Published on April 23rd, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes #6 Review
I’m going to pin my colours to the mast early on: I’m a big Planet of the Apes fan. However I was a little concerned when they announced this mini-series set between the two recent movies. Sometimes these bridging stories become nothing more than the movement of characters around like pieces on a chessboard with no real motivation but this final issue of the run is exactly what Planet of the Apes is all about. It couldn’t be any more ‘Planet of the Apes’ if it tried. It has violence, emotion and it questions the nature of the beast.
Last month I predicated that they were getting the ‘Human’ story out of the way so they could focus on the Apes in the finale. And I was right, to a certain degree, but Malcolm and co still have some closure. After it is revealed that the Marauders are in fact working with the CDC and the whole ‘cure’ rumour is nothing more than an enticement to get people to into their evil clutches, Rita decides to take her families future into her own hands. She decides to leave so that Malcolm and Alex can move forward with their lives. She sacrifices herself for her family. Even though the reader knows she doesn’t make it (she’s not in the film after all) it’s still a bold and touching moment which will bring a tear to your eye, especially with the wheat field panels.
But this issue is really all about Koba. Koba is the surprising star of the show and there are two moments where you will well up with emotion. The first is near the beginning when his inability to kill Pope leaves him vulnerable to a gorilla attack. He becomes a prisoner and is mocked by Pope. The anger and pain in his face is surprising but you feel for him as Pope has another ape tortured.
But Pope has gone too far and Koba’s anger gets the better of him. He realises he is not like the Humans and not like Caesar and proves this in a bloody act of violence: he thrusts his spear deep into the neck of Pope.
Later Koba returns to the Ape camp and talks to Caesar. At first he is reluctant to explain what happened but then he admits his guilt and the pain that this has caused him. This scene, cast in shadows from the burning camp fire, is a wonderful piece of drama and Koba’s depression as a result of his actions is brilliantly portrayed. Although he has behaved like a beast he is not a simple animal, he has evolved beyond that to a creature that understands what he has done is wrong. In this moment he proves that he is in fact better than his Human captors from the first film because he feels shame and regret over his actions. There is also a nice twist to the ‘Apes shall not kill Apes’ law that features as a backbone to the whole Planet of the Apes franchise. It is shown here that Koba and not the great Lawgiver Caesar was the source of Apes greatest Law. Koba, who was violent and will be again in the movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, set down the law that all Ape society is based on. That is what this run of comics has been building to and it is a brilliant end to the series.
Moreci has written an entertaining and, at times, thought provoking series which captures the character of the Apes franchise. He has delved into the depths of the humans and the apes and found the same struggles driving their actions. Although the ultimate outcome of the characters were already known (a drawback of this kind of tie-in) Moreci has still managed to create empathetic characters and throw in a few twists to the narrative. Add to this the kinetic, animal enthused artwork of McDaid and you have a worthy entrant into the Planet of the Apes saga.
Over the years Boom! Studios have produced some very entertaining Apes comics and hopefully they can convince Moreci, McDaid and Co to come back to this world and continue this excellent work in the future.
Title: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Dan McDaid
Colours: Jason Wordie