Published on March 26th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes #5 Review
“So it is war.”
Humans and Apes come into conflict in the latest issue of Michael Moreci’s prequel comic to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It is an action packed chapter of the story with a number of surprising character developments.
The Human Arc
Malcolm and Rita have entered the hold of the Slavers ship looking for their son but there are only adults gaged and bound beneath decks. A chance encounter with one of the captors gives Rita and Malcolm the information they need and also a little insight into Rita’s character. It would appear that the onset of simian flu and the threats against her son have turned her into a take no prisoners type of woman. She takes over command of the prison break and leads her husband above deck to where the children are kept. Once there she risks her life to distract the guards and still finds time to inject some optimism into Malcolm who is starting to lose hope in the midst of their dire situation.
There is some real tension in the artwork by Dan McDaid as he shrouds the rescue attempt in shadows and white wisps of breath. He employs a number of different techniques, including close ups, cut aways and missing panels, to produce a very cinematic feel to this aspect of the story.
The character development on show is very good, illustrating the skills of the writer: it’s not easy to fill out someone’s personality while they are creeping around in the shadows. The character of Rita flourishes in these few pages making her impending death even more difficult to accept.
The Ape Arc
Meanwhile over in Ape corner a parallel story unfolds as Koba sneaks into Popes lair to discover a prison wing crammed with human prisoners. Koba’s indifference to the human’s plight seems cruel on the surface but this impression of his character is challenged when he finally comes face to face with Pope. The villainous Ape has a pet ape on a leash which angers Koba who points out that Pope mistreats his fellow Apes. Pope’s reply has an element of Animal Farm about it and further stirs the anger with in Koba.
Where as the narrative follows the human arc in tone, the art sets a different scene moving the action outside into the open. The claustrophobic uneasy setting of the ship is replaced with open, more natural landscapes and this just enforces the similarities between the story arcs.
Moreci develops the character of Koba in much the same way that he develops Rita, showing the reader how each of them react to the situation that they find themselves in.
This issue reaches some dramatic conclusions which is surprising as there is still one issue to go. The human arc of the story feels like an ending and I get the impression that the next issue will feature the Ape’s more prominently. This approach may seem strange but actual works pleasingly well because it doesn’t leave too many plot threads hanging for the dramatic conclusion. So often a finale is disappointing because everything is wrapped up to quickly and cleanly in a few pages but, for the most part, Morcei has concluded half of his story leaving less to finalise next month.
So far this series has been an enjoyable addition to the Planet of the Apes franchise and I’m hoping that not everything is tied up next month because there is enough narrative and character here to fill many more issues.
Title: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Dan McDaid
Colours: Jason Wordie