Wednesday 5 March 2014

My Top Twelve Marvel UK Planet of the Apes covers - plus Special Bonus Feature!

Some mad fool once declared he hated every ape from Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Zee.

I refuse to listen to him.

We all know there's no finer sight in all the world than that of an ape talking and waving a rifle around whilst trying to kill you.

And so it is that I choose to inflict my twelve favourite covers from Marvel UK's 1970s Planet of the Apes comic upon humanity.

As so often with these things, being both wishy-washy and lazy, I print them in no order of preference...

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #1

It's the issue that kicked it all off in style - marred only by some less-than-stylish captioning.

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #2

I hated this cover at the time, thinking it a massive comedown after the painted cover of issue #1.
I've since come to appreciate the beauty of its layout. Just as I came to appreciate the addition of Ka-Zar as back-up strip.

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #3

Was this this issue in which Gullivar Jones put in his first appearance?
Planet of the Apes?
Gullivar Jones?
With all this, surely Marvel UK was spoiling us.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #22

Is this the one where an ape and a human hate each other but then, thanks to injuries, learn to work together for their mutual good and become friends - only for them to be killed by a group of warring ape and human mutants?
Oh, the bitter irony.

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #31

I believe this was the cover to the story based on a certain Mark Twain tale involving King Arthur and a modern day time-traveller.
Despite appearances, I do know the title of that Mark Twain tale but, given its length, I can't be bothered to type it all out.

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #46

I think we can all guess which movie this was an adaptation of.

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #50

It's bad news for Cornelius, as Marvel tackle Escape From the Planet of the Apes.

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #61

And now it's bad news for Zira.
To be honest, you'd need a heart of stone to not to blub your eyes out at the end of that movie.

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #67

Now we get to Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
To be honest, Conquest is my least favourite of the original POTA movies. I did find it very sterile and a little dull, with ham-fisted racial analogies that themselves might be seen as somewhat racist.

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #70

It would appear we've got yet more Conquest, though I'm not sure how the cover fits into that.

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #74

I'm no David Attenborough but that river slug look suspiciously like a  giant toad.
Is that Jason and Alexander I spot on the cover, or is my memory playing tricks on me?

Marvel UK Planet of the Apes #89

I remember once copying this cover in my sketch book - but redrawing the leading ape figure as one of the subterraneans from the legendary Doug McClure flick At The Earth's Core.
You see? I'd rather draw subterraneans than Caroline Munro, that's how Sc-Fi I am.

Potential further reading and viewing:


I can also announce I've had a request.

And it's not the usual one.

In recent days, John Pitt's contacted me to request I post the covers from Titan Books' 2002 reprints of the Dark Horse adaptation of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. I must admit to having been previously unaware of the existence of such a comic, and the covers seem to be hard to find online. So, just for John, here they are (courtesy of Graham Hill and Neil Foster @ The Forbidden Zone).


Anonymous said...

Another two terrific painted covers were No.35 (the start of "Beneath" with the Statue of Liberty) and No.82 (the one with the octopus). I never liked the grinning Urko/Ursus face in the corner box which replaced the Galen/Cornelius face from No.50 onwards and I definitely hated the merger with Dracula Lives which ruined the look of the comic for me - the wonderful arching masthead was re-designed and all squashed up to make way for DL.

Steve W. said...

The, "Dracula Lives," logo certainly does look incongruous on the front of issue #89.

Kid said...

That's the first time I've seen the Titan Books POTA covers. They are spectacularly underwhelming (yes, I know that's a contradiction in terms), which is probably why I never saw them in newsagents at the time.

dbutler16 said...

They're all good covers, but my favorites are the first one and the one from no. 70. If there's anything cooler than a talking ape, it's a talking ape on a horse with a rifle.

Dougie said...

Gullivar Jones made his debut in issue 2 just like Ka-zar. I loved the Kane artwork and it made me read the original boo. Which was a huge diappointment since it wasn't an ERB pastiche at all!

Doug said...

Steve, thanks -- never buying the B&W Apes magazines here in the States is one of my comic collecting regrets. I sure wish that Marvel material would be collected.

And it's good to see a comment from Dougie!


Bear Boy said...

While agreeing about the Dracula Lives logo I was such a POTA nut back in the day that some of my fondest memories are of the covers when the comic merged with MWoM. Sure the split portrait format condensed a lot of detail but there was something cool about seeing Doc Samson tussle with the Hulk alongside Jason and Alexander stumbling across the Inheritors.

John Pitt said...

Steve , a MASSIVE thanks for printing the Titan covers on this post. The covers may not be the hand-painted works of art that the Marvel comics are , but now they are on the net , so that others can find them!
Now , if ANY technically minded souls out there know how to upload them to the databases , Graham and Neil have both given their blessing to share with the world.
Cheers , JP.

Anonymous said...

How can this be a top twelve with no Apeslayer in sight?
- sean

Steve W. said...

Sean, I was so tempted to post an Apeslayer cover. Perhaps I can give the Apeslayer covers a post all of their own.

Steve W. said...

John, I shall see if I can upload them to the Grand Comics Database. I've uploaded Spider-Man Comics Weekly covers in the past, so I'll see if I still have the knack.

John Pitt said...

Thanks Steve , that would be great. When I tried to do it GCD kept telling me that my email/password was incorrectl even though it WASN'T, so I sent them an email but they haven't replied yet. Perhaps you will have better luck.