Review - Exile on the Planet of the Apes #1

To this point, the apes have risen, returned and been betrayed. Having been through all that won't stop them from being exiled though, as depicted in BOOM! Studios' upcoming Exile on the Planet of the Apes #1. The apes just can't seem to catch a break.

Exile on the Planet of the Apes #1 is written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman and illustrated by Marc Laming. The colors are by Jordie Bellaire and letters by Ed Dukeshire, with covers by Hardman and Bellaire.

The next incarnation of the Apes takes place two years after Betrayal on the Planet of the Apes, also by Bechko. It opens with a human raid on a gorilla encampment, the latest in a series of such brazen attacks. It's these attacks that have left the apes blaming one another for their causes and the best methods for dealing with them.

Prisca returns as well, still faced with some derision for teaching the human Tern to talk with his hands in the aforementioned Betrayal. Certain apes mentioned seeing the raiders using such signals to coordinate their attacks, which of course puts a questioning light on her.

What's more is that an illicit goods trade is forming in the aftermath of the raids. The really interesting piece about the market is the participants, with buyers and sellers not quite who you'd think they would be.

The Planet of the Apes series has always featured a political bent and in this miniseries Bechko and Hardman work that in as well. It's a tale where the apes feel they're owed superiority over the humans on the planet. The writers do a great job in depicting them with doubts and fears relevant to that superiority.

That's not to say they doubt their place. What they doubt is how to best deal with the raiders. Some suggest diplomacy while other suggest counter-violence. In a situation like this, it's difficult to determine what the right course of action will be and it will be interesting to see how alliances impact the decisions.

Laming's art is very gritty. It really captures the emotion of both the apes and the humans. The apes are frustrated and the humans are scared, both races struggling to figure out best to deal with the other. It's the colors by Bellaire that does wonders as well. The use of dark tones casts a pall over the comic, lending to the direness of the environment.

The first of the four-issue miniseries is a great start in familiar territory. A lot of themes consistent in all Planet of the Apes tales is prevalent here, but that's not a bad thing. It's a weathered conflict that has relevance even today.

Exile on the Planet of the Apes #1 is in stores now, with interiors below.