I have loved the Planet of the Apes series for as long as I can remember. My first colorforms set when I was little was a Planet of the Apes set, I watched the short lived TV show, which probably wasn’t a good thing since I was a toddler, and I own all the movies on BluRay, even the truly bad ones. Of course I saw the remake in the theater but much like everyone else I was disappointed so I skipped a trip to the theater for Rise of the Planet of the Apes but when I caught it on cable I was pleasantly surprised at how damn good it was. I made sure to catch Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in its theatrical run. They’ve built a strong story in these prequels, one that could lead into the older films if you wanted them to. The films are a decade apart in the story’s timeline, however, the new comic series seeks to bridge that gap.
The comic opens with society already having broken down. The virus that came along with the drug trials has decimated the population and ended civilization as we know it. The survivors are still clinging to whatever vestiges remain but they are dwindling. Meanwhile the apes have been able to settle in the forest in peace since there really isn’t anyone around to bother them. They’re not sure why that is but they have made the most of it just the same. Caesar wants more though. He wants to know what’s going on in man’s world so he is better prepared to protect his tribe if need be. He also wants them to be able to grow and thrive rather than just being happy with the status quo.
I enjoyed this first issue of the miniseries. I was hoping for a little more of the breakdown of civilization but thinking about that more I realized what could they have shown that we haven’t seen a million times before in end of the world stories? The story of how the new societies grow in its place is far more ripe for telling. Watching new civilizations grow and form is far more intriguing and this is the story that is being told. How did we get to where we were when the latest movie opened? How did the apes form their society? How did the human survivors band together enough to try to build something again? That’s what we’re going to find out over the next few months.
I’m giving Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. It’s just a set up issue so there’s not a lot going on just yet but I think we’re in for a fascinating look at these in between years.
Dawn of Planet of Apes #1
Writer: Moreci, Michael
Artist: McDaid, Dan
Cover Artist: Mitten, Christopher
On Sale November 26, 2014
Publisher BOOM! Studios
Diamond Id: SEP141125