Star Trek/Planet of the Apes #1 (Comics Review)

One of the many ways that IDW Publishing’s Star Trek franchise has thrived in recent years is with crossovers with other popular franchises, whether in comics or otherwise. I got back into comics in 2012 with Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes, which was a fun story in itself. Crossovers like that can often be quite fun indeed, bringing two very different properties together. There’s also the fact that crossover events have become a done thing these days, with every publisher getting on the bandwagon, especially the Big 2. Of course, in the midst of all that, IDW wouldn’t want to be left behind, especially coming after crossovers like G.I. Joe vs Transformers.

On the final day of last year, which happened to be a Wednesday and thus a New Comic Books Day, IDW and Boom Studios have released a new crossover, Star Trek/Planet of the Apes. The possibilities here are endless really, and when the crossover was announced, I was quite excited since I love both franchises, though I haven’t checked out Boom Studios’ various Apes comics, which do appear to be excellent. But we have this new crossover now, and the writers do a good job of setting up the main conflict and bringing the two wildly different settings together in a great way, which is where the artists come in and do their job.

Star Trek - Planet of the Apes 001

We start off the crossover by visiting the alternate Earth where Apes are ascendant. General Marius is presented with some new weapons by a being who stays in the shadows, setting the stage for what can only be a powerful alliance in time, depending of course on what the Apes can provide for the… other side. From there, we quickly move on to a Klingon world where Sulu and Uhura are undercover, trying to work out what the hell the Klingons are up to, something to do with suspected extreme violations of the Treaty of Organia. The Klingons are a classic villain in the setting, and it is nice to seem them as the aggressors here as well.

Scott Tipton and David Tipton are no strangers to the franchise, having written several stories before, and this new mini-series promises to be a lot of fun from what I can tell of this issue. It has some good characterization of the leading cast, and it is nice to see that Uhura and Sulu are taking the lead here on the Starfleet end of the matters, though the rest of the main Enterprise cast is not ignored either, and the Klingons and the Apes also get a few good licks in.

The writers take the characters back to an earlier era, an era when Kirk and the rest of the crew still wore their typical coloured uniforms instead of the red uniforms they eventually wore in the later movies. That instantly communicates a lot about the narrative feel of the story, about which direction the writers are aiming for. The mini-series is subtitled The Primate Directive, a play on the Federation’s policy of the Prime Directive, and whatever is going to happen next is certainly going to play a lot on first contact stories. And I like that. Scott and David are bringing together two really interesting franchises here and I think that they have gotten off on the right foot here.

The only thing I kind of feel bummed about is that the Apes only appear in the first few pages and the final panel. I would have loved to see more of them, especially Marius, so hopefully that is something that comes about in the coming issues, especially once Kirk’s crew is entrenched on the “alien world”.

The art here is by Rachael Stott, with colours by Charlie Kirchoff and Tom B. Long. And the art is pretty fantastic by any measure. There’s a certain cleanness to the artwork, with there being a lot of colour positivity to it. It lends well to the narrative feel since the story is set in the early years of The Original Series and is thus part of that setting when things were overall very positive and uplifting and grandiose. And the Klingons have their old designs too, without the whole head-ridge thing going on, so that’s a nice nostalgia trip as well.

I loved this and want more!

Rating: 9/10

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Posted on January 6, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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