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11.21.2017
Planet Of The Apes: Tales From The Forbidden Zone (2017)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger
08.19.17

Planet Of The Apes: Tales From The Forbidden Zone (2017) The first story, by Dan Abnett, is about a group of the underground mutants (who refer to themselves as the Second Species) on a pilgrimage to see the face of God, which is the atomic missile seen in BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. They've brought a very important book, which they believe is the word of God, to this other colony, which turns out to be a very important piece of the puzzle to the film BENEATH . In Nancy Collin's (SUNGLASSES AFTER DARK) "More than Human, Less Than Ape" story, we're introduced to a younger Cornelius and he goes on an expedition where he encounters a tribe of intelligent baboons, who are treated quite differently than apes. Will Murray's "Blood Brothers" delves into the television series, about Urko's lost brother who was raised by humans. There are a few alternate time-line stories, one if BENEATH never happened and Taylor established a colony of humans-and a family, and another, "The Unknown Ape", written by Andrew Gaska, is perhaps my favorite story in the entire book. He's the only one who utilizes the cartoon series and brings in characters from the original movies and even the television series to stop a catastrophe from happening. It's ingenious. Kevin J. Anderson and Sam Knight's "Of Monsters and Men" has a young Zaius on an expedition to the Forbidden Zone, where he encounters vicious mutant birds and also a strange new creature from the 20th Century. Greg Keye's "Stone Monkey" presents us with intelligent monkeys and the "Monkey King", who has an interesting history. Another one of my favorite stories is "Milo's Tale". He's the chimp with whom Zira and Cornelius traveled to the 20th Century in ESCAPE. We discover that he's from a completely different area of the world than Ape City, one that had access to technology, so it's no big stretch that he's able to repair the spaceships (Taylor's and Brent's). His society is also at war with Gorillas, which makes his eventual demise all that more awful. It's a completely different origin than presented in Boom Comic's PLANET OF THE APES: CATACLYSM books. Rich Handley's "The King is Dead, Long Live the King" visits Caesar and his village twenty years after BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. He wants to broker peace between his society and Mendez's mutant city. Caesar has another son, Brutus-and you know with a name like that the story is not going to have a happy ending. In fact, it may even be more of a bummer than the conclusion of BATTLE.

Another great story is Dayton Ward's "Message in a Bottle". Here, Burke and Virdon are still pursued by Urko-only this time they have more clues to an advanced human society, scattered around the planet, which may be able to return them to their own time period. The story expands on the television series and answers some of those questions that the series presented. The story is open ended so I'm hoping it will be continued in the next anthology.

You can tell all the writers involved love the PLANET OF THE APES mythos, which is very cool. I highly recommended this book.


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