Planet Of The Apes: Ursus #5



Ursus5Focusing far more upon its titular character’s younger years and his brutal battle against a barbaric horde of humans upon the very steps of the Lincoln Memorial, than it does the gorilla General’s ‘current’ exploits within Ape City, David F. Walker’s storyline for Issue Five of “Planet Of The Apes: Ursus” probably proved something of a choppy experience for its 3,732 readers. For whilst the filmmaker’s intermittent flashback sequences located on the partially destroyed National Mall in Washington are undeniably permeated with an invigorating sense of energy and action, the author’s much more sedentary scenes concerning Doctor Diersa, the increasingly troubled military commander and the “rambling incoherent nonsense” of a shattered Sergeant Moench, are debatably disappointingly lack-lustre and lifeless; “He has answered enough. Please doctor… Give him some relief from the pain.”

Mercifully for this mini-series’ long-suffering audience however, almost three-quarters of this twenty-two page periodical remains firmly fixed in the Simian official’s far more fascinating past and genuinely tells an intriguing tale as to just why perhaps this publication’s writer was “endlessly fascinated and horrified by General Ursus” when “I was a little kid”. Indeed, the gorilla’s incomprehensible dark dread as to why any of his fellow apes “would build a shrine to a human” is only surpassed during the hairless savages’ subsequent brutal assault and the bloody death of Kananaios, who falls beneath the sword of a gore-caked semi-naked African-American.

True, Walker does provide the ‘modern day’ warmonger with an alarming instant of anger when the infuriated ape is disconcertingly pencilled by illustrator Lalit Kumar Sharma taking out all his mounting frustrations with the Simian High Council, the Minister of Science and his soldier friend’s splintered mind, upon the stuffed corpse of Dodge in the Museum of Natural History. But this fleeting moment of violence pales in comparison with the ferocious, close combat witnessed by Qama as a number of her travelling companions are cold-bloodedly dispatched by “the Plague of Man” using spear or sword, and Doctor Zauis ably demonstrates both his physical strength of arms and his determined will to ensure “the truth is whatever we make it — Whatever we need it to be.”

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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