For Fans of the original Planet of the Apes movies, NOT the Tim Burton one from 2001 (does that movie have any fans?), it looks like they have something to celebrate in the first issue of “Revolution on the Planet of the Apes” by Mr. Comics. Characters and concepts developed during the original film series of five movies are explored and the Planet of the Apes’ mythology is expanded upon.
“Revolution on the Planet of the Apes” is wish fulfillment for many fans as the events in this comic book miniseries take place between the fourth (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes) and fifth (Battle for the planet of the Apes) films. It seems that human civilization collapsed and a worldwide nuclear war happened between the two films and fans have wanted to know how that played out ever since. Apparently the studio didn’t want to put up the gazllions of dollars it would have taken to shoot it in the 1970’s but with Ty Templeton as the creative force behind the new Planet of the Apes series all will be revealed. The comic will be an anthology of sorts, with the main storyline continued each issue and a couple of backup stories to fill in more details.
Issue #1 starts out with a two page summing up of events of the last 23 years (from the movies), which is good even for someone like me who is a fan. Then we get 16 pages of the main storyline that picks up the day after the apes have revolted and taken over in San Diego. The Apes leader, Caesar shows up, as do several other characters from the films as well as new characters. The next section is a Journal handwritten by Caesar about the events unfolding around him. It’s mostly prose with a few good illustrations. Finally the last story gives some insight into the current president of the U.S. I enjoyed all of them quite a bit. The last story comes off the best in terms of technical storytelling. It reminded me of the Eclipse Comics' anthology, “Alien Encounters” as it could be a stand-alone story.
The art is mostly good especially the cover by Denis Rodier, although I think the coloring process makes the apes look weird in the first story for some reason. Maybe they look less a part of the world of the comic then human characters do. I’m not sure why but its noticeable to me. Each story has a different artist.
“Revolution on the Planet of the Apes” brings back the goods that made the original films so entertaining. Favorite characters show up and I assume that more will as the series continues. The stories are rife with the political satire, which harkens back to the original movies and reflects current politics. It is well written and I wanted to read the next issue right away rather than wait a month. The comic has few ads, which is nice and it even has a letters page with responses from people who got advanced copies. Mr. Comics’ website http://www.mrcomics.ca/ also provides a free web comic that introduces the whole series. It’s a nice touch, in terms of promotion and wetting the appetite for the series.
It’s a little expensive at $3.98 but then Mr. Comics is a small company and this series is its international debut. A few continuity issues irked me, like the characters watching video on the Internet, it supposed to take place in 1991 (although they don’t tell you that in the comic) and some people are wearing 2006 fashions rather then what’s reflected in the Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, which immediately precedes this storyline. Like Star Trek, there seems to be a ham-handed attempt to make the timeline from Planet of the Apes films fit our real world timeline. It doesn’t work guys, there was a nuclear war between 1991 and 200l. Just let Planet of the Apes be in its own universe, its still a good story even if its not “our” world. I suppose there could be some other explanation forthcoming in the rest of the series to explain what appears to me to be a few glaring errors.
Over all I think this is a good read. Ty Templeton obviously loves the original films and wants to know what happed to make world of The Planet of the Apes what it is just like any other fan. It’s fun and even exciting at times. If you like the movies get this comic. If you like Sci-Fi get this comic. If you like stories about society on the verge of an apocalypse get this comic. If you think that apes could do a better job than we are at running things get this comic. Better yet download the free “Revolution on the Planet of the Apes” story from Mr. Comics to see if it peeks your interest.