Classic Comic Cover Corner: From Beyond the Unknown #23

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Nerdvana’s new weekly Classic Comic Cover Corner, where every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. Be sure to use our comments section below to let us know what you think of our cover selections, suggest a favorite, or just wax nostalgic about the comic book’s bygone era.

From Beyond the Unknown #23 – August 1973

With the gun control debate raging across the nation right now it seems appropriate that we showcase the classic cover of DC Comics’ From Beyond the Unknown #23 (1973), which depicts an angry ape robbing a library at gunpoint, demanding the books it needs to in order to “conquer the world!”

It’s interesting that the three books this ape wants, in order to gain the knowledge necessary for world domination, are Treasure Island (by Robert Louis Stevenson – 1883), Moby Dick (by Herman Melville – 1851) and Robinson Crusoe (by Daniel Defoe – 1719). The only thing I can find connecting these three classics is that they all involve adventure on the high seas. What is your theory on why the ape needs these three particular books? Share your thoughts in our comments section.

At least this armed ape is well read – which is more than can be said for many of its human counterparts. Maybe we should make it harder to get a gun than a library card. While our Constitution states that people have the right to keep and bear Arms, it does not delve into whether a talking ape should be considered a person or not.

What is clear is that if our government were to outlaw apes with guns, then only apes with guns would be outlaws, and we all know that the only thing that stops a bad ape with a gun is a good ape with a gun. Besides, guns don’t kill people – apes with guns kill people. Consider your imagination staggered.

NERDVANA CLASSIC COMIC COVER CORNER BONUS: From Beyond the Unknown #23 is actually a cover redeux and reprint of “The Secret of the Man-Ape” story from DC Comics’ Strange Adventures #75 (1956), which showed a much more affable ape – albeit he’s still holding a gun. You can check out the original cover at

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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