The damn, dirty crossover you demanded! Following the events of the first Planet of the Apes film (1968), Dr. Zaius and General Ursus lead a small group of soldiers to the Forbidden Zone to destroy any remaining evidence of Taylor’s time among them. To their surprise, they discover…A KONG! Now they must venture to Skull Island with Cornelius and Zira to discover the truth, but they may not survive the deadliest journey of their lives!
Kong on the Planet of the Apes takes place immediately following the blowoff of 1968’s Planet of the Apes movie. Maybe not immediately after, but close enough to the events of that film that Cornelius and Zira are still on house arrest for their role in helping the human astronaut Taylor challenge apekind’s whole belief system.
Doctor Zaius and General Ursus lead a team to the Forbidden Zone to destroy the “greatest symbol of man’s cruelty and arrogance,” the Statue of Liberty. By erasing mankind’s last remaining mark on their planet, they apparently hope to avoid addressing the issues Taylor’s mere presence stirred up. The fact that humans have the capability to think, feel, and even speak raises all kinds of morality questions around the exploitation of mankind. Better just to destroy and bury the statue and forget that whole business.
In trying to reseal the lid of Pandora’s box, the party makes a discovery that could blow their entire belief system wide open. Again. The carcass of a Kong is found washed up on the shore behind Lady Liberty.
There’s an obvious commitment to the source material that explores many themes from the film, through a new and fresh dilemma. Talking man yesterday. Giant ape god freak on the beach today. The characters dig their heels in and apply their philosophical, religious, and sociological biases that were established the first go ‘round.
Ryan Ferrier and Carlos Magno work together really well to bring enough nostalgia from the classic film to this new story without overdoing it. Ferrier has a great feel for the characters’ voices, and does an excellent job applying familiar social and religious issues to a brand new conflict.
I was honestly shocked by how well the art works. Magno’s talking apes are spot on. They look exactly the way they did in the film, without the distracting limitations of 1968 prosthetics. The monsters and the Kong look straight out of previous Boom! Studios series. It’s ridiculous that these two franchises can even occupy the same pages, let alone retain their original identities and play this well together.
Chapter one’s a little heavy on exposition, but there’s a lot of ground to cover in a short period. This issue sets up the story nicely, establishing the fact vs. faith conflict, reconciling the two franchises, and introducing the monster. The cliffhanger promises chapter two will be much heavier on action.
Kong on the Planet of the Apes #1, published by Boom! Studios, released 08 November 2017, based on Joe DeVito’s Skull Island and Merian C. Cooper’s King Kong, written by Ryan Ferrier, art by Carlos Magno, color by Alex Guimarães, letters by Ed Dukeshire, covers by Mike Huddleston, Carlos Magno, Hans Woody, and Jae Lee, $3.99.