"Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Illustrated by Gabriel Hardman
2011, 24 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on 12/7/2011
The premiere issue of Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes got things moving. The previous issue saw Aleron sent to prison for the murder of Cato. His pet human, the only witness to the scientist's death, is on the loose and Dr. Zaius has some questions. This second issue picks up right where the last one left off and just keeps running with it. I'm amazed at how much authors Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman are able to cram into each issue. We're given another glimpse into the Aleron's mysterious past in the Forbidden Zone after a battle with the humans. The truth is still hidden, but Aleron is on trial for murder so he busts out and flees from his captors. There are doubts amongst the apes about Aleron's guilt and there's definitely a conspiracy about.
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes is a fast-moving political thriller. It throws so much at you so quickly, but it never gets confusing. This is a very character driven comic as well. While Aleron appears to be in the center of the story, Dr. Zaius and the other members of the council are all working different angles. Even Cato's pet human, who can only communicate in sign language, pushes this story along. This is remarkable as aside from Dr. Zaius, none of these characters appear in the original POTA movies. These are all new apes and I'm so wrapped up in their story.
Click images to enlarge.
Hardman matches the story in art, delivering a pulpy style that's still action-packed. The scope of his panels also gives the book an epic, movie feel to it. There's a scene towards the end of the issue that shows some of the characters approaching an isolated building offshore. Two and a half pages go by without a word being said, but you don't need any captions to understand the depth of what's going on. In fact, more is said without the text.
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes is a damn fine comic book about talking monkeys. It's a fast-paced thrill ride that any fan of the POTA franchise should be reading. It's all set 20 years before the first film and gives you the background to why the ape society is the way it is when Taylor crash lands.