The Humans – Planet of the Apes meets Hells Angels meets Mad Max


I haven't read a comic book this much fun in a quite a while. The Humans, written by Keenan Marshall Keller and drawn by Tom Neely is about a planet (Earth?) where apes rule supreme and humans are mute beasts. Sound familiar? Yes, it's Planet of the Apes, but without the time-traveling astronauts (at least not yet) and without a Lawgiver handing down a sacred "Ape Shall Not Kill" scroll.

One other difference: instead of riding horses, the apes ride choppers and behave like 1960s outlaw motorcycle gang members. They deal drugs, throw wild parties, encroach on rival gangs' turf, and engage in epic knife-and-chain rumbles. There's the Haterz (an "all-gorilla ape-power gang from Okland"), the Thrill Killers ("hippy-dippy druggies" who "run the acid trade in San Francisco"), Los Muertos from Las Vegas ("these dudes are strange and keep to themselves"), Satan'z Minions ("Satanist, viking monsters who live in the deserts"), and — the stars of the series — The Humans (who are apes but think The Humans is a good way to broadcast their violent, animalistic way of life).

The gangs use homo sapiens (they call them "skins") as work animals, and train them to fight each other for gambling and entertainment purposes. One of The Humans keeps human females as sex slaves, much to the disgust of the other members.

Artist Tom Neely (Henry & Glenn Forever) is perfect for this series. It's detailed, slightly-cartoonish, and old school enough to convey the era of underground comics. The coloring by Kristina Collantes is superb.

Image has collected the first four issues into a trade paperback that includes bonus art and an issue of The Humans' motorcycle club newsletter.

The Humans Volume 1