Review: STAR TREK/PLANET OF THE APES #1

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STAR TREK/PLANET OF THE APES #1
Written by Scott Tipton and David Tipton
Art by Rachael Stott and Charlie Kirchoff
Published by IDW Publishing
Release Date: December 31, 2014

This mostly Star Trek-sided story runs at the more brisk pace of the movie franchise, as opposed to the traditional television show. Political alliances are used to draw the crew into the alternate reality of the Planet of the Apes dimension — leaving the door open for things to come. Despite the various variant covers, there is not any direct meeting or confrontation between two titled groups within the introduction.  This gives room for just enough of a cliffhanger as you would receive just before a commercial break in the show.

While there have been a large number of comics on both sides of these franchises, I do not know if it is possible to discuss the stories without referring to their motion picture and television counterparts. Dialogue would seem very bland, upfront, or perhaps even trifling without the distinct actor characterizations floating around in your imagination.

The small glimpses into the larger setting require you to understand what has happened on this alternate Earth and feel the musty of what the Federation’s supposed ally is possibly scheming. The “what if” enjoyment factor is keenly written with the fan in mind.  That being said, just like the television show, the Tiptons take the time to provide everyone’s name and giving a small taste of their role on board. It provides an opportunity for those who haven’t dipped their toes into the Federation waters for while, or only those familiar with the new movies, to give it a try.

Stott works hard to capture the iconic visuals from the both of these original franchises. There are clear distinctions between locations and characters. Those who are familiar with both will have no problem recognizing where they are between scenes. There is a fair balancing act on each page between panels with detailed ship or planet backgrounds, and those providing a profile of just the characters.

This is enhanced by the bright color choices of Charlie Kirchoff. This helps to provide a tone of fun and then danger with Sulu and Uhura’s action sequences. It also allows the red shirts to be easily identified despite more camouflage styled wear on the alternate Earth. Wonder who will die first next issue?

Both franchises being mashed together have roots in exploring deeper themes of humanity and politics. However, with the action-adventure set-up and purposeful steps to get the crew into another dimension leaves little room in this issue. The appearance of automatic weapons from the very first pages could be one tell. There might be a commentary about police states or increased response in warfare; it’s just too early to say.

It is my own hope that this series does take the time, in future issues, to comment on some larger humanitarian theme , since that was the very nature of both franchises. So far, it’s a fun revisit with a classic Star Trek feel. For those looking for more General Marius and less Captain Kirk, you might be better off skipping ahead to the next installment.

The Verdict: 7.5/10

 

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