Planet Of The Apes: Ursus #3



Ursus3Supposedly featuring a gorilla general who is “feeling betrayed by Zaius [for] taking control over the investigation” into a suspected tribe of talking humans, at least according to the pre-publication publicity of publisher “Boom! Studios”, David F. Walker’s storyline for Issue Three of “Planet Of The Apes: Ursus” arguably promised its audience a great deal upon its release with both the comic’s exciting inclusion of actor Charlton Heston’s 1968 motion picture character, Taylor, as well as its enthralling depiction of Sergeant Moench’s exploration of the Forbidden Zone. But despite the agitated apes’ discovery of New York City’s shattered remains, and nervous passage to the entrance of its Queensboro Plaza subway station, the vast majority of this twenty two page periodical’s plot instead disappointingly focuses upon Ursus desperately trying to drink away his problems with “too much berry wine” and some incredibly long-winded, flashback scenes…

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine many of this book’s dwindling 3,987 readers were impressed with its American author staggeringly squandering a quarter of this magazine’s length depicting Ape City’s befuddled military commander drunkenly getting out of bed and the resentful cell guard Julius simply making his way to Doctor Zauis’ office, rather than further fleshing out Moench’s impressive ability to overcome his fear of the strange phenomenon he witnesses whilst traversing humanity’s radiation-disfigured land. Certainly, it is arguably difficult to understand just why this comic’s creative team wastes three pages portraying a decidedly grim Ursus sat talking to a vacant-eyed, lobotomised Landon only to straight afterwards cram into a single splash panel Kananaios’ son savagely defeating a party of mean-spirited men; “In his youth, Ursus secretly wished humans could talk because if they could talk, they would tremble in fear whenever they spoke his name.”

Mercifully, Chris Mooneyham’s dynamic drawings of Moench leading his “group of frightened female orangutans” through the fiery illusions of the Forbidden Zone does at least imbue this poorly paced comic with a modicum of entertainment. Yet as much as it is enjoyable watching the artist’s well-pencilled gorilla soldiers carefully pick their way through the Big Apple’s deserted streets, especially when it’s clear their progress is being monitored by the destroyed city’s mutated inhabitants, it is difficult not to wish that Ursus was “ten years younger” and leading the expedition himself.

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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