The Apeslayer Affair: Killraven as a Hero on the Planet of the Apes

Back in the mid-1970s, the Planet of the Apes movies and TV show were a big deal with kids in the UK with both a weekly television series, as well as a Saturday morning cartoon.

 

Planet of the Apes TV series opening titles

 

Thanks to the popularity of the ‘Planets Of The Apes’ franchise, Marvel Comics printed a month PoTA comic, as well as an occasionally sublime black-and-white magazine version of the PoTA. Marvel UK soon began reprinting the American tales in their weekly ‘Planet Of The Apes’ comic book, but given that the American title was a monthly, they quickly outstripped the available material for reprinting. 

 

 

Their solution to the dilemma was ingenious: A couple of years earlier, Marvel had adapted H.G. Wells ‘War Of The Worlds’, featuring a young freedom fighter known as Killraven and his Amazing Adventures of fighting the Martians in an alternate Earth War of the Worlds sequel. Thus, with a few quick edits, the adventures of red-haired Killraven were transformed into a human hero named Apeslayer who fought against the apes in some other era of the POTA.

 

 

Crazy?

Yes.

I remember thinking WTF? as, when in short trousers I bought both the US and UK comics…

 

 

It must have been a time-consuming, and frankly bizarre, exercise.

 

Take a look at these differences:

 

 

So does anyone else hope Marvel is contemplating a Killraven movie or series (or Apeslayer)? I certainly hope so, but I’m afraid that the recent crappy War of the Worlds TV shows have probably screwed the pooch on that front.

 

Bastards.

 

 

 

 

Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'

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