I’ll be honest; I have not kept up to speed with Planet of the Apes ever since Boom! Studios started their ongoing title back in April of last year. After reading this issue, I have repeatedly kicked myself in the shins for not following along (Don’t ask me how it’s possible, but I did it. I can also lick my own elbow. Yeah, I’m awesome, so what?). Needless to say, in order to understand just what was going on I turned to the almighty Internet for answers. Humans have finally learned what their roles are, and Voice Alaya creates an ape utopia. All seems well. Until, of course (who didn’t see this coming right?), there’s a REVOLUTION. Unlike the majority of Planet of the Apes stories, though, humans don’t start this revolution.
Okay, now that we’re all caught up to speed, let’s talk about the art. Carlos Magno, who has some work under his belt at DC (the uber-limited series Countdown to Final Crisis), is masterful in his character creation. While reading this book I couldn’t help but think of the classic 1980’s Conan the Barbarian books. The art has almost the same medieval feel that made those books so fun. I can only really find two gripes with the art in this comic. First, the apes look like apes. For those of you who have read my previous Planet of the Apes review, you know I enjoy the original ape designs. This is not to say Magno’s character work is bad; on the contrary, it is highly detailed and crisp. The second gripe lies with the skylines and horizons. For instance, there is a scene that takes place over a burning prison camp. The camp is full of detail, smoke billows above the camp, ash falls from the sky. Then, you gaze upon the mountains in the distance, and you get what appear to be clouds situated completely behind the mountain range. All in all, the art was enjoyable, and save for those tiny pet peeves it was better than the majority of the releases out there.
As for the writing, nothing truly blew me away about the story. Daryl Gregory (Dracula: Company of Monsters) brings us the tried and true plot device: the mysterious man in the shadows controls the actions of a corruptible ruler (Actually, that pretty much sums up every single Marvel story involving Loki doesn’t it?). However, there is a reason this plot device is so common: it works and it makes for an entertaining story. The part of Gregory’s writing that did catch my eye was his dialog; it flows very well between each character. Every character seems to have his own voice and personality and that is a somewhat daunting task, especially when so many characters are involved. What this book does well though is set up the next issue. The final panel truly cuts deep.
Now, it’s time for me to meander on up to my judge’s chair a la Scarecrow in The Dark Knight Rises (What? You haven’t seen the movie yet? Oops. Maybe you should avoid the Internet) and pass judgment on this book. It doesn’t work well as a stand-alone issue, but if you can find the previous three issues this book is worth picking up .