REVIEW: Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #3

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The moon is no more after a mysterious orangutan makes use of the humans’ long-dormant weapons of mass destruction. As earth suffer the consequences of its neighbor’s detonation it’s every ape for themselves as the lex ultima of Ape society—Ape Shall Not Kill Ape—is tossed aside.

PLANET OF THE APES: CATACLYSM #3
WRITER: CORINA BECHKO and GABRIEL HARDMAN
ART: DAMIAN COUCEIRO
LETTERS: ED DUKESHIRE
COLORS: DARRIN MOORE
EDITOR: DAFNA PLEBAN
PUBLISHER: BOOM STUDIOS
COVER PRICE: $3.99

Previously in Planet of the Apes Ape City floods as it’s pummeled by lunar shrapnel, Dr. Zaius’ wife and pregnant daughter take refuge in the home of Priscia, leader of the Anti-Vivisection League and human sympathizer. Meanwhile, waters from the raging river inundate the city forcing all the chimpanzees, gorillas and organutans—who can’t swim—to scramble for their lives.

OOOH HELP ME, DR. ZAIUS

The water is rushing in, Cornelius is trying to save Cassia while Zaius’ wife and pregnant daughter face the prospect of drowning with some refugee humans. This issue, more than the previous two deals with characters facing real and immediate loss. The scope of the disaster is starting to make itself known on the ground (as if the moon exploding wasn’t enough of an indication of what’s to come) and you can see a definite panic in many of the characters.

About midway through the issue there’s a slight twist that confirms—telegraphed by a smirk—the maligned intentions of the moon’s destroyer. Everything builds to an improbable accusation in the last panel, but it’s enough to sell me on the next installment.

In the previous issue Zaius, one of the few remaining members of the Council, was thrust into a command which he neither sought nor desired. He’s more of a minor player in this issue, but we can see him quickly growing into his new role and even glimpse the ape who will eventually try his damnedest to kill George Taylor.

The book’s prologue treated us to a little more exposition concerning the unnamed orangutan—apparently he’s a strangler as well as a world killer. Unless I’ve missed something reading the previous issues we still have no idea who this evil moon-blowing-up ape is, other than he’s a contemporary of Dr. Zaius. It speak well of the pacing that we’ve been given so few hints as to who and what he really is, but the story doesn’t feel dragged down by that willful omission.

A COLORFUL APOCALYPSE

This book isn’t overly verbose and good portion of the storytelling comes from Damian Couceiro’s fantastically expressive art. With a nod or a look he tells things that, in dialogue, would clumsy at best and childish at worst. After finishing the issue, one of my favorite things to do was page back through it looking at all the great ape reaction shots—the drowning scene is my favorite example.

Kudos to Darrin Moore for the color work in this issue; the events of the story are so grim and bleak—often reflected in the landscape and darkness in which they’re set—but they certainly don’t lack richness. Many parts of this book could have looked incredibly flat, but the coloring infuses them with that extra dimension.

BOTTOM LINE: GET ALL OF THIS STORY, FROM CHIMPAN-A TO CHIMPAN-Z

Buy this book. If you haven’t read the previous two issues, then buy them, too. I’ve been a huge fan of the movies—yes, all of them unfortunately, and the TV series—since I was a kid, but I never bothered much with the comics. This is exactly the kind of “Apes” story I’ve always wanted to read. 4.5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★½

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!

Reader Rating

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