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‘Planet of the Apes #1:’ Comic Book Review

I’m a huge fan of Planet of the Apes, so when I found out that David Walker (Bitter Root, The Black Panther Party, The Hated, etc.) was writing a new series inspired by the iconic book and subsequent adaptations, I was all in.

While searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease using retroviruses, researchers used simians to test its efficacy. Initial results were positive, but humans were resistant to the vaccine, and it mutated, killing humans at a rapid rate. It was dubbed the simian flu, though the apes were not the cause. This deadly flu did have the result of increasing simian intelligence and creating a terrorist organization called Exercitus Viri. Their mission: Kill all apes.

We are introduced to U.N. Peacekeeping Soldier Juliana Tobon in 2015 on a mission to transport a group of apes (Orangutan, Chimpanzees, and other types of simians) to a secure location. She is fiercely protective of them, and it becomes clear that she can communicate with the apes, as well. Her devotion is such that she is willing to die to protect them. Going back in time every few pages, we learn more about the effects of the disease around the world and the savagery of the Exercitus Viri, until we get a glimpse of why Juliana is the way she is. It’s subtle, but heart-rending, so keep close attention for it.

Mr. Walker stays true to the heart of the original story, but makes it his own. The brief, five-page prologue effectively brings anyone new to the series up to speed by deftly hitting on all the salient information you need to understand how and why it all began. Juliana is a strong and complex character whom you can easily root for. What I loved most about her was her strength and her weakness—the apes. The structure was interesting, and I thought it was a great way to set up the backstory without being heavy on the exposition, and it kept me engaged. The art style and coloring rock and are a perfect match for this story. It’s big and dynamic with lots of detail and depth of color. My favorite sequence was the Switzerland execution. (I don’t want to say more and ruin it for you.)

Go and pick this issue up now. I’ve got issue two on hand, and I hope to be reviewing that soon.

Creative Team: David Walker (writer), Dave Wachter (artist), Bryan Valenza (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer)
Publisher: Marvel
Click here to purchase.

Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Fanbase Press Contributor



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