Taking place 18 years before the original movie and 2 years after Dr. Zaius banished all humans from Ape City, this 4 issue series depicts the exile of the human race and the development of the human rebellion.
Exile on Planet of the Apes is written by the very talented combination of Gabriel Hardman (who’s credits include: HULK and Secret Avengers) and Corinna Cechko (Boom Studio’s Betrayal of Planet of the Apes and Marvel’s 2011 big event tie in: Fear Itself: Home Front). The husband and wife team craft a brilliant and entertaining story that is sure to please fans of the original movies and new fans just discovering the world of Planet of the Apes. In comics it is often difficult to create and develop characters in a wartime setting, but Hardman and Cechko seem to excel in this regard. General Aleron and Tern are both wonderfully crafted original characters that help raise this story above and beyond the myriad of movie-based books that have flooded the market in recent years. While reading I had a pure sense of connection with Aleron and I felt true sympathy for Tern. All in all, this series was very enjoyable, and should appeal to both POTA fans and science fiction fans a like.
The supremely talented Marc Laming did the art on this series. His work on The Sandman Presents: Taller Tales (2003) is some of my favorite art in recent memory. I’ve read issue number 4 multiple times now and with every reading the art become better and better. Laming’s art perfectly captures the grittiness and sense of hopelessness you would expect in a wartime setting. Fans of the original movies will be very pleased to see the primates are very true to the original creations by the great makeup artist John Chambers. The backgrounds are well done, (which is my biggest pet peeve in comics) with enough detail to make the setting believable but not enough to distract the reader while making the page feel cluttered. The final page is truly haunting and a great nod to one of the classic scenes in movie history.
If you get a chance to find the previous 3 single issues (the series started in March of this year) I highly suggest picking them up. The beautifully crafted characters and backdrops make this a visually appealing book, while the story is well written and pulls you in from the beginning.
Verdict: BUY IT