Planet of the Apes: Visionaries was a Graphic Novel from BOOM! Studios, published on August 28, 2018. It was based on the original screenplays for Planet of the Apes by The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling.
On the road to making the landmark science-fiction classic, 20th Century Fox commissioned Rod Serling to adapt Pierre Boulle's source novel. Serling’s first draft, which was drastically revised before filming, was a radically different vision of the franchise than the one the world has come to know and love.
Now, for the first time in any medium, that vision is fully realized as a graphic novel with Planet of the Apes: Visionaries from acclaimed actor/comedian/writer Dana Gould (The Simpsons) and Chad Lewis (Avengers Origins).
This is the world you know from the acclaimed Planet of the Apes film series, but with key differences - Taylor is Thomas, and Ape City isn’t a crude, primitive grouping of huts; instead, it’s a bustling and urbane metropolis filled with cars and skyscrapers and a vibrant Ape culture. In a world where Apes wear modern clothes, drive modern cars and rule the late night talk show scene, the arrival of one man will forever change how Apes – and Humans – view themselves.
A damaged space-craft automatically lands on a planet surface. Four 'caskets' attached to the wall inside the ship hold the comatose crew. John Thomas, Paul LaFever and Dodge revive safely, but the fourth astronaut - a man named Stewart - is just a skeleton, the victim of a malfunction. The three survivors explore the new planet in their heavy-duty all-terrain vehicle. They find a 'scarecrow' which is in the form of an ape. Their vehicle travels through a dense jungle but hits a patch of quicksand and sinks rapidly. The trio escape, find a beach on the far side of the jungle and are approached by a group of primitive humans. Following the primitive humans back into the jungle, they are confronted with the sound of helicopters. Dodge is killed by a gunshot. Thomas is also hit and suffers a throat wound. Both he and LaFever are captured.
Thomas awakens in a cage. He makes an escape attempt by hiding in a supply truck and sees a modern ape city, much like a city on Earth but tailored to the ape society. He is quickly recaptured. Back in the lab, Thomas writes down his story for a fascinated ape named Zira. Learning that there were others in his party, Zira phones 'Mr. Digby', the hunt leader, and takes Thomas to visit LaFever, who has become incoherent and primitive. Zira presents her findings to a scientific assembly. The sceptical senior academic, Zaius, has meanwhile ordered a lobotomy. Rushing to the operating theatre, Zira and Zaius witness Thomas’ first words to an ape, as he is strapped to the operating table: "No! Leave. Me. Alone."
Thomas is spared the operation and addresses the ape Assembly, discussing his home planet. At a museum, Thomas is horrified to find Dodge’s stuffed corpse. He flees to LeFever, but he has been taken away from his cage. Thomas has been given his freedom and an apartment, and has been joined by his companion from his lab cage, Nova. He invites Zira and Zaius to afternoon tea, and reveals that he has successfully taught Nova to talk in the space of five weeks.
At an archaeological excavation Zaius joins Cornelius, the head of the expedition. Thomas arrives shortly afterwards on another helicopter having been invited by Cornelius, unbeknownst to Zaius. They have uncovered caskets containing human skeletons. They then find a human doll which talks. A shaft leads to a room with more human skeletons. Back in the city, LaFever has started to recover his senses, but is beaten by two large gorillas.
At the dig site, Thomas wakes to the sound of explosions and finds the site levelled. Cornelius tells him he will be taken back to his spaceship. As he is about to board a helicopter, he is fired upon. Thomas gives chase and the ape is accidentally shot. He hijacks the helicopter. Some time later, Zira and Cornelius follow Thomas to his ship. He has discovered he had travelled unconscious for almost 2000 years and cannot fly the ship back to Earth. Zira tells him she has arranged for Nova to return to her own people. Thanking them for their concern, but refusing to heed their warnings that more apes will come for him, Thomas sets off on foot towards the jungle. He sees an unearthed metal arm and recognizes it as the Statue of Liberty. The pursuing apes arrive, but he doesn't move. Zaius approaches him, but the resigned Thomas now realizes the truth about this planet. He is shot dead by Zaius' gorillas.
Cast of Characters:
- Rod Serling completed numerous revisions and versions of his screen adaptation of the original novel between early 1964 and early 1965. Dana Gould's graphic novel adaptation appears based substantially on Serling's ‘Final Draft’ dated 1 March 1965.
- Chad Lewis - Visionary - 'Simian Scrolls' #21 (2020)