REVIEW: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes # 1

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes No. 1 of 6
Story: Michael Moreci
Art: Dan McDaid
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Colors: Jason Wordie
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: November 26, 2014

Ok, before you get the idea that this book is just the movie with letters, allow me to assuage your fears. While it does follow some of the storyline of the 2014 film, DPOTA delves far deeper into individual characters than the movie did or was able to given that medium. The result is a thought provoking work with a sinister edge. DPOTA no 1

As this book takes place within the 10 year span between the two most recent films in the franchise reboot, series writer Michael Moreci gets to take some liberties with the concept, while staying true the story overall. Many of the characters that were fan favorites in the movie, Koba and of course Caesar, make appearances in the debut issue, but are not as familiar in their incarnations this time around. Caesar is far more contemplative, and even Koba, the perpetually pissed, seems a bit toned down.

The pace of this issue is necessarily slow, and works well as a setup for later issues in the mini-series. We’re getting a behind-the-scenes view of life for both sides here; the apes adapting to their new found freedom and the world of man as it begins to crumble. Also, unlike the film, we get a brief glimpse of the disease that helped to weaken the human world so, but was only hinted at in retrospect in the movie.

Dan McDaid’s artwork is rugged, and fitting for the book. The panels ruminate, and pulse, building the crescendo. Wordie’s colors are just as stark as McDaid’s pencil work; earthy tones, washed out and anticipatory that point toward inevitable violence. One more thing about the panels that I need to say; thanks for those. A lot of books are pushing for more non-traditional layouts, sometimes to their detriment. Intersect #1 immediately comes to mind. It was refreshing to read a good, old-fashioned comic, lain out in a sensible way.

If you’re a fan of the franchise, pick this up.

Review by: A.C.

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