Planet of the Apes (comics)

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Planet of the Apes comics are tie-ins to the Planet of the Apes media franchise. They have been released by several publishers over the years and include tie-ins and spin-offs.


Japanese comics (manga)[edit]

There are two manga adaptations of the first film, both entitled Saru no Wakusei (lit. "Planet of Monkeys"). The first was written and drawn by Jôji Enami and published in the manga magazine Bessatsu Bôken'Ô in April 1968. The second was drawn by Minoru Kuroda and published in the manga Tengoku Zôkan in June 1971. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (最後の猿の惑星 - Saigo no Saru no Wakusei, "Battle on the Planet of Monkeys", in Japanese) was also adapted into a manga by Mitsuru Sugaya, and published in a 1973 special issue of the magazine Weekly Shōnen Champion.[1]

Gold Key Comics[edit]

Gold Key Comics produced an adaptation of the second film in 1970. That was the first Western comics publication in the Planet of the Apes franchise.[2]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Marvel Comics released a number of titles, the longest-lived being Planet of the Apes (published under the Marvel imprint Curtis Magazines), which appeared in black-and-white magazine format, and ran for twenty-nine issues from 1974 to 1977.[3] Besides adaptations of all five movies, the magazine featured original Apes stories, with writing from Doug Moench and Gerry Conway and art from Mike Esposito, Mike Ploog, George Tuska, and many others. Articles about the making of both the movie series and the later Planet of the Apes television series were also a mainstay.

In 1975, Adventures on the Planet of the Apes offered color versions of the adaptations of the first two films in five- or six-issue arcs, for total of 11 issues.[4] It was written by Doug Moench.

The stories from the U.S. magazine were edited and released by Marvel UK in a weekly title of the same name, lasting 123 issues from 1974 to 1977. This included adapted reprints of the Killraven comic, renamed as Apeslayer and with alien apes as enemies. The British title changed names to Planet of the Apes and Dracula Lives, before merging into The Mighty World of Marvel #231-246, where the title spot on the cover was shared between Planet of the Apes and The Incredible Hulk — also being stories from the U.S. runs.

Power Records[edit]

In 1975, Power Records made adaptations of four of the films which were included with book-and-record sets,[5] and appeared in LP format as well, as an audio only compilation album featuring all four adaptations. The only film in the original series that did not receive an adaptation is Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

The company also produced an audio-only series on LP that featured the main characters of the television series — Virdon, Burke and Galen — in original stories.

Chad Valley[edit]

In 1975, Chad Valley, a U.K. toy company, produced 32 short film-based comic strips containing illustrated scenes from various TV series episodes, packaged as part of the slideshow projector playset, named respectively Chad Valley Picture Show: Planet of the Apes Sliderama Projector[6] These strips are extremely rare and difficult to come by, and contain many continuity errors.

Brown Watson Books[edit]

Between 1975–1977, Brown Watson Books published a trio of UK-published hardcover comic annuals based on the spin-off 1974 television series.

Editorial Mo.Pa.Sa.[edit]

Editorial Mo.Pa.Sa., an Argentine company, published seven Spanish-language Apes comics in the 1970s, featuring original tales about the television series' characters. It was written by Jorge Claudio Morhain, and Ricardo Barreiro, with art by Sergio Mulko and T. Toledo. Five additional issues were planned, but were never produced. To date, the Spanish stories have never been published in English, but translations have been made available on fan sites.

Hungarian comic[edit]

In 1981, a Hungarian company published a comic adaptation of Pierre Boulle's original novel, titled A Majmok bolygója (lit. "The Monkey Planet"). This adaptation was written and drawn by Hungarian comic artist Ernő Zórád. To date, the Hungarian comic has never been published in English, but a translation has been made available on fan sites.

Malibu Publishing/Adventure Comics[edit]

Between 1990–1993, Adventure Comics, a division of Malibu Publishing, produced more original storylines, set after the time of Caesar. These included a 24-issue monthly title, a one-shot (Sins of the Father), a Planet of the Apes annual and five original mini-series: Urchak's Folly, Forbidden Zone, Ape City, Blood of the Apes and a crossover with Alien Nation called Ape Nation. Adventure also reprinted Marvel's adaptations of the first three films as well as a four-issue mini-series featuring installments from Marvel's Terror on the Planet of the Apes saga.

Filipino parody[edit]

In the 1990s, a Filipino parody adaptation called Planet op di Eyps was serialized in Pilipino FUNNY Komiks.

Dark Horse Comics[edit]

The Dark Horse series was written by Ian Edginton and was a tie-in with Tim Burton's 2001 Apes film. Between 2001–2002, Dark Horse published a film adaptation, a mini-series, a brief ongoing run, a Toys R' Us minicomic and a three-part serial in Dark Horse Extra.

Mr. Comics[edit]

Mr. Comics had the license until 2005 and released a six-issue mini-series, Revolution on the Planet of the Apes, by Joe O'Brien, Ty Templeton Sam Agro, and other writers, with art by Gabriel Morrissette and additional artists. The story picked up shortly after Caesar's conquest of the Earth after the apes' revolt and attempted to bridge the time gap before Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973). Further stories were slated for release, including the next planned title, Empire on the Planet of the Apes, but the graphic novel collecting the Revolution mini-series was canceled, as was the Empire follow-up.

Boom! Studios[edit]

Classic continuity[edit]

Boom!'s Planet of the Apes series of comics is the longest-running adaptation of the series, publishing more comics than Marvel (29 issues) and Malibu (50 issues).[7] Beginning April 2011, Boom! Studios launched a new series written by novelist Daryl Gregory, illustrated by Carlos Magno and edited by Ian Brill, with covers by Karl Richardson and Chad Hardin that took place 500 years before the original 1968 Planet of the Apes movie in the continuity of the first five films. It ran for a total of 16 issues, ending in August 2012.[8] The storyline was continued in Planet of the Apes Annual #1[9] (August, 2012), then furthered in Planet of the Apes Special #1[10] (April 2013), then furthered again in Planet of the Apes Spectacular #1[11] (July 2013) and finally wrapped up in Planet of the Apes Giant #1[12] (September, 2013).

In late 2011, Boom! also began publishing the four-issue mini-series Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes. This mini-series is set 20 years before the events of the original film, and features different characters, like Dr. Zaius, than the concurrent ongoing series. This was followed up in early 2012 by another mini-series, Exile on the Planet of the Apes, set two years later.

Beginning in September 2012, Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm took over as Boom!'s regular monthly series. Set eight years prior to the original Planet of the Apes, this series was written by Corinna Sara Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, authors of both the Betrayal and Exile miniseries, and mixed several characters from those series with characters from the original movie.

Boom! and IDW Publishing published a crossover between Planet of the Apes and Star Trek: The Original Series, titled Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive. The first issue was published in December 2014.

In February 2017, Boom! and DC Comics published a 6 issue crossover called Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern. It was set soon after the events of the first film.

Reboot continuity[edit]

Just before the release of the feature film Rise of the Planet of the Apes Boom! serialized 6 installments of five-page webcomics that served as a prelude to the movie. The stories featured Alpha and Bright Eyes, Caesar's parents, and detailed their capture in the wild and the time they spent in the Gen-Sys Laboratories.

At San Diego Comic Con International 2014, Boom! published a one-shot stand-alone print comic book, called Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Contagion bridging Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.[13]

In December 2014 Boom! started the six-issue series Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, set in the movie continuity of the second reboot film.[14]


Some of the comics have been collected together as trade paperbacks:

  • Planet of the Apes (with Ian Edginton, for Dark Horse):
    • Human Wars (with Pencils: Paco Medina, Adrian Sibar; Inks: Juan Vlasco, Norman Lee, Christopher Ivy, 2001)
    • The Ongoing Saga Volume 1: Old Gods (with Pencils: Adrian Sibar, Paco Medina; Inks: Norman Lee, Juan Vlasco, 2001–2002, Titan Books ISBN 1-84023-429-6)
    • The Ongoing Saga Volume 2: Blood Lines (with Co-writer: Dan Abnett; Pencils: Sanford Greene, Pop Mhan, Paco Medina, Adrian Sibar; Inks: Norman Lee, Pop Mhan, Juan Vlasco, 2001–2002)

In addition, Adventure Comics released trade-paperback compilations of Marvel's adaptations of the first three films, as well as a collection of its own first four monthly issues, entitled Monkey Planet.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]