PLANET OF THE APES: URSUS (Boom, First Printing, 2018; Softcover)
Collects Planet of the Apes: Ursus #1-6 (cover dates January- June, 2018)
Writer: David F. Walker
Artists: Chris Mooneyham (#1-3) and Lalit Kumar Sharma (#4-6)
Colorist: Jason Wordie
General Ursus is featured prominently in the original Planet Of The Apes movie as well as the sequel, Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. Identified by his bulbous helmet, he is the leader of the gorilla army and always at odds with the orangutans. This is his story, with the events of the first two films as seen through his lens. The all too familiar proceedings wind up being little more than a backdrop to his motivations as a character.
The biggest problem with the story of General Ursus is the same problem you have when you go into the backstory of any iconic character. Be it Michael Myers, Freddie Kreuger, etc, once you have to fill in some blanks you ultimately have to somehow humanize them in order to make them relatable to the reader. This robs the villain of his or her ability to scare the reader (or viewer). Ursus is the gorilla who famously said “The only good human...is a dead human!” and “The only thing that counts in the end is power! Naked, merciless force!” Do those sound like the words of a gorilla who misses his late wife? This borders on being fan fiction, catering to folks so bored with repeated viewings and readings that we have to insert filler into a character to amuse themselves.
I have loved every single Apes series by BOOM that I have read until now. While I've avoided the crossovers (I have no desire to POTA commingle with, say, Star Trek, Tarzan, etc) the rest have been winners. While this wasn't a bad read it fell below the high benchmark which BOOM has set with these comics over the past eight years. The artwork in this series is the weakest in the line yet. Consider this to be a hiccup in an otherwise successful line of comics.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.
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Paper stock: Glossy coated stock.
Binding: Sewn binding glued into a cardstock cover.
Cardstock cover notes: Matte coating resistant to scuffing.