Planet of the Apes Closes a Major Plot Hole with a Dark New Twist

Warning: contains spoilers for Planet of the Apes #2!Planet of the Apes has revealed how apes learned the skills they needed to take over the planet, and it was secretly humanity’s fault. In issue two of the new Planet of the Apes title, readers are transported back to the early days of the Simian Flu – and learn how the apes learned to fight back against their human oppressors. Throughout the franchise, apes have been shown with the military and agricultural acumen to thrive on Earth, and it turns out they didn’t just figure these skills out – humanity taught them.


The issue is written by David F. Walker, drawn by Dave Wachter, colored by Bryan Valenza and lettered by Joe Caramagna. The Simian Flu is raging across the planet, and humans, falsely believing the apes are behind it, are lashing out. One particular faction, Exercitus Viti, is attacking both simians and any humans who protect them. Most of the apes have been relocated to a special research facility in Ghana; they are escorted by soldiers such as Juliana Tobon. Tobon arrives at the facility and is given a tour by its director, Doctor Sembene. He takes Tobon to a special section, where humans are training apes to perform simple tasks, such as farming and manufacturing. Sembene believes that with human society in decline, humans have no choice but to rely on the apes to help rebuild. Sambene also shows Tobon a place where other apes are trained to fight; these apes are proficient with spears as well as combat techniques. Tobon asks Sambene if this amounts to slavery for the apes, but he assures her it is a matter of survival.

Humanity Enslaved Apes to Save Itself


At its core, Planet of the Apes tells the story of a future world where apes have supplanted humanity as Earth’s dominant species – and now Marvel’s new title is filling in the gaps of that process. This is a major reveal because it shows that apes didn’t simply take over from humans due to the Simian Flu. It would make sense that intelligent apes could observe humanity and learn skills like farming and military tactics, adapting to become the dominant species. However, the reveal that apes were specifically taught these skills to make them effective slaves brings the story back to Planet of the Apes‘ main theme – humanity is causing its own extinction every step of the way.

Related: Planet of the Apes Redefines the Franchise With 1 Surprising Secret

Planet of the Apes Reveals Ape Society’s Origins


The Planet of the Apes films left a great deal to the imagination, namely how ape society actually arose – and as seen in this issue, it has dark origins beyond the Simian Flu. In its final days, humanity was desperate for any way to survive – even if it meant trying to turn intelligent apes into a slave species. The ape training and Exercitus Viti are opposed, but they’re both evil in their own way. Those evils have combined such that humans feel the need to teach apes to kill other humans. Indeed, it’s all but guaranteed that Exercitus Viti’s attack will accidentally free these apes, allowing them to share what they’ve learned with apes around the world.

Humans Will Always Be Planet of the Apes’ Real Monsters


The Planet of the Apes series is built on social commentary and political subtext, and the shady relations between human and ape continue this. The human exploitation of the apes can be read as an allegory for our world, which is dealing with issues of labor and income inequality. The humans in this story have created such a system, one that takes advantage of the apes, turning them into slaves and soldiers. This arrangement is doomed to fail, and its collapse will give birth to the Planet of the Apes.

Planet of the Apes #2 is on sale now from Marvel Comics!

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