'Planet of the Apes' Villain's Origin Will Be Told for 50th Anniversary

Ursus' past will be revealed in comic book form, starting in January.
Bob Larkin/Boom! Studios
Ursus' past will be revealed in comic book form, starting in January.

As Planet of the Apes heads towards its half-century anniversary, it's time for the most evil ape of them all to get his spotlight.

Announced Thursday at Boom! Studios' Discover YOURS panel at New York Comic Con, writer David F. Walker is returning to Planet of the Apes for a new comic book series, Planet of the Apes: Ursus, centering on the villain of the second movie in the series, 1970's Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

Illustrated by Christopher Mooneyham, the six-issue series will tell the previously unknown origins of the character and show how he rose through the ranks to become the feared general fans know him as — and how he arrived in the Forbidden Zone in the first place.

In a statement from Boom, Walker — currently writing Marvel's Luke Cage comic book series — said, "When I was a kid, General Ursus terrified me. He came right out and said, 'The only good human is a dead human,' and that gave me nightmares. At the same time, I always wanted to know more abut him, and as a writer, few things are more interesting than exploring what makes a villain tick."

The series will begin in January, launching the 50th anniversary of the release of the original 1968 Planet of the Apes movie, with the first issue of the series offering an addition nostalgic allure for longtime fans of the franchise — a variant cover painted by Bob Larkin, created as part of his iconic run of covers for the 1970s series of Planet of the Apes magazines published by Marvel. Unused at the time, the cover (which can be seen at the top of the post) will be published for the first time by Boom!

Additional covers for the first issue of the series will come from Paolo Rivera, Michael Allred and Becca Carey. The first issue will be available digitally and in comic book stores Jan. 3.

New York Comic Con continues through Sunday at the Javits Center. Keep up with all of Heat Vision's coverage here.