Issue: Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #1
Writer: Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Artist: Damian Couceiro
Colors: Darrin Moore
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Cover A: Alex Ross
Cover B: Gabriel Hardman (Colors: Matthew Wilson)
Cover C: Joe Quinones (Colors: Jordie Bellaire)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Here are seven words for JJ Abrams (assuming he wants to top Lost): Planet of the Apes, the TV series. That’s your ticket, Mr. Abrams: POTA for TV, but it will only work if you hire Boom! I’m not saying you should copy the comic books they’ve pumped out (although that also would be some great television). What I am saying is that Boom! knows POTA.
Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm is further proof. As you know, I’ve been reviewing the various Boom! POTA offerings for a while now, and it’s good stuff. Every time I get a new installment to review, I’m ready to be a real critic (by criticizing) and totally rip it apart. Unfortunately for my credentials as a critic, Boom! knows what they are doing when it comes to POTA.
And even better is the fact that we are finally approaching the time of the original movie and the arrival of George Taylor. So, let’s get to it:
We start in the present day (or the near future) with an impending nuclear apocalypse. Given the infinite wisdom of our leaders, it appears they have built some sort of doomsday missile system on the moon, and they are prepared to launch it towards Earth. Before that can happen, an EMP shorts the entire system. Presumably, the apocalypse will happen. But we don’t know for sure, because we flash forward 2000 years, where a balding chimp shoots his way past a couple gorillas guarding a forbidden underground cave.
Meanwhile, the apes are experimenting on humans (big surprise), and have all types of human corpses, cowering bearded men, and loincloth-sporting mute women. The chimp Cornelius is trying to get a dead human so he can finish his thesis (he’s studying Anthropology). Despite his excellent paperwork skills, a group called the Anti-Vivisection Society has tied up everything in the courts.
Cut to Councilman Zaius’s chambers, where he is discussing that exact same society with Siena, another orangutan who presumably is also a member of the council. Siena goes to the society to talk to them in an unofficial capacity. She arrives to see Cornelius already talking to Prisca, the founder, who it turns out is the only member.
Meanwhile, the chimp that shot his way past the chimps in the opening scene has entered the cave they were guarding. It turns out this is the underground control center from which the moon rockets would have been launched. The moon shatters into pieces, and debris rains down upon the apes.
This first installment shows potential. POTA is all about action and intrigue, and we’ve got a good foundation for both. If Boom! can work in apes pontificating about their superiority while acting like a bunch of savages, we’ve got a real winner on our hands.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars