Published on March 18th, 2015 | by JCDoyle


The Primate Directive #4 Review

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Kirk and Co go in search of an Ape army while Dr Zira tries to convince Dr Zaius of the impending doom.

This is more like it. Four issues in and it finally feels like a Star Trek/Apes crossover and not an Apes history lesson told within an episode of Star Trek.

Having settled their differences, Taylor and Kirk agree to stop the Klingon incursion on the planet below and they transport down to see what they are up against. However, when they reach the Ape army base they find it deserted of gorillas and Klingons. As they explain to Cornelius and Zira what they believe is happening the young chimpanzee reminds them all of the Lawgivers Sacred Scrolls and the laws against Ape killing Ape.

This sentiment is something that is also expressed by Dr Zaius when Zira turns up, out of the blue, to warn him of the gorilla army that is marching on Ape City (she fails to mention the Klingon’s but then she needs the orang-utan to believe her story). The Gorilla Ursus doesn’t believe until he see the army with his own eyes and then he elects to ride out and meet them head on before the trouble reaches the city.

Scene from The Primate Directive

Meanwhile the crew of the Enterprise are ambushed by a squad of Gorilla soldiers. A fight ensues, a Red Shirt is wounded and a discovery made. What exactly does Kor want with a long range sniper rifle?

As I stated earlier, this month has more of a crossover feel. The Ape characters are starting to speak and act a lot more like their movie counter parts especially Zaius who has something more to do than tell stories. Ursus also plays a clever little role, acting as spokesperson for the Gorilla’s and then stepping into an authoritative role to squash the rebellion. This is in contrast to the character seen in Beneath the Planet of the Apes who is very war hungry but does start to explain how Ursus got to that position. At this point Usrus is portrayed more like General Urko from the TV series which is also referenced in the clothes that Kirk and Spock wear.

Comparing outfits from Planet of the Apes TV series and The Primate Directive

Matching threads

The pace of the narrative picks up in this issue and the art work becomes more alive because of it. There is a definite sense of action and drama in the fight scenes and the backdrop to Cornelius’ speech showing the potential Ape civil war is harrowing especially, steeped as it is, in the heavy orange and blood red washes. Even the conversational panels seem more animated in this issue as if the story has woken up and the characters have been given a breath of life.

Don’t get me wrong, this has been an enjoyable, if somewhat Star Trek biased, comic so far but this issue really steps up to the plate as a hefty swinger, ready to knock it out of the park in the final issue.


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



Lover of comics and Art and Sci-Fi in multiple media. Currently teaching my kids the ways of the Geek (while protecting my first editions)

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