This Apes Chronology was first printed in 1975 in Marvel Comics' Planet of the Apes comics magazine (Issue #11). It was provided by NetTrekker, who beefed up the passing references to how they described filmed events. It also features Marvel's Apes stories in the timeline. NetTrekker took it a step further and tried to integrate the animated series, taking liberties so that it would fit into the timeline at a point where it made the most sense. The Adventure Comics stories are not included, but hopefully they will in time. I have added the film, TV, and comic references where appropriate (though I admit I guessed at the Marvel Comics references).
VISIONS OF TOMORROW
A Chronological History of the Planet of the Apes
For purposes of continuity, the chronology takes place as close to our own time as possible and then works forward.
Astronauts Taylor, Dodge, Landon and Stewart are launched on the first interstellar exploration flight. (Planet)
Astronauts "Skipper" and Brent are launched along the same flight path as the previous vessel to probe its unexplained disappearance from detection. (Beneath)
The first vessel reappears mysteriously within nearby space. It lands off the California coast, slightly north of San Clemente and is met my mobilized United States Navy spaceflight recovery crews. The capsule is found to be piloted by three speaking chimpanzees who identify themselves as Doctors Cornelius, Zira and Milo. The apes are taken to the Los Angeles Zoo, where Milo is killed by a primitive gorilla. Cornelius and Zira are brought before a scientific inquiry and are accepted as friends of the planet Earth. (Escape)
Through underhanded interrogation and analysis of the spacecraft, Doctor Victor Hasslein learns of the ultimate fate of the human race and the planet Earth. He convinces the President that the apes are a threat to Humankind. Cornelius and Zira are taken to a military base for further interrogation. After escaping, they flee to a circus where Zira, now pregnant, gives birth to the baby Milo. Shortly thereafter, Cornelius and Zira are killed, and Milo begins his long education under the care of Armando, the owner of the circus. (Escape)
1973 to 1981
Eight complex years marked by contradictory developments in two aspects of society. Space exploration expands. Unmanned space probes range to the stars and back. Manned flights over greater distances are becoming more common. At the same time however, the governments of Earth are becoming more totalitarian in order to cope with increasing economic, political and energy pressures.
All information concerning the two lost spaceships and the secrets of the future as revealed by Cornelius and Zira is locked away under heavy security clearance. Few are allowed access to it. Publicly, it is spread that the two talking chimpanzees were merely a hoax, and nothing more.
Armando gives Milo the name of "Caesar."
Astronauts Allen, Hudson and Franklin are launched from Earth. Their vessel enters a strange energy distortion and disappears. (Animated)
Astronauts Virdon, Burke and Jones are launched from Earth. Their ship encounters a strange electrical storm near Alpha Centauri and disappears. (TV)
Caesar, aged 8 1/2, begins his bareback riding acrobatics with Armando's circus. With political repression, the smaller circuses are forced to play to dwindling country audiences, thus helping Caesar avoid dangerous publicity.
The year of the Plague from space. Possibly brought back to Earth by an unmanned space probe (Many records were lost in the War), the Plague spreads over the planet in weeks, killing all cats and dogs. "Apparently" harmless to humans and other animal species.
1984 to 1991
It is during this period of time that the repercussions of the Plague begin to be felt. Humans, to replace their lost pets, turn to keeping small primates, birds, lizards, etc. The primates are found to be the most useful and gradually become the most common household animal. Gradually, larger and larger ones are taken in. It is in this generation of primates that the Plague's genetic effects show themselves: stature increases and so does intelligence in the larger orders.
The Government increases to be more and more authoritarian. A reverse migration of people from suburbs into cities results in large towns becoming mostly feudal ports surrounded by farmland; the "provinces." Pollution in many areas is brought under control. A massive air purification plant in the Rockies keeps California air perfectly clean.
However, with this increase in governmental structure a slave class develops: the apes. Ape Management, Incorporated becomes a semi-public branch of the Government in late 1989. By 1991 they are a monolith, now fully government operated, with a huge range of responsibilities. Their training and day-to-day life with humans brings on an acceleration in the mental development of the apes.
Armando decides that Caesar, now nearly eighteen and an accomplished performer, is old enough to see the truth of the "ape condition." He brings the circus to play at an unnamed city on the west coast (very likely San Francisco). There, Caesar unwittingly reveals his intelligence to police officers engaged in subduing a rebellious gorilla. Caesar runs and Armando goes to the Governor, attempting to bluff their way out of the situation. He is arrested. The Governor, fully believing that the runaway chimpanzee possesses human intelligence, is almost panic-stricken at the thought of ape rebellion. (Conquest)
Caesar, in an attempt to blend in with the other apes, hides with a shipment of apes going to Ape Management. There, he is conditioned, though he understands the process and avoids the harsher punishments. He is purchased by Governor Breck, who is unaware of his prize. After learning of Armando's death as a result of interrogation about him, Caesar begins to plant the seeds of rebellion in the clouded minds of the apes. (Conquest)
Eighteen years after his birth, Caesar comes of age at the head of the Ape Rebellion. The fall of Humankind begins. (Conquest)
June, 1991 to late 1992
Caesar leads his people from the city into the provinces. In this case, the San Francisco peninsula. Here, Caesar attempts to build a new home for his people with the aid of a few human advisors. Massive educational programs within the community are developed. They face little harassment because elsewhere in the country and perhaps the world, the Ape Rebellion is spreading. The Government's breakdown has begun and it cannot police itself as in the past. Tension grows, until...
The work of a single madman? International political pressure? Some country taking advantage of a U.S. governmental paralysis? Unknown. It is swift and effective. Laser defensive systems prevent the war from utterly destroying all life. Major cities are destroyed, but surrounding areas remain livable... to a certain degree.
1992 to 2001
The human population that remains is in a state of shock. There is little or no communication over great distances, so CaesarŐs community, now completely isolated, accepts the survivors in its area and a new ape/human society begins to grow. Despite CaesarŐs wishes, humans become effectively second-class citizens, and cultural divisions among the apes begin to develop. A gorilla named Aldo declares himself General and begins to train an "army" of gorilla soldiers. In 1995, CaesarŐs son is born by his wife, Lisa, and named Cornelius.
During this time residual radiation is having its effect on both humans and apes. The Plague-altered genes of the apes increase their already rapid intellectual development, in some cases (i.e., Virgil and Mandemus) incredibly so. Humans tend to become more docile, less given to action when angered. It is not clear at this time whether that is a radiation effect, Plague effect or just living with the evolved apes, the weakest of whom could kill the average human easily.
Meanwhile, another branch of Humanity is developing: the ones that survived the War but stayed in the cities, the Mutants. Inspector Kolp, a former aide to Governor Breck, has taken over in the remains of San Francisco and runs a scavenger city full of repressed hate.
Caesar, along with Virgil and a human, MacDonald, venture to the remains of San Francisco in search of the tapes made of Cornelius and Zira, thereby unlocking the secrets of the future. They are discovered by Mutants and just barely escape. However, they are followed back to Ape City. Kolp launches an attack on CaesarŐs community in a last-ditch effort to destroy the Ape Rebellion. The attack is repelled by the apes. The humans living in the Ape City win a slightly ideological victory and temporary equal status with the apes. Kolp, Aldo and young Cornelius die.(Battle)
2001 to 2040
This, the first Ape City, grows. Caesar rules benevolently and well but human position in the community continues to erode, seemingly without solution. The Forbidden Zone begins to become a real danger as animal and plant mutations get out of hand. In the city of San Francisco, the Mutants are splitting into factions under the leadership of Mendez and the being destined to become One with the Gesalt Mind.
Caesar dies, at 67. Not survived by children, his rule is turned over to a council of apes and humans under the leadership of a particularly well-respected orangutan. He and the office are christened "Lawgiver."
2040 to 2052
Conditions between apes and humans get worse. While educational programs maintain that there is no difference, humans labor under an aura of inferiority. Voluntarily, they tend to withdraw from active participation in the council and draw themselves into a community-within-the-community, separated by a river from the apes. It is only partially a ghetto. The level of culture is falling.
In the city, the Mutant factions have gone to war with one another, the followers of the Gesalt Mind winning out. Mendez and his loyal followers manage to escape into transnational transport tubes and work their way towards an unknown new home. They take with them the Alpha-Omega device, which has begun to carry an almost religious significance with it.
Jason the human and Alexander the chimpanzee are born.(Marvel)
2052 to 2069
A gorilla named Brutus rises to a position of power in the Ape City hierarchy. He is appointed Peace Officer under the second Lawgiver.(Marvel)
Jason and Alexander become friends. Human position grows slowly but steadily worse.(Marvel)
General Brutus' scouts encounter the Inheritors in caves near the Forbidden City. Brutus investigates and becomes ally/underling of the Gesalt Mind in a power ploy aimed at taking control of Ape City. The original scouts are "persuaded" to forget what they saw.(Marvel)
Jason, Alexander and the Lawgiver are embroiled in a conflict with the Inheritors. At the same time they begin to get a hint of what is happening in the world outside Ape City's tiny boundaries. A man/ape mute mutation has begun to live in the Forbidden Zone, some serving as slaves of the Mutants. Gigantic animals roam everywhere. Many small, semi-nomadic communities of apes and humans also exist, each as isolated as the others. In certain of these, a startling equity of apes and humans has developed. But, can it last?(Marvel)
2070 to 2220
A large leap of time that can only roughly be filled in. Both ape and human cultures expand into the Forbidden Zones, taming them as population needs demand. However, these cultures tend to isolate and grow bitter towards one another. Humans, devolving due to the radiation, are becoming more barbaric. A sudden, fierce strain develops out of the docility in evidence just after the War. Clearly, the human and gorilla armies are in their way to war.
In this period, Mendez's mutant groups have reached what was once New York City and have established themselves there. Mixture of their bloodline with the local mutants begins to produce rudimentary telepathic powers.
Gorilla and human armies slaughter one another in battle thirty or forty miles north of San Francisco. Two survivors, Solomon the gorilla and Jovan the human, form an uneasy but necessary truce. They are healed and taught by the hermit man/ape Mordecai and meet their death in San Francisco at the hands of the animalistic ape and human mutants.
This is the balancing point in the history. It is where the human devolvement coincides with the ape evolution most clearly. It is also the last gasp of human aggressiveness.
2220 to 2750
Humans are defeated and become, primarily, a slave culture tolerated but completely unrespected by the apes. Gorillas dominate the apes now, and it is an age of exploration. Populations push out in all directions. Land is tamed and with slave help, cultivated. New outposts are set up and contact is made with other surviving groups from the War. Not a few minor wars are caused by gorilla aggressiveness. On the whole, however, a peaceful time as energies are channeled into retaking a world.
The cultural heritage of Caesar's Ape City gains a widespread usage and regional governments are often designed after the Lawgiver/Council mold.
Some bands of renegade humans do exist and continually harass ape outposts.
One particularly daring raid into a fairly large ape population causes an outraged public cry from the apes. Systematic destruction of the outlaw bands is instituted. The Lawgiver of the day (whether only a regional level Lawgiver or more is unknown) writes the Sacred Scrolls and their rather unflattering portrait of Humanity.
2750 to 3085
The general spread of the Sacred Scrolls proves to be a reactionary move, and their influence reinstates the earlier days of isolation. When growth has slowed in the previous century, orangutans take more and more of the power formerly in the hands of the gorillas. Now they rule completely.
The loss of communication between population centers is slow at first but speeds up when Forbidden Zones start to become unlivable again. This time, it is largely the result of poor conservation techniques. The radiation-blasted soil starts to give up and the deserts, as deserts, bloom.
Humankind grows completely docile.
Cultural patterns in the isolated areas retain shards and snippets of others. Thus, one area might continue to have the Lawgiver officer while another might operate completely differently. The Ape City near New York City becomes isolated in this period after its incorporation into the Pan American Ape Society in the previous growth period. It was not a colony of the first Ape City, but developed independently and therefore does not have an historical record that accurately chronicles the west coast developments.
Astronauts Alan Virdon and Peter Burke crash-land but survive (unlike their fellow astronaut) in the region of the United States that was once southwestern California. At this time the ape government which rules over most of the area is an orangutan faction headed by Doctor Zaius. General Urko, a gorilla, works cooperatively with him, with continual "reminding" that Zaius is in charge. Urko chafes at the situation. To Zaius and Urko, the constant threat of the renegade astronauts starting a human rebellion leaves the apes with the task of apprehending and executing them.(TV)
The astronauts gain the chimpanzee Galen as a friend and traveling companion. Between them they leave a few traces of twentieth century human culture, like certain agricultural and farming techniques, that don't do much good for the humans but eventually serve to advance ape civilization.(TV)
Virdon, Burke and Galen have fates as yet untold.(TV)
3085 to 3479
The fall of Humankind is complete. By approximately 3400, the combination of radiation deterioration and general demoralization succeeds in wiping the minds from Humanity. They are forced away from the ape cities as unproductive and useless animals. They begin to live in the forests, wild.
Astronauts Bill Allen, Jeff Hudson and Judy Franklin crash-land in a lagoon southwest of New York. While traversing the desert, Franklin disappears into a chasm that mysteriously closes in on itself. Allen and Hudson continue on to find a forested glade inhabited by savage humans. In a raid by gorilla soldiers, Allen is captured along with several of the primitive humans.(Animated)
Shortly thereafter, he escapes and along with Hudson, returns to the Forbidden Zone. There, they discover the now buried ruins of New York City. After finding Franklin, they escape the mutants of the city.(Animated)
It is unknown as to what eventually became of the astronauts.(Animated)
3479 to 3955
Continually encroaching Forbidden Zones have brought on a complete Dark Age. Progress slows to a halt in some areas, like the New York Ape City. There, all knowledge that humans once had a major civilization is lost. It becomes mere legend, and then almost nothing at all. It is either lost or concealed by conservative orangutans. Progressive chimpanzee elements are stifled.
Late in this period humans begin to be used as experimental animals and entertaining hunting diversions for the gorillas. A certain instinctive survival pattern remains in the humans but it is less than successful.
The spacecraft containing three surviving males (Taylor, Dodge and Landon), along with one dead female (Stewart), crash-lands in an inland sea somewhere in the area south of what was once Long Island. Land masses have shifted so that is no longer ocean. The astronauts journey across the barren desert to a forested area, where they find representatives of what was once the human race. In a gorilla raid, Taylor and Landon are captured but are separated, and Dodge is killed.(Planet)
Taken to Ape City, Doctors Zira and Cornelius discover Taylor's intelligence. The council perceives this as a threat and makes plans to exterminate the human. During a mock trial, Taylor discovers that Landon has undergone brain surgery, leaving him a mental vegetable. Zira and Cornelius take Taylor and his female companion, Nova, into the Forbidden Zone to the site of an archeological expedition conducted by Cornelius. Taylor and Nova escape from Zaius and the gorilla patrols farther into the Forbidden Zone. There, Taylor discovers that he has in fact returned to Earth.(Planet)
Ape City is awash in political undercurrents. Zaius has succeeded in quashing the ripples caused by Taylor's appearance and abilities, but General Ursus, campaigning for war, is beyond his control. Several scouts are lost in the Forbidden Zone not long after Taylor disappears and war is on. There is also a chimpanzee undercurrent, and while pretending to go along with Zaius, Cornelius and Zira have secretly been aiding the genius chimpanzee Doctor Milo in his studies of a rescued spacecraft, the one Taylor had arrived in. He is analyzing it and attempting to ready it for flight. They plan to use it as the kind of traumatic evidence they feel Ape City needs to escape the total loss of the light of Truth.
Brent's ship lands. He is the only survivor. He encounters Nova, lost after Taylor's strange disappearance at the ruins of New York City. After an encounter with Zira, Cornelius, the gorillas and Ape City, Brent and Nova travel to the Forbidden City in search of Taylor.(Beneath)
Brent's arrival plus two days:
The Alpha-Omega bomb, originally stored in the vaults of a San Francisco missile complex and cherished by twenty generations of the House of Mendez, is detonated while in Saint Patrick's Cathedral in the ruins of New York City.(Beneath)
The end of everything.(Beneath)
A catalytic reaction spreads across the globe in minutes. Shockwaves of the blast are sent into space and strike the spacecraft containing Doctors Milo, Cornelius and Zira. The ship is thrown into a time warp, cast back to....(Beneath)