In a world where Ape and Man attempt to peacefully coexist, rage and hatred for the humans has consumed Alaya, the defacto leader of the Apes. Does this second helping of talking apes entertain? Or should it vanish in the Forbidden Zone?

Planet of the Apes #2
Writer: Daryl Gregory
Artist: Carlos Magno
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Letters: Travis Lanham
Covers: Karl Richardson and Carlos Magno
Editor: Ian Brill
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Story Pages: 22
Cover Price: $3.99 USD

Previously, in Planet of the Apes: Many years after the Ape rebellion against their human masters, Ape and Man attempt to live in peace. But when the great Lawgiver is gunned down by a human, all blame is hoisted upon their shoulders. All the while Sully, the pregnant Mayor of “Skintown“, is seeking out the purported assassin in their midst.

JUSTICE WILL BE DONE

With the brutal slaying of the loved, and revered Lawgiver, Alaya has now been made leader of both the Apes and Humans, the latter whom she blames for the Lawgiver’s murder. With rage in her heart, Alaya frees Nix, a warrior Gorilla with one goal in mind, justice for his best friend, the Lawgiver. With Sully’s hunt for answers underway within “Skintown“, things only get more and more complicated as tensions build to the point of overflowing.

The writing in this issue continues with the strong, and engaging storytelling practices from the first issue. The pacing is great, the dialogue is very well constructed, and it was delivered in a precise manner, that in no way resembled schlock. This high caliber writing is actually better then the last three Planet of the Apes movies. That’s counting the Tim Burton abomination with Marky Mark.

The characterization here is even more prevalent, Alaya in the first issue was a cold hearted (ape)woman who gave Sully a chance to square things with her people. But in this issue, she can no longer contain her seething hatred for them, wanting justice done before the Lawgiver’s body is even cold. Alaya is a character that I love to hate, and the only other Ape I ever felt that way towards in this franchise was Dr. Zaius, so she’s in good company.

I liked how “Skintown” was fleshed out(no pun intended) in this issue, introducing some unique settings, and quite interesting characters. The one thing that really caught my interest, was the appearance of a member of the apocalyptic Cult of Mendez, the mutants that worship the bomb, you know, from “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”. How, or if this character will play a major role I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.

THE ART OF APES

Though I didn’t notice the Burton influence within the first issue, I did in this. Alaya is a pretty, yet snobbish ape autocrat, but as far as the Burton influences go, that is the line. The male apes, Nix and the others are strong, detailed, and exude that powerful ape spirit, something that was teased in the movies but never got to see fully. But this issue delivers on that brutality, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Carlos Magno is able to deliver the artistic goods when it comes to this comic. I don’t know of that many other artists that are so clearly dedicated to a project, I did think that the second issue would have a steep drop off in visual quality, but I am glad I was wrong. The colors are still quite muted, fitting with the somewhat somber tone of the comic, but there were parts where I wish they weren’t bordering on depressing. But overall not to bad. The covers are good, and to give you some direction of where the issue is going, something that I liked. But I prefer Cover B over A, due to A’s odd pistol butt. Look at it. It’s a snarling Gorilla face. That’s creepy. Or cool depending on your Point of View.

THE VERDICT: THUMBS UP

This comic makes up for the all the wrongs that have spilled out of the Planet of the Apes franchise, bad sequels, bad cartoons, an even worse remake, but by George, I will call this comic book a redeeming point for the franchise.

With a strong story that not only fits in with movie canon, but actually does one better by improving on it. It has artwork that delivers page after page, and seemingly issue after issue. I really can’t see nothing wrong with this comic, other than you having to know the movies pretty well to get the whole picture. Even though the editors put in a “Previously, in…” section on the inside front cover, it really can’t do justice to a franchise that is comprised of five movies.

If you didn’t care for the movies, never saw one, or God forbid, judge Planet of the Apes solely on the merits of Tim Burton’s vision of it, you might not care to read this continuing tale. But for those who liked the first five movies, like apes, and yes there are people out there who claim to like apes holding guns, then this comic should be for you. In closing, Planet of the Apes #2 receives 4.5 Stars, out of 5.

Rating: ★★★★½

The Author

Larry King

Larry King

It is hard being a King, especially when your first name is Larry. Well, not really. In Larry’s Kingdom the re-imagining “Battlestar Galactica” is superior, “The Wire” is the greatest crime show ever, and “ROM, Spaceknight” is the hero of the realm.

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