One of the great joys and fascinations of the Apes movies for me was the way that the five stories all circled round and joined back up with themselves.
And what I want to share in the this post is a little bit of that story arc with the inclusion of some stunning artwork that reveal a deleted scene or two. I'll justify its inclusion in this blog simply by it being full of spacemen, a spacewomen and spaceapes but really its just about enjoying the artwork.
The Planet of the Apes (1968)
A crew of four reduced to three.
A ship crashed with barely time to mourn
Taking on water and beginning to sink
Evacuation, abandon the ship
The Icarus slides beneath the waters, lost forever or so it seems.
How could things get any worse.
Beneath The planet of the Apes (1970)
Oh no! But as bad as this seems it can't end any worse than Taylor's day
No don't press that!
And here endeth the franchise, not with a whimper but with a great big bloody bang. Everybody dies and the world blows up. Not much chance of another sequel here, and yet....
At some point between the end of The Planet of the Apes and the end of Beneath the Planet of the Apes this must happen...
The illustration is by Erik Marcus Gist and is simply called: Ape Diver. It's a truly provocative and stunning piece of work and you should go and check out it's creator online in order to appreciate and support his great talent.
There's a whole other film's worth of story in regard to the hows whys and wherefores of three chimps, finding, raising and fixing that ship. Maybe they found and used parts from Brent's ship as well. We'll most probably never know in any official cinematic and canonical way but in the version I imagination this would be the closing shot..
This is the clean artwork used on the cover of Planet of the Apes #12 in the US and #50 of the UK weekly reprint back in October 1975.
The artist was Ken Barr and its the view from the commandeered, bailed-out and repaired ship as the future Earth is destroyed by the last spaceman standing. Such a clever composition this and for me it must rank as one of my all time favourite comic covers.
All of which gets you to this iconic moment...
The end of the journey for our lost astronauts, finally returned home?
Or simply the beginning of the end ?
I'm off to watch a DVD but can you guess which one.