taken in by a band of vikings with a leader who is so remarkably similar to Gunpowder Julius that Jason even comments upon it, and then our heroes leave. Normally, these chapters both further the plot and take us somewhere new and exciting, but if even the characters are noticing how similar this seems to a past world of characters, then something is wrong. I suppose we should have felt for the death of a compassionate innocent in this story, but it's all been done before, and we didn't get a chance to really attach to this character so much as, say, Shaggy from way back when. So, aside from rehashing a number of old character types and ideas, I'm at a loss as to what the purpose of this chapter was.
Perhaps Moench left this all up to Trimpe and then was surprised by the remarkable similarities and felt the need to have Jason take note.
Whatever the reason, this certainly wasn't a bad installment, but it also felt entirely unnecessary.
And, while we're on the topic of "entirely unnecessary," our protagonists had a Keeper traveling with them as of last issue, only to leave him with the vikings in this one. He never contributed anything significant to the group nor provided any useful information, so what the heck was the point? In past issues, you could have a character like Saraband join the team for one issue, exit, and leave a permanent mark on our imaginations. Now we're just adding and deleting randomly and, perhaps, to provide the team with escape vehicles. Nothing more.
Finally, we learn in this issue that the group is heading "home" which comes as a drastic surprise to me. After all, Jason chose to leave Ape City in search of Brutus. Jason provides no indication that he believes Brutus died in last issue's explosion, so why abandon the search now? Shouldn't we be offered some rationale for a complete shift in the very premise of these adventures? And, if Jason does believe Brutus is dead, then that deserves a significant moment. What would that do to Jason's rage and to the entire role of revenger that he has allowed to overtake his entire personality? Either way, this comes off as a serious omission.
- Based on what I'd seen of his work on Killraven, I didn't expect to be impressed with Trimpe's work, but he did a nice job here. It isn't Alcala or Ploog, but he gives his characters a larger than life stature that, at times, feels "Kirby-esq". It helps that Redondo does some nice inking over his pencils, finding hues of darkness to play with even in the oversaturated whites of a snow-covered plain. Still not sure what the heck Mesina's role was in all of this, but I can only assume it helped.
- The characters comment that they have never seen snow before. Hold on a second, here. Didn't we determine that Ape City is somewhere between New York (established in the first two films) and Michigan (Brutus' map, seen a while back)? Did nuclear war create massive global warming or something? I suppose it's true that the fourth Apes film appeared to take place in California and, therefore, the Ape City Caesar established in the fifth film would also be in the South West. Perhaps Moench is working from that and assuming the Ape City we saw in the first film was a wholly different society. If our starting point isn't New York, it's possible Brutus' map could have been interpreted very differently.
- Malaguena, who has had zero personality up until this point, suddenly resents Jason for his lack of compassion towards Lightsmith. I can't say I cared for this over-the-top 180 degree shift in character. The concern has been raised before that Moench doesn't often write female characters well. I get the sense that he has no idea what to do with Malaguena
- Why were the Vikings pretending not to see The Keeper at first if his coming had been prophecised to them?
- That entire segment depicting the Keepers inside the psychodrome was absurd, especially the attempt at cutesy Keeper small-talk and the arbitrarily rhyming robotic repair machines.
- "Reflections in an Imperfect Mirror Part II" by Lee Overstreet. More prattling on about what we learn about ourselves by reading about Apes. I just didn't have the patience to stick through this one.
- Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Part V: Assault on Paradise!" by Doug Moench and Dino Castrillo. Yuk on that new artist. Truly yuk. The letter column to this issue attempts to explain why this story is so different from the film version by claiming that it's all based on the shooting scripts (as all the Apes film adaptations were), but I don't buy it. How would a shooting script contain a central antagonist who ends up appearing nowhere in the film and, in fact, was depicted killed in the altered ending to the previous film? Surely, they knew Breck wasn't going to be in this film long before shooting time rolled around. Additionally, the Power Records adaptation (which, I believe, was more likely to have been based on the shooting scripts and holds a closer resemblance to the real film) contained a lot of changes that WEREN'T in this version. So I theorize that either Moench made these purposefully and for his own reasons or that he was working from a very early script and somehow incorporated in some changes made during shooting that weren't even in the shooting script that Power Records used.
Last edited by shaxper; 05-22-2012 at 06:54 PM.
Planet of the Apes (Curtis/Marvel) #27
"Apes of Iron"
writer: Doug Moench
art: Herb Trimpe
It's as if Moench read my previous review. Pretty much every concern I had last issue was addressed in this one, from whether or not Jason thought Brutus was dead, to what was going on in Malaguena's head, to why Gunpowder Julius and Steely Dan were randomly referenced -- and when they made their entrance in this issue, I literally cheered out loud.
Yeah, it was a GOOD story, full of exciting new complications, good solid attention to characterization, a decent plot, and the return of a few favorite characters. Still, there were problems:
1. Geography -- This has been driving me nuts for a while now, and the problem is only getting worse. We are now clearly establishing that the forbidden zone near Ape City contains the New York City Library (which, incidentally, I'm pretty sure we saw underground in Beneath the Planet of the Apes), once again reaffirming the idea we were first given from the original film that Ape City is in or somewhere near New York. But our characters (good and bad) were JUST in South Dakota (Mt. Rushmore) so how the heck are they running into Gunpowder Julius when HE just ran into Thaddius running from Ape City to the Forbidden Zone????
2. Convenience -- There's far too much of it in this story:
A. Randomly running into Gunpowder Julius again.
B. Thadius finding the very hiding place of the Makers just as Brutus encounters their gorilla soldiers and the Inheritors learn that they are active again.
C. Jason and Alex arriving at Ape City MINUTES before Brutus' assault on the city.
3. Logic. There are several moments in this issue that just plain make no sense:
A. Brutus still has an army. They were ALL in the Psychodrome other than Warko when it blew up!
B. How have The Makers been effectively controlling their soldiers all this time if one badly written pep talk from Brutus can suddenly sway their affiliation?
C. How do The Makers suddenly know someone has turned their soldiers against them at the end, seemingly minutes after it happened?
So not a perfect story. Still, it was definitely fun and a clear cut above the last few stories. Plus I find it fascinating how Moench has finally worked in the mutants we know from the second and fifth films.
- Lightsmith's choice to believe that the Psychodrome aliens were responsible for the apocalypse rather than mankind itself is rather touching. Even after his fantasy that the psychodrome could restore order to the world is shattered, Lightsmith still finds something uplifting to believe in -- it wasn't humanity's fault (even though Moench clearly indicates that he's incorrect).
- If Thaddeus doesn't recognize a book when he sees one, in what form did he expect to find the medical knowledge he is seeking?
- One of the worst line ever written in Doug Moench's career: "But why do you SERVE these 'makers'--? Who ARE they? Do you LIKE them?" -- Brutus.
- Lots of attention being given to new Peace Officer Moravius. I wonder what Moench plans to do with him. Jason's complaint of "It figures -- another Gorilla!" and the seeming nobleness with which Trimpe drew and inked the character's face seem to suggest that he'll end up being one of the good guys.
- Gotta love that Gunpowder Julius is the first to help Jason understand in a moment of rage that not all apes (even hostile ones) are to blame for what Brutus did.
- When we last left Gundpower Julius and Steely Dan, they were taking Trippo to live with them. What ever happened to him?
- The new editorial page provides a detailed argument backing up the earlier claim that Moench's adaptation of the final film comes directly from the shooting script. John Warner (yet another new editor to this mag!) acknowledges nearly all the major differences between the film and the adaptation and provides explanations for them. I actually finally believe him, even if it still leaves me with more questions than answers. Additionally, solicits are made for upcoming storylines that we'll never see (since the book gets cancelled in two more issues), including a new direction for Derek Zane (originally from "Kingdom on the Planet of the Apes") and a new direction for the "Future History Chronicles" stories. The unpublished Forbidden Zone Prime storyline goes unmentioned, but it was either already in the works or about to be started within the next two months.
-"I Say If It Looks Like An Ape, Talks Like An Ape, And Walks Like An Ape...It Is An Ape!" article by Jim Whitmore. I've missed Marvel's resident POTA dork. Jim gets even more excited about the franchise than I do, and his contributions are always thoughtful, even when his zeal often feels over the top. This time around, he writes a fun article about how to actually walk, talk, and generally act like an ape, using William Blake and Paula Cris (the touring Zira and Cornelius that he interviewed twice before) as photo models for the article.
- "Battle for the Planet of the Apes: Conquest of Blood" by Doug Moench and Virgil Redondo. It seems to be Moench versus the script at this point in a battle to see whether this adaption ends up sucking or not, and Redondo's bland art refuses to take sides.
Score one for Moench in how he chooses to depict and narrate Cornelius' death. Score one for the showdown between Breck and Ceasar that feels entirely unnecessary. Caesar's war with man is supposed to be over. In the film, he has moved on to a new war against his own understanding of co-existence, equity, and forgiveness. This whole sequence with Breck just feels like a repetitive step back toward the previous film.
Last edited by shaxper; 05-29-2012 at 02:46 PM.
Planet of the Apes (Curtis/Marvel) #28
"Revolt of the Gorilloids!"
writer: Doug Moench
pencils: Herb Trimpe
inks: Virgil Redondo
Moench is finally getting it right -- all his best supporting characters finally unified behind Jason, Jason finally undergoing transformation and finding purpose as a leader, tons of action, great pacing, and new threats still on the horizon. From Jason's first kiss with Malaguena, to the comic epithets of the dying Gorilloids, to the sad fate of young Thaddeus (I did NOT see that one coming), this issue had it all in spades. Even Trimpe's art kicked itself up a notch or two with striking panel after striking panel.
And appropriately so. After all, though not even Moench and Trimpe could have known it at the time, this proved to be the final printed installment of the "Terror on the Planet of the Apes" storyline. How sad and fitting, then, that the final words printed for it were:
That is all. Over and out.
That is all. Over and...
- This geography problem is REALLY bothering me. Lightsmith CLEARLY left the Wonder Wagon just outside of Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, and yet it's resting just up on the ridge outside of Ape City, which is now clearly established to be in New York.
- Malaguena looks topless throughout most of this issue. Trimpe needs a girlfriend.
- I really like what Moench has done with the new Peace Officer. He and Jason play off of each other incredibly well.
- Alex never told his parents that he was leaving Ape City on a perilous quest to find Jason?
- How do Gunpowder Julius and Steely Dan suddenly know Ape City is under attack and needs guns? Last time they talked to Jason and Alex, things were fine and they were going to meet up with them at Ape City shortly.
- Whatever happened to Gilbert? We haven't seen him at all in this issue.
- It's fun watching Moench recycle minor details over the years: characters named Derek ("Kingdom on the Planet of the Apes" and Electric Warrior), "Look to the Mountaintop," ("Terror on the Planet of the Apes" and Batman) and now shooting a flaming arrow into a tar pit to ward off invaders ("Terror on the Planet of the Apes" and Electric Warrior (this was Derek Two-Shadow's signature moment of brilliance in the series).
- "Profiles of the future" article by Ron Borst about the timeline chronology of the Apes films and how the fifth film revises the future seen in the first one. Though pretty obvious stuff, it sets the stage nicely for the final chapter of the film adaptation.
- "Battle of the Planet of the Apes: Tremor of Doom!" film adaptation by Doug Moench and Virgil Redondo. Of all the differences between the adaptation and the film, I feel this issue contains some of the most prominent ones, even while some are quite subtle. Maybe it's the script, or maybe it's Moench, but I feel so many of the better moments at the end of the film are handled with much more tact here. Caesar's final confrontation with Aldo is far more pensive and restrained, especially as Caesar is left to figure out that Aldo killed his son by himself without Virgil having to tell him. That formerly deleted scene from the film in which the mutants debate about whether or not to launch the Omega missile is handled far better as well. Breck's final breaths being drowned out by laughter from the apes was quite haunting as well. Finally, there's the ending, which was far richer. The Lawgiver's final words are a prophecy about "Taylor" coming to the apes one day to bless and live among them (would Caesar have known about Taylor???), and they are upstaged by a street fight outside of his classroom in which apes and humans are fighting each other to the death. A far clearer signal about hope and fear for the future than the frustratingly ambivalent crying statue we were given in the actual film.
Last edited by shaxper; 05-23-2012 at 06:35 PM.
I've been away from the forums for quite some time but I felt the need to drop a quick note because I am a huge Apes fan (seriously huge - 9 feet tall, 800 pounds).
I was born in '67 and discovered the original 5 films through TV - here in New York, the 4:30 Movie would regularly run "Ape Week". The first movie would be split into two parts which would bump Battle altogether (ABC, the network that aired the 4:30 movie would run it during the Late Show - I've met many people my age who grew up in the New York area thinking there were only 4 Apes movies for this reason).
I loved the TV series - I lived on the 20th floor of an apartment building in Queens and every Friday night I'd ride the elevator down to Danny Kelly's apartment where his mom would make us Jiffy Pop to munch on while checking out that week's episode. I even watched, years later, when they'd edit a couple of episodes together and run them as movies. Because of the casting of the leads, we referred to this series as "Starsky and Hutch on the Planet of the Apes."
Loved the animated series too but I remember thinking they ran the same 3 episodes over and over again.
I had the toys, the Halloween costumes, the lunch boxes, and whatever other merchandise I could get my hands on. I even attended the incredibly cheesy Go Ape stage show where they handed out kazoos for some reason. My 8-year old son has a vintage Apes garbage pail in his bedroom.
I never got into the magazines, though. I remember picking up an issue while on a family vacation and thought it was too creepy for my tastes.
I wonder if the Jim Whitmore who wrote those articles is the former actor (Baa Baa Black Sheep) and current director whose father (The Shawshank Redemption) appeared in the original Planet of the Apes.
Anyway, didn't mean to hijack the thread - I just tend to go a little bonkers wherever Apes are involved.
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