Saturday, February 4, 2012

Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #4

Written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Art by Gabriel Hardman

Boom's two Planet of the Apes comics have continued to be a pleasant surprise.  The main title is excellent, month-in and month-out.  This mini-series, Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes has also exceeded all expectations.

It is set long after the main title, and about twenty years before the events of the first (presumably original) movie in the franchise.  The focus of this book has been the main rules passed down by the Lawgiver - that 'ape shall not kill ape', and that all apes should 'beware the beast man'.  The story centres around Aleron, a retired gorilla general and now lawyer.  After he defended a chimpanzee who trained a human to speak with sign language, Aleron was put on trial for a long ago murder - the first ape murder recorded - and sent to prison. 

All of this was a pretext for a corrupt member of the council to try to seize power.  This final issue has Dr. Zaius learn a few things about humans and their history at the edge of the Forbidden Zone, and has all the other characters confront one another one last time, as a number of truths are revealed.

Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman have done an excellent job of crafting this story.  The plot is very tight and involved, and Hardman's art is, as always, amazing.  There is going to be a follow-up series, Exile on the Planet of the Apes starting next month by the same writers, although sadly without Hardman's art (he starts on Secret Avengers next week).  This is a series anyone who's ever enjoyed the films should read.

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