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War for the Planet of the Apes #1 (of 4) Review

Written by David F. Walker

Illustrated by Jonas Scharf

Colours by Jason Wordie

Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (maltmanlorna@gmail.com)

This prequel comic to the movie does a good job of immersing you in the post-Dawn of the planet of the apes’ world and setting up both perspectives in this conflict. Walker does not feel the need, and I am grateful for it, to re-introduce the main characters of the films in the issue, with most of the characters not making appearances until the end of the issue.  This makes the miniseries feel less like a forced tie-in, but more of an extension and expansion of the world beyond just Caesar, created by Fox.

We start out by seeing a family who have an ape helper set off to market. Then we see a more catastrophic man/ape relationship in San Francisco, where apes run riot and you see hatchet v gorilla. This scene then shifts into the apes preparing for full out war. The comic then jumps to Florida where two guys are monkey bounty hunters, as a lab in Atlanta wants live specimen to study, which the horde of monkeys that attack the two men were not happy about, to say the least. The issue ends with Caesar declaring that war has arrived.

Walker does a great job of creating a sense of scope to the world that the films did not capture with the varied locations and reactions to Caesar and apes. The characters aren’t built up much in this first issue, but if you have watched the movie (which would be most who read this comic) that provides the background and character depth you need for this issue. However, if there is no more character depth in the rest of the miniseries, it would feel like a missed opportunity.

Scharf’s art brings great detail and grounds the issue, especially with Wordie’s more muted colours, which could have easily felt ridiculous, because at the end of the day it is talking apes, so for the art team to bring a realism to that world is a feat.

Verdict:

Pass –  unless you love the movies as what Walker does superbly in this issue is expanding and building up the world of the apes’ movies. However, if you don’t love the movies this comic is not worth checking out as it does very little to help or entice people who haven’t seen the movies and does not have great character depth.

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