Ron Wilson unused Planet of the Apes art stirs Marvel UK “Apeslayer” fans

A bizarre, unpublished Planet of the Apes cover for Marvel UK’s hugely popular 1970s weekly comic, by Ron Wilson and Mike Esposito is currently being offered for sale on Heritage Auctions.

No, we’re not sure why the gorilla is shooting the duck, either, but you can bid on this rarity here on Heritage Auctions.

POTA archivist John Roche has previously suggested this cover was intended for the adaptation of Beneath the Planet of the Apes. There is a scene early on in that story that almost exactly matches.

The cover was intended for issue 23 or 24, but was never used, in part as a result of the schedule and content for the comic being disrupted by Marvel UK’s weekly title outpacing the monthly output of Marvel US. This resulted in the arrival of the short-lived “Apeslayer” – one of the stranger excursions MUK made down the years when their title got ahead of America, and, arguably, the company’s first original superhero, published one year ahead of the debut of Captain Britain.

John Roche notes that after Apeslayer “delayed” the Beneath adaptation in the UK, the Weekly seemed to start regularly using the US painted covers, which may have made Ron’s unused cover redundant.

Early in 1975, the weekly frequency of the the British Planet of the Apes used up POTA stories faster than Marvel US was producing them.

In an effort to make up for a lack of new material, “Apeslayer” saw a recast Killraven battling apes – the ape heads stuck over all his the Martian opponents from the original War of the Worlds spin-off series, featured in Amazing Adventures #18-21, published in 1973.

There are two articles here and here about Apeslayer on downthetubes, published in quick succession in 2022.

In the second, we revealed how author Rob Kirby’s meticulous research into the history of MUK led him to track down the instigator of the “Apeslayer” mashup – and no, it wasn’t The Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant, once a comics and magazines editor, as widely believed.

Marvel UK’s “Apeslayer” – The Culprit Revealed?

Thank you again to Rob Kirby and John Roche for their input into our 2022 Apeslayer items

Categories: Art and Illustration, Auctions, British Comics, Comic Art, Comics, Digital Comics, downthetubes Comics News, Events, Other Worlds, US Comics

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