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Planet of the Apes Magazine

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Planet of the Apes Magazine 1

Planet of the Apes Magazine #1

Marvel Comics' Planet of the Apes Magazine was published by Magazine Management Co (under the Curtis imprint) from 1974-1977. Part of their black-and-white magazine line that included Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu, Dracula Lives, Savage Sword of Conan and others, it was the first ongoing comic book series related to the Planet of the Apes franchise. It was also the first medium to introduce original Planet of the Apes material set in a variety of different regions, eras and conditions that had never been seen before, beginning with a non-continuity serial entitled Terror on the Planet of the Apes. This particular feature was really the heart of the magazine as it allowed the creators to go wild with their vision. Other original stories were Evolution's Nightmare, Kingdom on an Island of the Apes, Future History Chronicles, and the movie tie-in Quest for the Planet of the Apes.

Under the editorial reign of Roy Thomas, who personally secured the rights from 20th Century Fox, the 84-page Planet of the Apes Magazine adapted 20th Century Fox's movie projects, the Planet of the Apes (serialised in issues #1-6), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (#7-11), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (#12-16), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (#17-21) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (#23-28). This was still an era when book novelisations or comic book adaptations were the only place one could experience the movies beyond their theatrical runs. The stories were generally (but not always) matched up: one chapter of an adaptation and one chapter of an original tale - issue #29 of Planet of the Apes Magazine is the only issue that does not contain a chapter from one of the movie adaptations. The title also contained regular photo features and interviews with cast and crew from the movies as well as the 1974 Planet of the Apes TV series.

Marvel’s Planet of the Apes Magazine featured different environments, different artists, and different relationships between men and apes, but only one writer - Doug Moench. Moench recalled: "Everything had to be sent to APJAC Productions and I know there were some issues with the art. It was always things like, 'The character can’t look like Charlton Heston.' In the original stories I did with Mike Ploog and Tom Sutton there were never any complaints that I know of."[1] The magazine featured some superb painted cover artwork by the likes of Bob Larkin, Earl Norem, Ken Barr and Malcolm McNeill, while the comic strips proved so successful that they would be reprinted in numerous publications around the world, as well as a colorized reprint of the first two movie adaptations for the US market in Marvel's Adventures on the Planet of the Apes comic.

While the magazine completed it's run of movie adaptations, an increase in licensing fees prompted it's sudden cancellation in February 1977, with many stories unresolved. Doug Moench later revealed details of how some of these stories would have evolved, as detailed in 'Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definitive Chronology' by Rich Handley, along with a partially-completed but unpublished story - Forbidden Zone Prime. The Marvel adaptations of the first three movies and Terror on the Planet of the Apes were revived by Malibu Graphics and re-issued in 'graphic novel' book form in 1990/1991.

IssuesEdit

Planet Malibu
Beneath Malibu
Escape Malibu

ReferencesEdit

  1. Doug Moench interview, Comic Book Marketplace, May 1999

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