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However, this particular topic will focus on the 2011 - 2013 comic series by Boom! Studios, as it chronologically comes before Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm. The original 2011 series has sixteen total issues, and was released in five volumes that included additional comics from 2011 - 2013 that furthered the story after it was completed in the original.
The Planet of the Apes (2011) comic book series is set 1,300 years before George Taylor comes to a future Earth by time travelling. In this series, you meet two sisters at war, Alaya and Sully. When they were very young, their parents were killed, and Alaya's grandfather, the Lawgiver, adopted both his blood granddaughter and Alaya's childhood friend of the same age, Sully. However, Alaya's mother was a chimpanzee and her father was an orangutan, while Sully's parents were human. The two sisters had lived in paradise, in an ape and human friendly town. After moving to a new city with a different point of view on humans, Sully is no longer treated as an equal, but as an outcast. Eventually, the two sisters separate. Alaya becomes a very powerful political figure for apes and Sully becomes a very powerful political figure for humans. Alaya disowns Sully as family.
I was very surprised when I first read the 2011 series. I really like the Victorian times, and the 2011 - 2013 series is a mixture of Victorian and modern elements. I was not crazy about Sully, and never really liked her very much—Her character is too flat and her life is all about controlling her town. Throughout the series, she never develops very much as a character. However, Alaya does. Alaya, for me, is a far more likeable character. She's not perfect, she has flaws and they're pretty obvious. Alaya is torn between her emotions and her people. Unlike other ape leaders, Alaya passionately believes that apes and humans can live together in peace, like how her life was before her town was raided and her parents were killed. Also, the artist and the colourist did a great job on her physical appearance—She's quite beautiful.
In the original 2011 series, Alaya is arrested at the very end. One of her ape political allies, a very old chimpanzee named Nerise, turns on her for unclear reasons and this former ally ends up killing herself. Before this happens, a human with psychic powers tells Nerise what to say to her fellow apes using telepathy. I never knew if he had taken control of her mind or if Nerise made a deal with him. Like I said, it's not clear what was really happening, and without that clarity, I felt like the ending could have been a lot better. All the author really needed to do was add a few words. I have no idea why this didn't happen.
However, the story is continued in several more issues from 2011 to 2013 that were added to volume four and five. The art is the same in Annual #1, which is the first additional issue, but is different in the following issues. Thankfully, the art is still great. I'm not extremely happy with the story change. I'm glad that Alaya survives her execution upon being freed by Sully. I like it that Alaya and Sully reconcile their differences. But what I really don't like is that Alaya and Sully both die at the end of these add-on comics. There actually is a happy ending when Sully's blood son and Alaya's adopted son, Julian, finds peace with both apes and humans, and has his own family. But I don't like it that Alaya and Sully couldn't be apart of that. They are both killed in the war that is started in the very first issue of the 2011 series... by a bomb.
If you've watched Beneath the Planet of the Apes, you'll know what I mean when I refer to psychic humans and bombs. I never liked that particular film and I haven't seen it much. But these psychic humans, the predecessors of the humans in Beneath, they destroy the city with a very powerful and destructive bomb. I really, really did not like that. I have never understood why these psychic humans were even introduced to the overall series. In my opinion, they take away from the overall story of the Planet of the Apes, be it in the films or the comics. It's almost like they brought the bomb into the last 2013 issue by Boom! Studios because they simply couldn't think of a better way to end it.
I'm interested in hearing what you all think. I don't know just how many people have read these particular comics (2011 - 2013) or any of the Planet of the Apes comics, especially since I am having difficulty even getting the newest ones to the Planet of the Apes series. For example, not too long ago, I got Planet of the Apes: Ursus #1, #2, and #3, but I cannot find #4 and #5. I keep going back to the book store, however, they never have the latest issues of Ursus in stock. So it's been really disappointing trying to find the physical copies, and I'm not sure if I should just get them on Amazon or what. I have all of Cataclysm in digital format, but I prefer the physical format.
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