Planet Of The Apes comics crossovers are certainly nothing new where Boom! Studios is concerned, having crossed the likes of Cornelius and Zira with Star Trek, the Green Lantern Corp. and Tarzan, among others. Well now it's time for the original damn dirty ape to get in on the action, King Kong.
A six-issue mini-series written by Ryan Ferrier with art by Carlos Magno (cover by Mike Huddleston), the story of Kong On The Planet Of The Apes takes place following the events of the original 1968 Planet Of The Apes. The orangutan Dr. Zaius and gorilla General Ursus lead a small group of soldiers to the Forbidden Zone to destroy any remaining evidence of Taylor’s time among them. To their surprise, they discover the body of a Kong. This is the first step of a journey that leads them, along with chimpanzees Cornelius and Zira, to discover the truth.
In the following exclusive interview, Ferrier provides a glimpse at this bizarre (yet somehow appropriate) crossover event.
Who came up with this idea, and why Kong beyond the fact that he's, obviously, an ape?
My incredibly brilliant editors Dafna [Pleban] and Alex [Galer] approached me with the opportunity to explore these two properties together, and my first reaction was elation, as I'm a massive fan of both Kong and Planet Of The Apes. My second reaction was asking myself why I hadn't thought of this sooner.
Then on a personal level, what's the appeal of bringing them together?
There's such a deep mythology to both properties, especially if you take into account all of the amazing Kong and Apes comics that have come out in recent years. With this series, we've found a really coherent, meaningful way of having these two worlds and their legacies fold into each other. The implications of the Ape civilization discovering the Kong world are huge, and that's certainly on the forefront of the series.
What can you say about the plot, and how challenging was it to craft?
The short of it is that Skull Island still exists in the future, and shortly after the events of the first Apes film, a Kong body is discovered in the Forbidden Zone. From there, Dr. Zaius leads an expedition to the island to uncover the truth about the giant ape. What I'm most excited about is exploring the different goals — for better or worse — of our classic Apes characters (Dr. Zaius, Cornelius, Zira, and Ursus), and how those goals complement or conflict with their beliefs, both with their faith and science. There are a lot of meaningful themes at play, with very different characters, which is the best kind of challenge to have when making a comic with such celebrated properties.
How is this Kong different from the Kong we all know and love?
If you followed BOOM! Studios' Kong Of Skull Island series by James Asmus and Carlos Magno, that's a good touchstone for our Kong here. This isn't just a wild, giant ape out of its element; there is a really rich backstory involving the Kong species, the human inhabitants, and the island itself. While that series had multiple Kongs, since ours is set thousands of years in the future, our Kong is the sole survivor and last of his species. He's older and weary, but the events that unfold when discovered by Zaius and the Apes will take the giant out of his comfort zone.
Is there an end to these crossovers? Of course, Archie met Predator and the Punisher, so it would seem not.
The wonderful thing about comics is that you really can do anything. And if you put some heart into it, and really connect with the human experience (be it via primate or otherwise), then there will always be the potential for incredible stories to be told.
What do you feel makes a good crossover story for POTA?
Not only is Planet Of The Apes incredible science fiction, it's also the greatest time-travel story of all time. But there's more to it than that; the way the Apes universe can reflect our own and deal with very real human stakes makes it so attractive to bring that into other worlds. The wonderful thing about the Apes series is how adaptable it is, while still maintaining such wonderful characters.
What's the importance of Planet Of The Apes to you and why do you think it endures the way it does?
Anyone who knows me can attest that I am the biggest Planet Of The Apes fan. It's hands down my favorite science-fiction series. My apartment is full of Ape goodness, and I consume everything related that I can get my hands on. For me, it endures so well because it's always stayed so relevant and it has such an expansive mythology. The characters in the property are just so well-crafted and fully fleshed out in their motives, that it makes each one, even the "villains," totally endearing. I've loved it since I was a kid, discovering the VHS tapes at the local store and becoming mesmerized.
Kong On The Planet Of The Apes launches this November.