Focusing 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.”