- "Never show weakness."
- ―Pope's view of apes to humans
Pope was the leader of the ape soldiers in Caesar's Ape Colony, training them with ruthless efficiency. While out training his soldiers he runs into Caesar when he pulls one his soldiers off the trees and yells at him to stop before realizing it was Caesar and apologizes. Caesar was uneasy about Pope's reckless behavior and decided to send him on a special mission into the ruins of San Francisco.
Pope and his search party spotted a house on their scouting mission. Pope then ordered Fifer and Cora to check the house for humans and supplies. When two humans named Jeremy and Liz cornered Fifer and Cora, Pope leaped from above and violently beat Jeremy to death. Liz fled in terror and Pope ordered Fifer and Cora to go after her and kill her. Fifer protested, reminding Pope that Caesar told them not to kill humans. Pope defied Caesar's orders and convinced Fifer to kill her, telling him that if the human lived, she would tell other humans and they would find and destroy the apes.
The scouting party next reached San Francisco Zoo, where Pope heard wailing in Cora and Fifer's direction and ordered his troops to find the cause. Pope finds Fifer and Cora under attack by primal apes and orders his troops to attack while he engages the alpha. The alpha slams Pope to a tree and when Pope gets up, Cora tells him Fifer is hurt and they need to leave. Pope agrees but angrily states that this isn't over. While Pope's apes argue over what to do with the primal apes, Pope says those apes will be his. Cora argues against this, stating he will be defying Caesar by doing this and many apes could get killed as a result. Pope counters by saying Caesar doesn't care about ape safety and wants to make their world the same as humans. Pope goes onto say that the apes need an army and that they don't have to beat all the apes, just the alpha. Pope takes his troops to the zoo where Pope challenges their alpha male to a fight. The alpha snaps a stick in half indicating he want to fight hand to hand and Pope snaps his spear in half in compliance while keeping the tip hidden in his hand. When the alpha launches toward him he stabs the alpha in the head with the tip and calls him a "stupid ape" as he is dying. Pope then ordered Fifer to corral the rest of the primal apes in order to bring them under his control. Pope starts treating them like slaves and Fifer protests, Pope claims that these primal apes are not real apes, just dumb animals. Pope reveals his intention to train these primal apes as his personal army and challenge Caesar.
Worried about Pope's plans, Fifer fled to warn Caesar while Cora helped distract the guards but was captured. While Pope is ruthlessly training the primal apes, Rex approaches Pope telling him Cora won't say where Fifer went but Pope doesn't believe her and knows Fifer went to Caesar to warn him, he just wants her to say it to prove her loyalty to Pope. Pope tortures Cora by placing her in ice cold water and not letting her leave until she says where Fifer went. When Cora remains silent, Pope orders the doors to a nearby cage opened and a polar bear emerges, killing and devouring Cora. At the gate, Rex asks Pope if Caesar will come for them. Pope says he won't, guessing Caesar will either send Maurice to broker a peace between them or Koba to eliminate them. A primal touches Pope's arm and Pope grabs it by the throat shouting that they are never to touch him. Rex tells Pope their scouts led by Bon have returned. At a fireplace, Bon tells Pope they found a colony of humans while searching for Fifer. Pope sends a group to confirm how many humans and makes plans to enslave them tomorrow and eventually, kill Caesar.
Pope covers his face and the faces of the apes loyal to him in war paint and prepares them for war. As Pope is giving a speech holding a primal ape on a leash, Rex notices something and Pope turns around, seeing Koba and a group of rival apes ready to fight. Pope taunts Koba, saying he was a tool of the humans and now Caesar, while Koba states that Pope is like humans for holding a whip and having slaves. Pope claims he is a real leader, one that protects many while hurting few. Pope claims Caesar makes apes weak while Pope makes them strong, with Popes apes howl in agreement. Koba tells Pope he is not free to make other apes slaves and recites a rule of the colony "apes together strong". Pope says the primal apes he enslaved are not real apes, just stupid animals. This enrages Koba, because that is what humans used to call him, and lunges toward Pope to attack him, starting a battle.
Pope is thrown towards a lion cage and asks if Koba plans to bring him before Caesar for him to be punished. After Koba reveals Caesar told him to kill Pope, Pope laughs saying Koba won't kill Pope because of their rule ape will not kill ape and that Koba is like Caesar; scared to do what he must. Rex jumps down on Koba thrusting his spear into Koba's shoulder while Pope smiles. Koba reaches for his spear before Pope kicks it away and taunts Koba about how he is willing to attack his fellow ape for a dumb animal and tells Koba to go back to Caesar with a message before starting to strangle Koba: he is next. Pope says Koba is weak like Caesar and humans and will die like an animal just as Pope's primal ape breaks his leash and starts viciously beating Pope. Koba uses the confusion to kill Rex before ordering the primal ape to stand down. Pope starts begging for his life before Koba exclaims that he is not like humans or Caesar, he is just Koba and then thrusts his spear into Pope's neck, killing him.
Like Koba, Pope was a lab ape that humans tortured and experimented on and as a result developed a deep hatred for humans. Pope demonstrated many of the same traits Koba did at the end of Dawn, he was egomaniacal, cruel, tyrannical, immoral and arrogant. But Pope was worse as he was willing to enslave his own kind in order to overthrow Caesar. Pope viewed primal apes as lesser beings and not true apes, just stupid animals. Pope's ruthlessness was also worse as he was willing to let his fellow ape be devoured alive by a polar bear while he watched. Pope was also underhanded, shown when he killed the primal alpha ape for command of the primal apes with a spear tip he hid in his hand and distracted Koba while Rex snuck up behind him to kill him. Pope's arrogance and attitude toward primal apes was what ultimately got him killed when one of his primal apes betrayed him. When beaten and pushed to a corner, Pope resorted to begging as seen when he pleaded to Koba to not kill him despite his attempts to kill him (Again similar to how Koba begged Caesar to save him in Dawn).
Koba was Pope's close friend turned enemy.
Koba and Pope had been good friends, as they both shared a hatred of humans. But unlike Koba, Pope did not like Caesar's leadership, which put a strain on their friendship. When Pope later started a militia of wild apes and plotted to rebel against Caesar, Koba was forced to hunt down his former friend and prevent him from killing his leader. Pope believed Koba was a useless tool of the humans and Caesar and revealed he had no respect for himm. Koba's lost all respect for Pope when he heard he was enslaving other apes, thinking he was just like humans. After Koba confronted Pope he developed a deep hatred for Pope after he called one his primal apes a "stupid animal", which is what humans used to call Koba.
Pope had no respect for Caesar, his rule, or the rules he established for the apes under his command. Likewise, Caesar was very wary of Pope and his ruthless training methods. Pope eventually convinced his followers to abandon Caesar and formed his own tribe of apes loyal to him disavowing Caesar and all his teachings. When Caesar learned of this he sent Koba to kill Pope, seeing Pope as too big a threat to be left alive.
- Pope was the main antagonist of the ape storyline in the Dawn comic books.
- Pope is exclusive to the continuity of the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comic books published by BOOM! Studios.
- Pope, Rex, and Bon can be seen having white paint of their own design.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #2
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #3
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #4
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #5
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #6