Written by: David F. Walker
Art by: Dave Wachter
Colors by: Bryan Valenza
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover art by: Joshua Cassara, Dean White
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: April 5, 2023
Planet of the Apes #1 recounts the horrific decline of humanity in the early years after a global virus outbreak kills millions while giving rise to a new form of intellectually evolved ape.
Is It Good?
Planet of the Apes #1 is the first Apes comic wearing Marvel’s new “20th Century” imprint, and what better way to give that imprint a head of steam than by creating new comics based on one of 20th Century’s longest-running and most successful film franchises? However, a good brand can’t overcome a terrible concept.
David F. Walker’s script centers around the human conflicts breaking out around the globe as governments, militias, and scientists fight each other for control of apes around the world and the narrative that’s reported at every level. In short, this isn’t an Apes story. It’s a Pandemic story.
Shame on you! Shame on you, David F. Walker! How could a writer be given one of the clearest adaptation jobs in cinematic history and choose the most creatively anemic approach to the material?
Do you know why people like the Planet of the Apes? Because it’s weird and cool to see battles with talking, intelligent apes. That’s the hook – talking, intelligent apes.
Now, when Marvel has the opportunity to expand the Matt Reeves-created Apes universe into stories between the films, what does the writer focus on? – the Pandemic. Newscasters bickering over whether or not to call the virus the Simian Flu, governments scrambling to support and protect apes, displaced from their nature preserves, from a zealous militia determined to kill all apes, medical news reports telling viewers to trust the science when it comes to virus transmission and vaccines, and pseudo-realistic allegories about displaced Apes populations enduring harsh conditions due to forced relocations.
David F. Walker was handed a golden egg of a property. He crafted a story based on the most uninteresting aspect of the Apes’ mythology, injected with every current-day, annoying talking point you can imagine regarding the real-world COVID pandemic. No talking Apes. No cool Apes battles. The real world is transplanted into a comic without about as much entertainment value as a budget meeting.
Shame on you, David F. Walker!
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Planet of the Apes #1 leaps into adopting one of the 20th Century’s longest-running film franchises with a story that looks at the most uninteresting aspect of the mythology possible. The art is decent enough, but the story crosses the line from boring to annoying to outright infuriating. What was Marvel thinking?!?
One thought on “Planet of the Apes #1 Review”
I just read it and it’s a shame it’s so one-dimensional. I felt like I was reading yet another “deadly virus story” and not a Planet of the Apes story. Maybe it has been limited by the 20th Century Studios link. I would much rather see a comic book series based on the original Planet of the Apes movies.