After “Battle for the Planet of the Apes” nearly sapped every last ounce of good will out of the movie going populace, and the Tim Burton re-imagining with Mark Wahlberg pretty much put nail into the franchises coffin, what could this comic possibly offer? Take the jump and find out.
WARNING! This comic does not come out until April 27th, 2011. So SPOILERS may be ahead!
Planet of the Apes #1
Writer: Daryl Gregory
Artist: Carlos Magno
Colors: Juan Manuel Tumburus
Letters: Travis Lanham
Editor: Ian Brill
Covers: Karl Richardson with Brian Latimer & Carlos Magno with Ander Zarate
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Story Pages: 22
Cover Price: $3.99 USD
Previously, in Planet of the Apes: Astronaut George Taylor crash lands on future Earth, and encounters talking apes. Human/ape relations continue to be bad, and a group of nuclear crazies, destroy the Earth with a doomsday bomb. A kindly ape couple, Zira and Cornelius, escape to the past, they have a child, Caesar, and then die by human hands. Caesar leads a ape rebellion. Caesar wants man and ape to live in peace. 600 years later, man and ape do live in peace as Lawgiver tells Caesar’s tale at the end of the “Battle for the Planet of the Apes” movie. This picks right up during that tale Lawgiver was telling.
HUMAN SEE, HUMAN DO
A great tragedy has struck both ape and Human setting back relations to the verge of all out war. Two women, Sullivan, a human with child, and the other Alaya an ape politician, both raised by the great Lawgiver as sisters, are now divided. Could this be the beginning of the end for a peace amongst the two peoples?
First off, movie or TV to comic books, to me, often come off as hackneyed, and mostly off putting, but this issue really shows that it can be done, and done extremely well. I really like the first five Planet of the Apes movies and “Battle for the Planet of the Apes” wasn’t that good. It looked cheap, and seemed like it was gasping for air creatively speaking. But this comic makes up for it by picking up right were it left off.
The story that involves the disparity between the Humans and apes, as ape society is turning against the Humans, since the apes have all the power, and hold the Humans responsible for the tragedy that has befallen them all. The story has the air of socio-political intrigue. Now, I know what you might be thinking, “Yeah that worked our great for the Phantom Menace”, but here it’s down to Earth. Literally.
All the characters within were very interesting, and very well written. The almost seething Human bigotry that Alaya, the ape granddaughter of the Lawgiver has for the Humans comes right off the page. It’s emphatic that she will make them pay for what they have done. As Sullivan, Alaya’s human sister, and Mayor of Southtown, derogatorily called “Skintown” by the Apes has to keep human unrest at bay with a child on the way. The world is on Sullivan’s shoulders so to speak, and she really comes off as a person who is doing her best to give everyone a fair shake.
IT’S A MAD HOUSE! A MAD HOUSE!
Ape’s never looked so good. The story is well told visually, each page is very well crafted, and the environment is extremely detailed. The cities have a consistent look out of the previous Ape movies, with the rounded designs, and textures clearly represented. There are times where you can count every single hair on an ape’s head. That’s dedication right there.
Carlos Magno is able to make the apes look distinct, giving them visual cues that make them stand out from every other ape that appears within the comic. The humans look great as well – they look worn, and tired, which is completely story appropriate, the ladies are quite attractive as Nova was in the first two movies. Also, if you have a thing for pretty female ape autocrats then look no further than this comic. I won’t judge you.
FINAL VERDICT: KEEP YOUR PAWS RIGHT WERE THEY ARE!
Creatively wise, picking up right after a lackluster movie that even fans of the franchise found to be a hard pill to swallow is a big feet, and probably not for the faint of heart. But this issue is just stunning. I was really surprised of the dedication to it, and the re-building of a franchise.
I don’t know if BOOM! Studios has a long term plan for this comic, whether it will keep going, or be a limited series. But I really would like to see it keep going, and follow the struggles of ape and human alike, as long as the team of Gregory, and Magno are on the title. I don’t think there would be anything to be concerned about.
If you are not familiar with the Planet of the Apes franchise, and curious about picking this up, there shouldn’t be too much of a “Continuity Shock” here unlike something say along the lines of X-Men. But if you just want some great art, and or have a affinity for talking apes, this comic should be right up your alley.
In closing, Planet of the Apes #1 receives 5 Stars, out of 5.