Review: Kong on the Planet of the Apes #3

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
January 16th, 2018

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: Kong on the Planet of the Apes #3
Comics
0
Price:
Impressive Storytelling

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On January 16, 2018
Last modified:January 16, 2018

Summary:

Reaching the halfway mark and ‘Kong’ has yet to disappoint on any score. The narrative and Art work in tandem to produce a worthy successor to the original Apes movies

Price:
Impressive Storytelling

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On January 16, 2018
Last modified:January 16, 2018

Summary:

Reaching the halfway mark and ‘Kong’ has yet to disappoint on any score. The narrative and Art work in tandem to produce a worthy successor to the original Apes movies

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Boom! Studios continue its franchise crossover with the release of Kong on the Planet of the Apes issue 2 this week. Despite having possibly the longest title of any comic released this month our contributor, Darryll Robson, still braves the dangers of Skull Island to see if this is a Mighty Gorilla of a comic.

Planet of the Apes (original movie) is 50 years old this year, however Boom! Studios are still finding new and exciting stories to tell based on those characters. Earlier this month saw the release of the first issue of Ursus, a look at the events of the original films from the one of the villains. And that character, the gorilla General Ursus, is also the cause of grief for Kong on the Planet of the Apes.

Credit: Boom Studios

Synopsis

Everything is peaceful on Skull Island. Kong appears to be content with the presence of the Ape expedition and is allowing them to study him in his natural habitat quietly.

The humans of Skull Island are surprised by the peacefulness and, for the most part, happy to allow the Apes to stay.

Story continues below

The only conflict seems to be how to view Kong’s existence, is he a walking God or freak of evolution? Zira is concerned about the lack of scientific exploration and a willingness, by Zaius especially, to accept the existence of the beast without question.

But there is one among the group who refuses to sit back in awe of the giant ape. There is one who has the authority to lead a revolt against the expedition leaders and turn his racial anger into violence against the humans and Kong himself.

There is always one, and on Skull Island that one is General Ursus.

Analysis

Ryan Ferrier understands the dynamic between Chimpanzee, Orangutan, and Gorilla correctly which makes this story a quintessential Planet of the Apes tale. It looks and feels like it could have been produced 50 years ago as a direct sequel to the movie but at the same time, it’s packed with modern sensibilities.

Unfortunately, the fear of the unknown and religious bigotry, which lay at the heart of ‘Kong,’ are still all too common in today’s society. The discussion between Cornelius and Zaius about burying the truth about Kong rings true about many ongoing extremist religious conversations happening (or not happening as the case may be) in today’s media. The unreasoned hatred and obsession to dominate all other life which is embodied by Ursus are visible everywhere, especially on social media platforms. The characters may be 50 years old, but the forces that drive them are still very relevant.

Ferrier layers this issue with complex characters who grind like ill-fitting cogs building a sense of growing pressure that the reader can almost physically feel. The interactions between those who lead and those who follow lay the path for the conflict that Ferrier is obviously building towards. Page after page of confrontations, each escalating and challenging the peaceful setting portrayed on the opening pages.

Credit: Boom Studios

The transition from Garden of Eden to Battlefield is hurried along by Carlos Magno’s artwork. He packs a lot of detail into each panel and page but never lets this detract from the narrative. Backgrounds fade to nothing when characters have something important to say. The composition becomes more kinetic during fight sequences. And the panel layouts alter from page to page to match the mood of the story. Small, uniform panels fill pages of exposition while larger panels that bleed to the edge of the page allow the action to take over the page. The reader gets a real sense of the violence because Magno puts some deaths in the foreground where the reader can’t escape from them. But he also shows the reactions of those who witness the ends allowing the reader to wallow in the horror that some of the character’s experience. This isn’t a straightforward action comic where a host of nameless characters is dispatched off panel.  The violence and its aftermath are there for all to see and experience. Both writer and artist want the reader to know what it is like when the peace is shattered.

A word of credit must also go to Alex Guimaraes who is coloring this series. He has recreated the palettes of the original movies making this comic without question easily slide in as part of the franchise. There is a lot of discussion in various fandoms about newer iterations not fitting the original intentions (see Star Wars: The Last Jedi or Star Trek: Discovery) but isn’t something that Boom has to worry about here. From the opening panel with Zira sat beneath a tree onwards, this is spot on Planet of the Apes.

Story continues below

Reaching the halfway mark and ‘Kong’ has yet to disappoint on any score. The narrative and Artwork in tandem to produce a worthy successor to the original Apes movies while standing as its piece of modern fiction. We can only hope that more of this standard of storytelling is to come from the Apes franchise in its 50th year

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he remembers his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson, but he does remember to write more about comics on his website comiccutdown.weebly.com

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #3

  • 4

Impressive Storytelling

Reaching the halfway mark and ‘Kong’ has yet to disappoint on any score. The narrative and Art work in tandem to produce a worthy successor to the original Apes movies

(Visited 105 times, 1 visits today)

Comments are closed.

Yes No