Hasslein Blog: Sex and Perversion on the Planet of the Apes


Hasslein Blog

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sex and Perversion on the Planet of the Apes

by Rich Handley

When's the last time you looked at a chimpanzee, a gorilla or an orangutan and thought, "Hey... I wonder if [he/she] is single"...? Shocked at the very notion? Then you wouldn't enjoy living on the Planet of the Apes, for in that world, inter-species sex is surprisingly not as uncommon as you might think.

But... he's so damned ugly!

As has been well-documented, a human-ape hybrid was originally intended to appear in Beneath the Planet of the Apes. After both Pierre Boulle and Rod Serling submitted scripts as possible sequels to the first POTA film (and after both were rejected), Paul Dehn proposed a screenplay quite similar to the filmed version of Beneath, but with a noticeably different conclusion. In that version, the Alpha-Omega Bomb destroyed only the mutants' city and the gorilla army, not all of Earth, after which Taylor, Nova and Brent freed the primitive humans held captive in Ape City and, with help from Cornelius and Zira, forged a more optimistic future for all species.

The movie's planned epilogue, in a scene reminiscent of the ending Dehn later wrote for Battle for the Planet of the Apes, would have taken place in a distant future in which apes and humans lived together in peace. Among them, apparently, was at least one human-ape hybrid child, according to makeup tests for such a character, who never made it into the final film.

The future of mankind...?
(Source: The Sacred Scrolls)

For various reasons—problems with the makeup, as well as concerns that the implied bestiality involved might earn the film too strong a rating—the hybrid concept was jettisoned along with the rest of the optimistic ending, in favor of a decidedly pessimistic fate for Earth: utter destruction. Many Apes know this by now, thanks to research documented at the Planet of the Apes Wikia, as well as in the reference book Planet of the Apes Revisited, by Joe Russo, Larry Landsman and Edward Gross. But what fans may NOT be aware of is that Beneath's hybrid child was not the only example of cross-species breeding in the Apes world. Not by a long-shot, in fact.

Marvel Comics was the first to mix the species, in several different storylines. "Terror on the Planet of the Apes," for instance (published in issues #1-4, 6, 8, 11, 13-14, 19- 20, 23 and 26-28 of Marvel's monthly POTA magazine), presented an unusual couple. Issue #6 strongly hinted at a sexual relationship between a human woman named Malagueña and a male chimpanzee named Grimaldi—which may or may not have been something the chimp had forced on her, given that Malagueña seemed far less interested in the ape than he was in her, and since she happily left her tribe with the story's human protagonist, Jason, never to mention Grimaldi again.

Grimaldi decks Jason for making 
monkey eyes with his sexy gypsy gal-pal.

Marvel also featured several human-ape hybrids. Among them:

"Terror" featured a timid, skittish species of mute, hairy ape-human creatures living in the Forbidden Zone. The Inheritors' Mutant-Drones sometimes captured the powerful but peaceful creatures, forcing them to perform slave labor, such as mining ores and clearing away wartime rubble. Jason and his friend Alexander befriended one of the bipeds, whom they nicknamed Shaggy.

Shaggy, a hairy biped. (The whereabouts of 
Scooby, a hairy quadruped, are unknown.)

The Snow-Shamblers, a species of primitive ape-human hybrids inhabiting the former northern United States, also appeared in "Terror." Born of two sapient ape species, the Snow-Shamblers were only of limited intelligence—though their empathy for others was abundant. The North-Apes, thinking them savage, tried to annihilate the Snow-Shamblers, until Jason and Alexander revealed their peaceful, timid nature.

A Snow-Shambler, offering a profound pronouncement.

Surprisingly, the hairy bipeds and the Snow-Shamblers were not the only hybrids featured in the Marvel series (which may offer some insight into the mind of writer Doug Moench). In addition, the magazine (in the story "Evolution's Nightmare," published in issue #5) introduced Mordecai, a wise, enigmatic, cross-species hermit who offered shelter to a human named Jovan and a gorilla named Solomon after they were injured in a bloody battle in the Forbidden Zone that left Solomon's arms broken and Jovan's legs shattered. (Ironically, Solomon and Jovan themselves became a sort of hybrid, lashed together for the purpose of mutual survival.)

The enigmatic Mordecai, with BFFs Jovan and Solomon

Years later, Malibu Graphics got into the trans-species game as well. Urchak's Folly introduced the Mud People, a thickly muscled troglodyte tribe descended from full-blooded humans and simians. The Mud People lived far from Ape City, in a jungle area called the Valley. Known to the apes as Trogs, they were once brute savages until a human priestess, Miranda, and her mandrill companion, Argo DiVincenzo, shared with them The Book of Taylor, converting them to a life of peace.

A member of the Mud People... not exactly living
a life of peace... and seemingly devoid of mud

In that same miniseries, title-villain Colonel Urchak turned out to be quite a sexual deviant. The fearsome silverback gorilla warrior, who served Aldonite traitor General Ollo, crucified anyone who caused trouble and often kept human females as sex slaves. Among them: the Taylorite priestess, Miranda.

Human slave, gorilla pervert

Malibu's Blood of the Apes miniseries, meanwhile, featured a love story between Tonus, a gorilla bounty hunter, and Myndith, a human woman disguised as a chimp (a double-whammy, since Tonus would have been engaging in cross-species love either way). Tonus despised humanity after his mate, Deetra, was murdered by a human, and thus became a bounty hunter who (in defiance of the sacred law that ape shall never kill ape) executed any simians he found educating or arming mankind.

After Tonus killed several apes supplying the Taylorites, the group's human leader, Myndith, disguised herself as an ape named Valia in order to gather information. Though she despised what Tonus stood for, she fell in love with him anyway (why do all the hot girls fall for bad boys?), and he with her, causing him to rethink his anti-human stance. When Myndith staged a peace march on Phis, Tonus tried to warn her that the ape army was waiting to ambush her people, but both were killed in the ensuing massacre.

Star-crossed lovers Myndith and Tonus,
so in love they even use the same hairstylist

When Dark Horse assumed the Apes comics license following the release of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes remake, General Thade was revealed to have kept a chimp-gorilla courtesan with whom he fathered at least one child. A generation later, his granddaughter, Minister Shiva, was a rising politician on the planet Ashlar (the world seen in Burton's film), bent on eradicating all humans. She kept her mixed-breed nature a closely guarded secret, hoping to avoid being deemed a "half-caste" and having all rights stripped away (an indication that inter-species relationships must have been "a thing" on Ashlar at some point).

Minister Shiva, secret chimp

Dark Horse also introduced the Chimerae, a deadly warrior clan who interbred for generations in order to avoid bloodline dilution. Their inbred descendants, a bizarre collection of hybrid gorilla, orangutan and chimp mixes, thus grew deformed and deranged, turning on those whom they once protected.

Warlord Saghat, leader of the Chimerae
and possible descendant of Bob Saget

Most recently, BOOM! Studios' comics featured The Golden Khan, the leader of an Asian-styled civilization of apes and humans living in equality. Khan was a sexual deviant who not only married a human named Princess Wenchgeng, but also kept concubines of several different species in his harem, and even shaved off his body hair to appear more human-looking, other than a Fu Manchu mustache.


Outside the comics, the TV series included an episode in which a blind chimp named Fauna fell in love with Pete Burke, not realizing he was human. The novelizations of the animated series revealed that one of Urko's gorilla soldiers, Lieutenant Mungwort, was part-chimp. Peter Jackson's aborted sixth film in the classic Apes series would have featured an ape-human hybrid. And even the video game utilized the concept, with a scientist called Professor Ghato surgically creating human-ape hybrids whom he dubbed xenografts. But it was the comics that really showed just how readily humans and apes engaged in cross-species relationships in the madhouse that is the Planet of the Apes universe.

So the next time you visit the ape section of your local zoo and watch the chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans sitting around picking nits off each other, flinging dung, sexually stimulating themselves, flaring their gums at little children on the other side of thick windows, sniffing each other's nether regions and breakdancing, consider this: If this were the Planet of the Apes universe, you just might see them as viable candidates for a date next Friday night—and you might even put out.

If this planet's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin'!

(You can larn more about the above characters and species in Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia.)

Rich Handley is the editor and cofounder of Hasslein Books, the managing editor of RFID Journal magazine, the co-editor of Sequart's upcoming anthology The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes (with Joe Berenato), a frequent writer for Bleeding Cool magazine and the author of Timeline of the Planet of the Apes, Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes, The Back to the Future Lexicon and The Back to the Future Chronology (with Greg Mitchell). Rich contributed chapters to the soon-to-be-rereleased Planet of the Apes Revisited, Sequart's New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics and ATBPublishing's upcoming book TOS 109, and also helped edit the novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes. He has written numerous source articles and stories for the licensed Star Wars universe, and was a columnist and reporter at Star Trek Communicator magazine for several years. In addition, Rich helped GIT Corp. compile its Star Trek comic DVD-ROMs and penned the introductions to IDW's Star Trek newspaper strip reprint books.



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