"Ape and Essence"
Battlestar Galactica #17 (Marvel)
Written by Steven Grant and Walt Simonson
Inks by Klaus Janson
encounters dangerous life on a jungle planet.
The fleet comes upon a jungle planet and sends biologist Dr.
Enoch with Apollo down to investigate additional food sources to
supplement the agro ship(s). They discover human skeletal
remains in the jungle, speculating that this may be a lost
Caprican expedition that was sent to investigate an uncharted
jungle planet years ago and never returned.
As Enoch and Apollo gather fruit samples, they are attacked by
a vicious pack of red apes. Apollo stuns one with his laser and
the rest flee. The two Colonials decide to take the ape back
with them for study.
Back on the Galactica, Enoch laments the loss of the
battle skills he had when he was a young warrior. Studying the
fruit found on the planet, it begins to stink as if rotten and
as he is about to discard it, he suddenly becomes unable to
resist the urge to eat it. As he does, his body transforms into
that of a red ape, identical to the ones on the planet. In his
new form, he feels powerful and ruthless, fighting his way to
the hangar bay, where he steals a Viper. Out in space, he comes
across Apollo training Athena, Sapphire, and Cassiopeia in unarmed
Vipers. Enoch disables the three women's' ships, forcing them to
crash-land on the planet. Apollo is not far behind, but on the
surface Enoch intercepts the women, telling them they are his
CONTINUED IN BATTLESTAR GALACTICA #18
The title was probably derived from Aldous Huxley's 1948 novel
Ape and Essence in which humans are recast as baboons
who make war on each other.
Commander Adama's log seems to give a date
The apelike creature into which Dr. Enoch transforms is
similar in transformation, appearance, strength and temperament
to Marvel Comics' own Hulk.
In the transformation, Enoch seems to put on
a lot of mass. Where did the extra mass come from? It seems to
be a violation of the laws of physics, in that energy cannot be
created or destroyed, merely transformed from one form of energy
to another. (He also magically loses all that mass when he
reverts back to human as he dies in the next chapter, "Forbidden Fruit".)
On page 14, the Council indicates that the
fleet has been on the run for months.
On page 17, we see that
as well as the ladies we saw in training in "Into the Void",
Cassiopeia is now training as a Viper pilot.
Coincidentally (I guess), Apollo happens to
be training all three of Starbuck's girlfriends from
"The Trap"--Cassie, Athena, and
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