Friday, November 28, 2014

Review - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1

"The future brings uncertainty and fear."

There's no question that apes are intelligent. There is a question as to whether or not they really want to take over the world and subvert humanity to their will. Until that question gets answered for real, we'll have to settle for speculation as to how the event and aftermath would go down. BOOM! Studios is keen to offer their suggestion in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1, written by Michael Moreci, illustrated by Dan McDaid, colored by Jason Wordie and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.

Bridging the 10-year gap between the Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes films, readers will bear witness to the fall of humanity and the rise of Caesar’s civilization. While the apes of the world have yet to advance as a species, Caesar must find a way to unify them to one cause. On the other side of the country, Malcolm must venture into the decaying Americas with his family to find a cure for the plague slowly killing his wife, Rita. World powers will shift as civilizations collapse and rise.

Entries in the Planet of the Apes mythos have always been about civilizations coming to grips with threats to their well-being. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 is no exception, with both Malcolm and Caesar respectively dealing with their own issues. Malcolm seeks to find something that will keep him and his family safe, while Caesar is looking to maintain order and expand. There's an air of despair hanging over both of their heads and Moreci does a great job of hammering home the idea that despite all their best efforts, the world as they know it will conspire against them. The characters also play their parts brilliantly as mirrors of one another, each seeking salvation for their group in their own way.

McDaid does a solid job keeping with the expected look of a Planet of the Apes comic book. Malcolm and humans are illustrated in way that showcases them as desperate but still civil to an extent, while Caesar and the apes offer a look that's civil but still feral to an extent. There is a lack of detail in all facets of the art, as McDaid relies on cross-hatching to fill in spots that could otherwise benefit from a bit more detail. Objects really stand out amidst the backdrops though, with Malcolm for instance exuding an aura at points to emphasize the action. The art conveys the direness faced by both Malcolm and Caesar despite the lack of intricate detail.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 is a great component of the Planet of the Apes mythos. It piggybacks on the most recent films, which means that if you haven't seen them you might not be fully aware of everything that's taking place in this comic. Still, Moreci manages to make the book feel accessible, relying on the same larger themes that have the movies so successful. McDaid's art is somewhat detached, but effective, in presenting the shattered world shared by the humans and apes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 is a good first issue that doesn't sugarcoat the fact that things aren't exactly the best in the world shared by Malcolm and Caesar.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 is in stores now with interiors below.


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