Ape-Man #5

Ape-Man

It seemed like there was nothing those Commies wouldn’t try, except for tackling Ape-Man!  And even that was only true until the —

“Attack of the Red Chimp!”

by Scott Casper, thanks to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Tales to Astonish #39

The delivery truck came to a screeching halt at the dock, the driver pulling up perpendicular to the gangplank. Some tough-looking men waited on the barge, expecting the delivery.  A strange, accented voice came over a crackling loudspeaker:

“Hurry and load the cages aboard the ship!”

Other men were already swinging open the back doors of the truck, pulled down a ramp, and tugged on wheeled cages to roll them down onto the street.  The cages were large, and needed to be, since they contained every ape from the ape exhibit at the Bronx Zoo, including Mattie the gibbon, Bobo and Faben the chimpanzees, Plato and Ginger the orangutans, and Johnson the gorilla.

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Ape-Man #4

Ape Man

The Ape-Man has always been smarter than his opponents before, but what happens when he faces a mad scientist who is his equal? Find out in —

“The Price of Defeat!”

by Scott Casper, thanks to Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby for Tales to Astonish #38

Face front, true believers! This tale is going to start right in the thick of it!

Teenagers scattered like alarmed pigeons as Ape-Man burst out of the planetarium. He leaned into his run, sometimes running on all fours as his long, loping arms swung in front of him. But where he was headed…he was not sure. Where?  Where could he be? Every clue he left has just been a red herring so far! Ape-Man inwardly fumed. While he fumed, he noticed that not everyone was running from him. He could not ask anyone why they were running, looking as ape-like as he did, but he could look around and try to trace back an origin point they were running from, and it seemed to be the nearest science lab building on the campus.

“Aha!” Ape-Man shouted and he sprinted for the front entrance to the science lab building. He went for the door handle and almost touched it — but drew his hand back when he glanced through the door’s glass panel and saw there was something affixed to the door handle on the inside. Getting a better look, he saw they were jumper cables, hooked to a car battery on the floor. Ignoring the handle, Ape-Man jumped up into the air and kicked the door hard with both feet — hard enough to break the door open. After ducking inside, he stopped and listened, only to hear men’s gruff voices coming from down a corridor, and the sound of an idling vehicle. There must have been a door open at the rear of the building, Ape-Man figured.

Ape-Man snuck down the corridor, ducking into a doorway in time before two big men emerged from the stairwell carrying something heavy between them. Glancing at their backs as they walked away from him, he saw they wore delivery uniforms.

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Ape-Man #3

Ape Man

 

“The Ape-Man’s Secret!”

by Scott Casper, thanks to Lieber and Kirby for Tales to Astonish #37

Poe Park, South Bronx

November 3, 1962

Polka music wafted from the gazebo in the park. The children dancing were warm, but for everyone else it was chilly and they needed their sweaters or jackets.

Detective Martin Webster was not there for the music (he did not care for polka) and he did not have a child at the free concert (though he and his wife had tried to have one); Martin Webster was there to talk to Jacob Stern. Stern, a Jewish man of about 30 years of age, had been standing a short distance away from the festivities, smoking a cigarette, which had made it easy to approach him. Martin had in fact already identified himself and started asking some casual questions, to put Stern at ease.

“No, I don’t have any kids,” Jacob said. “But that girl over there? She’s my niece.”

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Ape-Man #2

Ape-Man

“Ape-Man, I know your secret! Meet me at the Wallace Ave. Warehouse tonight! –W.” was all the sign read.  Why did it strike such fear in the heart of Ape-Man? Find out in —

“The Challenge of W!”

by Scott Casper, thanks to Lieber and Kirby for Tales to Astonish #36

Mattie was a small female gibbon, an “escapee” from the Bronx Zoo’s collection, as the other apes were. Mattie chattered a little, then sped to the wall, leapt up, and found the bars on the warehouse windows more than adequate for scaling up the side of the building. In moments, Mattie was inside; tense minutes after that, Mattie was hanging off the door handle of the back door as it swung open.

“Nice work, Mattie!” Ape-Man said. “Mattie, you stay here. Faben, you’re with me!” he said to the chimpanzee with him. He had some more instructions for Faben which he gave the excited chimp before heading inside.

Ape-Man could not even see the third floor windows when he entered; there was a partial roof over him and partition walls blocking his view of the whole floor of the warehouse. The partition walls extended out from the side walls to support columns that rose through the second floor. It was a little scary how good a burglar Mattie was, having found her way down here so fast.  

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Ape-Man #1

Ape-Man

“The Ape-Man!”

by Scott Casper, thanks to Lee and Kirby for Tales to Astonish #35

180th Street & Daly Avenue, The Bronx

September 5, 1962

Bernie Spengler stood at his favorite newsstand and plucked a 12-cent comic book off the rack, right out from under the big sign that read ‘cigarettes’.  The last time he’d bought a comic book, they were only 10 cents. Bernie did not balk about the price increase, though; he had a lot of free time on his hands today and much to take his mind off of.

“You read that stuff?” a familiar voice asked. Bernie looked up at Jacob Stern, his coworker as of yesterday. Wearing his gray suit and matching Fedora with his customary red tie, Jacob looked just like he was heading into work — which Bernie, supposed, he did too, just out of habit.

The newsstand was at the corner where the two men would meet every day before heading to Dr. Carter’s office in the Bronx Zoo, where they had worked as assistants, at least until Carter had dismissed them. They had letters of recommendation from Carter and his promise to help them land jobs at any zoo in the world — but their jobs were “no longer required” here.  

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Ape-Man #0

Ape-Man

The Ape-Man — who is he?  What is he?  The startling answers to these questions could be found, one night, in the laboratory of Dr. Raymond Carter.

On this fateful day, Dr. Carter stood alone in the office, brooding, his long shadow cast over the room as he faced the twilight outside his window. In his hand, he clutched a letter from the administration of the zoo that housed his lab. The zoo wants to see results! Raymond thought. My funding depends on it. The future of my research depends on it!  If I am to save both, then I must succeed tonight!

Raymond Carter carelessly tossed the letter towards his desk and exited the room, bound for the test subject cages that lined the corridor outside his private lab. The familiar tread of his shoes on the tile floor signaled a chorus of chattering from the caged animals.

“Plato,” Raymond said, touching the bars of the cage holding his prized orangutan. Plato was suffering from hepatitis. “Johnson,” he said, reaching over to the cage of the strong, healthy, but troublesome gorilla in the next cage over.  “Let’s see if my newest adjustments produce any results.”

Circling the cages to the entrance to the lab, Raymond unlocked this inner door, turned on the lights inside, and opened the back gate to Plato’s cage. He coaxed Plato with a banana onto the titled gurney that would be the receiving end of the ray. Plato was conditioned not to resist when being strapped down by being rewarded with food before and after. Johnson was more problematic; instead of being strapped down, Raymond had needed to devise a smaller cage that could hold Johnson in place while the ray was passing through him.

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