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Ape City is a settlement established by Caesar following a nuclear war. It serves as the primary setting of Battle for the Planet of the Apes.



Battle for the Planet of the Apes

After Caesar's rebellion against Governor Breck (in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes), Caesar led his ape and human followers out of the city (which could be Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City or elsewhere, depending on the source) to establish a new settlement. One script outline for Battle for the Planet of the Apes depicts a flashback of Caesar leading an exodus of apes and humans from "Modern City" in 1991, in the aftermath of his successful revolt. Ape uprisings and general world tensions then led to nuclear devastation (including Modern City) which Caesar's band narrowly escaped. London, Rome, Athens, Rio, Moscow, Tokyo and Peking were all destroyed much the same, and Caesar pointed out that "the city was flattened. The bomb left nothing". His followers established an 'Ape City' to the north of Modern City. It was many years later, when Caesar, Virgil and MacDonald (somewhat recklessly) decided to search the bomb-proof Archive section of the Forbidden City for tapes of Caesar's parents, that either the apes or the local mutants were aware of the other's survival. Aldo again took the chance to try to take over Ape City. Governor Kolp was by then the leader of the physically damaged and mentally unbalanced mutants, but he and the more able-bodied and aggressive members of the community were mostly wiped out during a failed invasion of Caesar's City, with only a few escaping and another group taken as prisoners. A final confrontation between Aldo and Caesar ended with Aldo falling from a tree and Caesar securing his leadership of a city which promised more inclusion for its humans.


Quest for the Planet of the Apes

According to Marvel Comics' Quest for the Planet of the Apes, former Governor Breck, Alma and Mendez had been taken prisoner along with other volatile humans, whom the apes kept alive as a work detail after the rebellion. Two years on, the apes hadn't visited the city since before it was destroyed, but knew it to be 'dead' (it was by then surrounded by a desert wasteland). Aldo challenged Caesar to a quest to determine ape leadership: he and Caesar must return to the old city and each bring something back; whoever found the 'best thing' would rule. Caesar accepted, though MacDonald, knowing the dangers of entering a city only a year after a nuclear war, urged him not to go. The city was a scene of horror, and Caesar knew immediately what to bring back: the knowledge and vision of what strife can cause, and what peace can avoid. He declared the area the "Forbidden City" and that apes should avoid the area completely. Aldo, meanwhile, found a stocked armory and filled a cart with rifles. Back in Ape City, Breck and other humans revolted and seized Aldo's cart of weapons. The apes killed most escaping humans, but a few, including Breck, Mendez and Alma, fled into the Forbidden Zone. An old orangutan named Mandemus, who had saved Caesar's life, scorned the idea of keeping the weapons to protect themselves, so Caesar made him the Keeper of the Armory to make sure they were never used for evil. For a time there was peace between apes and the remaining humans, though Aldo continued to bide his time until another opportunity to challenge Caesar presented itself.

Planet of the Apes (Malibu Graphics)

Two generations on, in Malibu Graphics' Planet of the Apes, Caesar's grandson and heir, Alexander, struggled to stop the city he had inherited from falling into chaos. By this time only one human child in Ape City was still able to talk - Simon. And instead of dying after his battle with Caesar, Aldo had in fact survived and led his followers into exile. One of this tribe, Ollo, had massacred all of his community before becoming head of the Ape City army. Over the span of a few years, aided by Jacob, son of Virgil, Alexander had to stop the various plots from Ollo. Alexander went on a special expedition into the Forbidden Zone and visited the Forbidden City, where he was attacked by a throng of mutants. There, he freed a group of mutated 'Forgotten Apes' held captive since Caesar's revolution. Like Aldo before him, General Ollo took advantage of Alexander's absence to seize control, but he too was unsuccessful and went into exile. Many of his 'Aldonite' supporters mimicked his battle scar and some went with him. One - Colonel Urchak - was sent on a grueling road-building project into the uncharted territories of the Mud People, north of Memphis. Despite their help in defeating Ollo, Jacob was reluctant to allow any rights to humans. General Ollo allied with the Forgotten Apes and provoked a war between them and their Swamp Ape neighbours in the Forbidden Zone, and he later formed a somewhat contradictory alliance with Simon's human tribe and the alien Tenctonese. All attempts had little success, and Ollo met with an anti-climactic death at the hands of the resurrected spirit of Governor Breck. The grand-daughter of two time-travelling astronauts turned up in Alexander's city, and after Breck had annihilated all of the communities outside of the Ape City, the ghost of Caesar finally overcame him, again with the help of humans. Ultimately, Alexander's society survived and once again promised to start a new era of co-operation between apes and humans.

Revolution of the Planet of the Apes: Ape Shall Not Kill Ape

MR Comics' Revolution on the Planet of the Apes: Ape Shall Not Kill Ape (drawn by original Malibu artist Kent Burles) was set in 'The Valley' - a village where humans and apes lived in peace. A Lawgiver named Greybeard was attacked and killed on the orders of Augustus, the Lawgiver of the 'Hill Tribes' who had left (Caesar's?) Ape City in protest at humanity's integration into ape society. Augustus then ordered all humans cast out and the time of human/ape cohabitation at an end. Although not set in Ape City itself, this story might explain later events there.

Planet of the Apes: The Forbidden Zone

In Malibu Graphics' Planet of the Apes: The Forbidden Zone - set some centuries after the time of Alexander - one character deduced that humans must have been made primitive outcasts from Ape City in the era of Alexander and Jacob (which is true, but ignores the conclusion of that story). In this era, the ape-only city was led by the female chimp Councillor Zoe. Gorilla Julius led an "exploratory expedition" into the Forbidden Zone, where he found remnants of a human civilization, much to his surprise. Meanwhile, the mutant Mendez Ten was condemned for his independent thinking and heresy against the worship of the Alpha-Omega Bomb. He escaped across the Forbidden Zone and both he and Julius found themselves at the mercy of a community known as the Primacy - a settlement once under the jurisdiction of Ape City, but the spread of the radioactive wastelands cut off communications between the two towns. Primacy maintained and developed the ideas of human integration that Ape City had since turned its back on. The armies of the mutants and of Ape City invaded Primacy but, using the advice of Mendez and Julius, they were able to maneuver the two armies into wiping each other out.


  • Caesar's Ape City is not explicitly said to be the same location as the Ape City visited by Taylor two millennia later, although it is implied. The first draft script for Battle for the Planet of the Apes depicted Ape City being built by human slaves, the arena from Beneath the Planet of the Apes being hewn from the rock. This and later scripts emphasised the links with the mutants from Beneath, such as Mendez and the Alpha-Omega Bomb, although many references were removed from the theatrical release to suggest an altered timeline that would not lead inevitably to the Earth's destruction. Such a timeline - changed by Caesar leading an ape revolt several centuries before it would otherwise have occurred - could also mean that it is not, in fact, the same city seen later on. Although many spin-off media, such as Malibu Graphics' comics, supported the idea of a 'circular' timeline which, regardless of whether time had been altered, would lead to the same conclusion, they usually ended their stories with the same kind of optimistic tone as Battle, contradicting ideas about man's inevitable downfall. A 1975 timeline published in Marvel Comics' Planet of the Apes Magazine #11 identified the neighbouring 'Modern City' as San Francisco. The Revolution on the Planet of the Apes comics claimed the city was San Diego. The Ape City depicted in Marvel's Terror on the Planet of the Apes may or may not be intended as the same city, but the Central City seen in the Planet of the Apes TV series seems unlikely.
  • What happened to the inhabitants of 'Modern City' during the nuclear holocaust depends on the source consulted. According to Marvel Comics' film adaptations and original bridging story, Quest for the Planet of the Apes (taking their cue from older movie script revisions), Breck, Mendez and Alma were among the humans taken as slaves by their new ape masters to Caesar's Ape City, thus saving their lives. They led a revolt and fled back to their ruined former home, where they became mutated and insane by the time Caesar, Virgil and MacDonald followed them there. Battle for the Planet of the Apes suggested the mutants had survived the war in the bomb-proof bunkers beneath the city, and that Breck had died and been replaced by Kolp. MR Comics' Revolution on the Planet of the Apes showed Kolp, Mendez and Alma retreat to the lower levels of the city after Breck appeared to be crushed by the toppling Alpha-Omega Bomb.
  • The setting of Malibu Graphics' Planet of the Apes series is difficult to pin down. Some publicity for the comic stated that it "takes place 100 years after the final film in the series, Battle for the Planet of the Apes",[1] other publicity placed it 100 years after the death of Caesar, which would help to explain how there was time for humans to have lost their intelligence, the Forgotten Apes to have evolved healing powers, and for Aldo's tribe (and others) to have established their own culture before being massacred. However, it is difficult to understand how Caesar's grandson and Virgil's son are still in the prime of their lives a full century later. Dayton Ward's Chronological History has the events starting in 2080;[2] Rich Handley's Definitive Chronology uses the official calculations to arrive at a date of 2140.[3]


  1. Welcome Back to the Planet of the Apes, by Edward Gross - 'Comics Scene' #13 (June 1990)
  2. The Planet of the Apes Chronicles, by Paul A. Woods (2001)
  3. Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definitive Chronology, by Rich Handley (2008)
Planet of the Apes - The Original Pentalogy Series
Planet of the Apes (APJ) Movies
Planet of the Apes | Beneath the Planet of the Apes | Escape from the Planet of the Apes | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes | Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Main Ape Characters
Zira | Cornelius | Zaius | Ursus | Milo | Caesar | Lisa | Virgil | Aldo | Cornelius II | Lawgiver
Supporting Ape Characters
Hunt Leader | Julius | Marcus | Galen | Honorius | Maximus | President of the Assembly | Lucius | Minister | Minister | Frank | Mandemus
Main Human Characters
George Taylor | Nova | John Landon | Dodge | John Brent | Mendez XXVI | Caspay | Ongaro | Albina | Fat Man | Lewis Dixon | Stephanie Branton | Otto Hasslein | Armando | Breck | MacDonald (Conquest) | MacDonald (Battle) | Kolp | Mendez I
Supporting Human Characters
Stewart | Maddox | Verger | General Winthrop | General Faulkner | The President | Chairman of the President's Committee of Inquiry | E-1 | E-2 | Inspector Hoskyns | TV Newscaster | Mrs Riley | Mutant Captain | Jake | Jake's friend
Horse | Gorilla in Zoo
Items / Weapons
Sacred Scrolls | Human Doll | Alpha-Omega Bomb | Grape Juice Plus
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion
Bellatrix | Orion | Earth's Moon | Ape City | Forbidden Zone | Statue of Liberty | Queensboro Plaza | Radio City Music Hall | Grand Central Terminal | New York Stock Exchange | St. Patrick's Cathedral' | New York City | Jefferson Public School | Los Angeles | Los Angeles Zoo | Forbidden City | Ape City (Caesar's City) | Council
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes | Exile on the Planet of the Apes | Planet of the Apes: Ursus| Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern | Kong on the Planet of the Apes | Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes
Soundtrack Music
Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Beneath the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Escape from the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Battle for the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Music Of The Planet Of The Apes