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Planet of the Apes #1 – Review

Let me say that I realized something upon finishing this book and that’s that I don’t like Planet of the Apes. Now hold on before you go jumping to conclusions. I’m speaking of the franchise, not this comic. If anything this comic is a wonderful story set in the world of Apes and captures the voice of the original film quite well. The problem is it isn’t my type of Sci-fi. I should root for the humans, but I know how crappy we can be and that if the roles were reversed we’d treat the monkeys like garbage as well. On the flip side, the monkeys are right evil bastards that just make you hate them so much. I’m just not a big fan of Apes, but I do respect the product and quality that Boom! has put into this new series.

The formula for the story is straight out of a crime show drama. A high ranking official is killed, based on the killer’s ethnicity the cops come down hard on an area of the city that that ethnicity inhabits the most. Finally they talk to the unofficial mayor of the town and tell them they better find who did it before they rain down hell on the town. Now picture it with Monkeys as the ruling class and humans as the ethnic minority. The only problem is that if you know the ending to that formula then you know the ending to this series.

Planet of the Apes 1B CoverAs for the actual story, the monkey called the Lawmaker is shot down by human weapons that haven’t been made for 500 years. The assassin dressed like a ninja flees from the scene of the crime. The Lawmakers granddaughter is put in charge of the town and she’s adamant about finding his killer. The mayor of “Skin Town” is approached as she is the unofficial granddaughter of the Lawmaker. He apparently raised one monkey and one human granddaughter. The two meet and the now ruling granddaughter tells the human one to find the killer or they're tearing apart “Skin Town.”

Even though I’m not a fan of the series I still appreciate the quality of this comic. Granted it pretty much follows the formula I described to the “T”, but it’s laced with a lot of social and political commentary. Writer Daryl Gregory does a great job of capturing the feel of the franchise, but takes on the challenge of showing it before the first movie. It’s interesting since this is a time when monkeys and humans are co-existing. The dialog is interesting and at times packed full of information, but never dull.

The art is great and look like an Apes movie for sure. Granted that artist Carlos Magno can draw the monkeys with a full range of facial movement so it’s a little bit of the classic mixed with the modern Apes, but in a good way. Since it’s the first issue there’s a lot of talking and information and Magno does his best to keep each panel interesting. The coloring for the book is what gives the art a “movie” feel as colorist Juan Manuel Tumburus keeps it gritty. The pallet of colors consists mostly of earth tones which matches the jungle city just right.

I may not be a fan, but I still enjoyed this book. If you are a Planet of the Apes fan then you will be very pleased but the high quality that Boom! has put into this licensed series. They’ve handled it with a lot of respect and it doesn’t come across as cashing in on the name. This story has real significance to the Apes story line. And it’s way better than the trailer for the new movie coming out in August.

Overall Score – 8.0/10
*Great for New Readers* If you like it better pick it up since it's a sure fire sell out! 



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