Published on February 4th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes #3 – Review
In this issue the Apes fight like Apes.
Two scouts enter the remains of the city Zoo and come face to face with a group of ‘wild’ apes. These have never left the sanctuary of the Zoo and never been a part of Caesar’s revolution. They also don’t take too kindly to other apes on their land.
After the initial confrontation and the headstrong Pope is forced to back down, he vows to return and make these apes his. He wants to build an army against Caesar’s wishes.
Pope understands pack psychology and knows that to subdue the many you only need to defeat one. Through a display of strength and violent trickery, Pope breaks the ape he calls Alpha and rounds up the other Zoo inhabitants. “They are mine now” he growls at the reader.
Meanwhile, Malcolm wakes in unfamiliar surroundings. He has been patched up but his family has been taken away from him. His first reaction is to lash out at the person nearest to him and through coercion gets taken before Shavers who appears to be in charge of the camp. Alex turns out to be fine, simply kept away from his injured father for their mutual protection but Rita has been quarantined. Shavers askes Malcolm to give up his search for a cure and accept Rita’s fate, instead he requests that Malcolm stay with the camp and become their chief engineer. Malcolm refuses to give up on his family but before they can leave another group of humans turn up at the camp, machine guns firing, and grab a number of the inhabitants; including Alex.
The Human and the Ape stories, although separate, are mirrors of each other. Each is about dividing to conquer; each is about manipulating a group to join the gang and, as Pope rightly points out in this issue, the way to do this is to target the leader of the opposing pack. What Michael Moreci does in this issue is portray two very different approaches to reach the same conclusion. With the Apes, he gives us the brut force approach: violence as a show of strength and superiority. This is contrasted by the human approach which is more underhand and devious. The Human’s employ emotional blackmail and guilt complexes to coerce others. In these pages Moreci is on the one hand telling a bridging story between two movies but on the other questioning the ethics of our society. Mankind is shown in a very bad light but the bureaucracy on show in this end of the world scenario isn’t too far from what we already have in ‘the real world’.
The only drawback with this comic at the moment is that it has become a bit too much like The Walking Dead. A group of survivors meet up with another group of survivors and all should be sweetness and light but shock horror it all goes wrong and not because of the inherent danger from the Apes but from other humans. It’s a troupe that The Walking Dead has been living off for years and is growing a little tiresome so to see it repeated here is a touch disappointing. I’m loving the social commentary Moreci has built into his story because this is something that Planet of the Apes has always been about but I would like to see a more thoughtful story carrying the critique.
I suppose that there are limitations to the narrative that can be told because the characters relate directly to the Dawn movie. This means that Malcolm cannot interact with the Apes so other ‘villains’ need to be created to tell his story. Part of me wishes that they had used completely new characters but the same setting, this would have created more of an open field in which to play.
Any problems with the narrative however do not affect the brilliant art work by McDaid, Gorham and the colourist Wordie. The fight sequences reek of animal brutality and the emotions expressed thorough facial and body language, by Human and Ape alike, are outstanding.
I am a major fan of The Planet of the Apes and, with only a minor niggle or two, I am enjoying this addition to the franchise.
Title: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Dan McDaid/Adam Gorham
Colours: Jason Wordie