Famed novelist Daryl Gregory continues his exploration of the morals and mores of both simian and human societies in the new comic book adaptation of The Planet of the Apes, and it really captures the imagination and feel of those cherished films.
In #2, the venerable Lawgiver, an ape but friend to human and ape alike, is dead, assassinated apparently by a masked human with a weapon the apes have never seen nor heard of before: a machine gun!
Now Council Voice Alaya, the Lawgiver’s granddaughter, has given the humans of Skintown a week to discover the killer. Meanwhile, she has pardoned the gorilla Nix, a believer in the dream of the Lawgiver and cunning of the ways of humans, to prepare a war party to invade Skintown should the quest of Sullivan, pregnant leader of the humans of that ghetto, fail.
Nix warns the loyal apes he assembles to not underestimate the humans just “because they are weaker, because their bones snap like twigs.” He warns them that Man is not inferior to Ape, just different. “And not that damn different.”
Meanwhile in Skintown, Bako and his daughter Chaika of the human forces visit the last ape in that human ghetto, an illegal weapons-maker who not-so-voluntarily reveals that the metal tungsten (of which the bullets which killed the Lawgiver are made) exists in only one place there: the church!
With that information, Sullivan and her friends visit the churchof Brother Kale, whose parishioners worship – a bomb! He talks of his people’s discontent for living under the domination of the apes, and hints at a coming revolution -- the same idea that had occurred to Nix.
As Sullivan continues an interrogation into the metals of the assassin, word comes that the City Guard has sealed off all three bridges into Skintown. At CaesarBridge, apes and humans clash. There is first-blood. Could this be the beginning of a predicted Long War?
The art of Carlos Magno and subdued colors of Nolan Woodard carry both the great action and tremendous subtleties of Gregory’s script well. The facial expressions of both apes and humans are spot-on, and the atmosphere overall just has that feel of the films, if you are a fan.
I am enjoying this book tremendously and I think you will too.