Published on January 21st, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
The Primate Directive #2 – Review
After following the Klingon’s through the transdimensional portal, the away team led by Captain Kirk quickly discover that they have landed on the Planet of the Apes.
It doesn’t take them long to get into trouble and their discreet surveillance turns into a fire fight alerting Commander Kor and the gorilla general to their presence. That’s pretty much all you’ll see from villains of the piece this issue as Kirk and clan beam back aboard the Enterprise to reassess the situation, which involves a little bewilderment from Spock who had discounted such possibilities as ‘talking Apes’ from his original calculations.
On their second reconnaissance to the planet’s surface, the away team are beamed automatically by the Enterprise to somewhere more recognisable for the crew: no prises for guessing this means the foot of the Statue of Liberty. From here they follow some tracks in the sand and finally meet with Taylor who hasn’t changed a bit since the 1970’s. Everything about him is Charlton Heston, from his overbearing mannerisms to bitter, aggressive speech.
This encounter leads them in a search for Zira and Cornelius, which in turns leads to an unnecessary Planet of the Apes history lesson. However, this sit down share of information does provide the distraction that one of the characters needs to strike out on his own, fueled by his racial hatred and bigotry.
This second issue in the series plays out like a game of Happy Families for each of the franchises, using a host of recognisable figures from each universe. “Do you have Commander Kor of the Klingon?” “No, do you have Zira of the Chimpanzee?” This is not necessarily a bad thing as it’s fun to include characters that the fans can relate too and is probably one of the main reasons for doing a crossover like this. It also helps to set the time frame for the story which is firmly between the original Planet of the Apes movie and it’s earth shattering sequel.
The Tipton’s again display their ability to write existing characters that are true to their original portrayals. Taylor was a bit of a dick back in the 1968 and he’s still a bit of dick here. Cornelius and Zira, easily the best two characters from the Planet of the Ape franchise, are not only well written but perfectly illustrated by Rachael Stott: Even from a distance, stood upon the wooden walkway, it is obvious that it’s the two chimpanzees, almost as if Roddy McDowell and Kim Hunter had posed for the drawings themselves.
Again this month the story is very Star Trek heavy and when the Apes are included they spend a lot of time explaining their history almost as if the writers think that people might not know the franchise as well as Star Trek. But in contrast they take no time to explain Commander Kor; the reader is expected to know who he is. This, to me, feels a little one sided and I think that the story may have progressed faster if they’d left a lot of this history out. However, having said that, this issue is an enjoyable read and improved on last month’s first issue. I’m hoping that all of the explanations are now out of the way and the Tipton’s can get down to telling the nitty gritty of the gun running, inter-dimensional, Klingon scheme.
Oh, and it’s going to be very interesting to see how well Kirk and Taylor interact.
And by ‘interact’ I mean ‘fight like animals’.
Title: Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive
Publishers: IDW Publishing/Boom! Studios
Writers: Scott and David Tipton
Artist: Rachael Stott
Colours: Charlie Kirchoff