Rise of the… Dawn of the… War for the… Conquest of the… So long as more titles (or more accurately pre-titles) can be generated, the Planet of the Apes franchise will forever live on. Until we get the next installment in the “of the” series, thankfully we have a plethora of Planet of the Apes comics to hold us over. Here we take a quick look at the most popular ones in the market.
There exists a manga adaptation of the first Planet of the Apes movie published in 1968; second to that or standing entirely separately is the 1970 Gold Key adaptation of the second movie, Beneath the Planet of the Apes. If you’re in the market for this book, make sure the Ape Protester poster is still attached.
Although the overall sales volume for CGC slabs of this book is relatively low, the sales prices have managed to stay flat across all the grades since 2011. Ten years with no movement. At the moment, there are no CGC 9.8 copies of this book in the census. With CGC 9.6s selling at the $500 level, it does make one wonder what the sole 9.8 could fetch. However, the temptation to crack open a 9.6 to go for a 9.8 would likely not be worth the risk given the overall low sales volume of the book.
Marvel Comics’ turn with Planet of the Apes started in 1974 with a magazine series published under their Curtis Magazines imprint. It contained a mix of adaptation of the films and new original stories. Unsurprisingly, only the first issue in the series has gained both significant value and sales volume. For quick reference, the current FMVs for CGC 9.8 and 9.6 are $180 and $120, respectively. That only paints a partial picture because when looking at the sales data in greater detail, we find very high volatility. This past year alone, a 9.8 went for as high as $288 and as low as $125. This wild range has been the case for the last decade of sales; with no discernable trend in either direction. Planet of the Apes #1 doesn’t appear to be a good long-term opportunity.
Just a year later, Marvel Comics reprinted their first series with Adventures on the Planet of the Apes, but this time under their main label and in color. Also different is an even higher volume of sales and higher FMV for the CGC 9.8 grade at $250. How is it that this book is valued higher than the above book? The first argument that comes to mind might be the whole comic vs magazine classification, but the story being a reprint adds more peculiarity than the Rocket Raccoon’s Marvel Preview #7 vs. Incredible Hulk #271. Unfortunately, despite its higher 9.8 FMV the book has been experiencing flat sales prices over the last decade. Also not a good long-term opportunity.
The Movie Monsters series was a magazine that covered the iconic horror, sci-fi, and fantasy films of its era. It was published by Seaboard Periodicals’ Atlas Comics, not to be confused with Marvel Comics’ Atlas Comics. But to make it more confusing, Martin Goodman had a hand in founding both companies. Although the first issue contained an article on Planet of the Apes, it wasn’t until the second one that featured Dr. Zaius on the cover; the artwork by Greg Theakston. Sales of CGC graded Movie Monsters #2 (and even including the other issues in the series) are rather rare. Of particular note, a CGC 9.8 slab recently sold in Feb 2021 for $399.
Worth mentioning not as a spec or investment, but just because of its cool cover, is the Rivoche variant of crossover Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1. A homage to the cover of Showcase #22.
“It’s a madhouse! A MADHOUSE!” – George Taylor
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