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Apes

An Ape Classic Returns

From 1974 to 1977, Marvel Comics (through their Curtis Magazine imprint) published a black & white tie-in comic for the Planet of the Apes movie and TV series.  It featured not only adaptations of the five original movies, but also new adventures as well as background stories on the creation of the films.  [Full disclosure: Your ever-lovin’ ed-otter grabbed every issue he could get a hold of!] Many of the stories were written by Moonknight co-creator Doug Moench (as well as Gerry Conway) and illustrated by Ghost Rider co-creator Mike Ploog (as well as Mike Esposito and George Tuska). Now, BOOM! Studios have secured the rights to re-publish those 1970’s classics under the title Terror on the Planet of the Apes, coming this February.

image c. 2011 Boom! Studios

 

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

As we noted recently, 20th Century Fox is once again taking us to the Planet of the Apes — this time, in what is essentially a re-make of the 1972 film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Once again, it tells the story of Caesar, a chimpanzee who comes to lead a rebellion of apes against humans in a battle for supremacy. In the new Rise of the Planet of the Apes, however, he is not the child of apes from the future, but the result of a brain-enhancing drug experiment “gone wrong”. The new film is directed by Rupert Wyatt. It stars Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) as Caesar (via motion-capture technology), and James Franco (127 Hours) as the scientist who brings about Caesar’s advance. Fox Studios seem to have a little bit of trouble settling on a release date though: IMDB.com still lists it as August 5th, but other sites have mentioned release dates as late as Thanksgiving. Meanwhile as you figure that out you can look for the official trailer, currently making the rounds on YouTube.

Go Back to the Planet of the Apes — Again

It seems like we just can’t get away from those damned dirty apes — not that a lot of us actually want to! Now BOOM Studios is premiering a brand-new Planet of the Apes full-color comic book series this April, written by Daryl Gregory (an award-winning novelist) and illustrated by Carlos Magno. The story this time takes place prior to the original 1968 Planet of the Apes movie, a time when humans and apes have formed an unsteady truce — very unsteady, it seems. Ape Central.net (a division of ComicBookMovie.com) has the story, as well as links to the brand new Planet of the Apes movie Ceasar: Rise of the Apes, starring James Franco and directed by Rupert Wyatt. Recently the film’s premier was moved back from this summer to this coming Thanksgiving.

 

image c. 2011 BOOM Studios

Gorilla Man takes Center Stage

One of the most popular (and furry) characters from Marvel Comics’ Agents of Atlas series is getting his own 3-issue mini-series, thanks to writer Jeff Parker and illustrator Giancarlo Caracuzzo. For those who don’t know the back-story, Gorilla Man used to be a famous soldier of fortune named Ken Hale in the mid-20th century. Obsessed with avoiding his own mortality, Hale sought out a legendary jungle beast who could grant him immortality. The legend was true — unfortunately, Hale didn’t know what else would be changed about him forever! But such a lover of adventure isn’t going to let a little thing like being changed into a humanoid gorilla stop him from kicking tail! Newsarama.com has an interview with Jeff Parker discussing this full-color mini-series coming out in July.

How Did We Miss This?

An older item, which we recently stumbled across: DC Goes Ape is a full-color trade paperback collection released in 2008 by — who else? — DC Comics. It features nearly a dozen excerpts from DC Comics over the decades involving monkey and ape characters in the worlds of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and more. Simian heroes, simian villains, and they’re not even all Gorilla Grond!  With writers ranging from Otto Binder to Elliot S! Maggin and E. Nelson Bridwell (and more), and art by the likes of Carmine Infantino, Jim Starlin, P. Craig Russell — and more. With a great front cover by Art Adams, too. Like we said, this is older now, so take a look around for it.

Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes

Blam! Ventures is now the official license-holder for the Planet of the Apes series property. So what are they doing with it? A series of over-sized illustrated novels, based in the universe of the original 1968 Planet of the Apes movie. First up is Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, set to hit stores in the spring of 2010. It’s written by Andrew Gaska, Christian Berntsen, and Erik Matthews, with a cover by Steranko and full-color interior illustrations by a variety of comics industry artists. Conspiracy follows the adventures of John Landon, one of three survivors of the doomed Project Liberty spaceship… who now finds himself stranded on a planet where apes rule and primative humans are turned slaves or worse. When two scientific chimps named Dr. Milo and Dr. Galen take sympathy on him, John dares to have hope… but other apes have much more ruthless, horrible plans for him! Want to find out more, including other new adventures in the works? Visit Blam! Ventures’ Planet of the Apes web site.