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

War for the Planet of the Apes lives up to what you would expect from the series. There’s the human surviving faction, and then there are the apes, led by Caesar, as established by the current film franchise; however, this series offers writer David Walker and artist Jonas Scharf a unique chance to expand the palate of the story. It also gives them the chance to design mystery and suspense tied around new characters for their story. The result of their work is not only an evocative and attention-grabbing first issue, but something that reminds us of other powerful apocalyptic survival stories like The Walking Dead or Apocalypse Now.

The issue is split up into three different sub-narratives. One follows a girl and an older man who come across a zoo where they recruit a mysterious person who works at the zoo while they also gain access to food. In very obvious terms, this is where we are able to see the purest examples of survival. A girl and an older man looking for food are very obviously proof positive of the need to survive based off whatever they can find. Fattening up a pig and selling it is their way of making it happen. While that story occurs in Reno, Nevada, we are also introduced to a group of men and a younger girl who encounter the apes. Scharf does a very good job of showing the pure fear that is on their faces. They do not want to be in a situation like this at all, but they have no choice.

The human/ape confrontation is an example of the way the humans and apes have had to live since the war has started. It’s almost like a daily occurrence for them. They are obviously two factions opposed to one another and should they come across each other, they have to be prepared to fight. It can be the only way for them to get out of situations such as this. While the apes and humans are about to go at one another, a human seems to kill himself via a bomb in order to push the apes away. This represents the theme of sacrifice that has become very important to the Planet of the Apes stories but also war stories, as well.

Throughout stories of war, you often see both sides having to make sacrifices in order to achieve their objectives. Should it be a story of army troops, you can see the many who die to push forward the goals of the greater military; however, as the reader, we observe just what life is like for even those who are caught in the midst of it. These are the people we follow in the book. Yet, the same goes for the apes. They view this struggle as one of necessity to the survival of their species. Like the humans, they are willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve the ends to be victorious over who they think is their enemy.

Writer David Walker needs to be truly commended for his tri-narrative story. It’s often challenging to balance multiple stories in an issue, but he does it seamlessly. In fact, the mystery of who the old man and the girl pick up in the hoodie should be one that keeps readers guessing amid a war of epic proportions. What is just as amazing is Scharf’s artwork. His art makes us think of Tony Moore or Charlie Adlard from The Walking Dead. It’s a very similar style and setting, in addition to the colors by Jason Wordie evoking a similar color palette like that of Tony Moore or Cliff Rathburn.  There’s not anything negative to say about this issue. With Caesar‘s declaration in the last panel that the war has arrived, he is telling the truth about this series and where it is going to go in future issues.

Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.

Tommy Zimmer, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor



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