Boom! Studios DC Comics 2017
Story by Robbie Thompson
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Barnaby Bagenda
Coloured by Alex Guimaraes
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
Ape City is in a panic. Word has spread of the capture of a talking human (Hal) and his bizarre alien companion (Sinestro). What’s worse, a group of strange, scarred humans—Mutants—are spotted in The Forbidden Zone, being led by a strange-acting Cornelius, who’s wearing a ring—a ring Sinestro has long been searching for.
I have to say the way this issue opens up is genius and the homage to the original made me absolutely thrilled beyond belief. Then to see what Taylor goes through and how Cornelius responds to it well I have to say things couldn’t be any more exciting. I mean and here I thought there wouldn’t be much to top the Star Trek crossover but lo and behold this has quickly turned into this experience that just hits you.
It would honestly be more than enough with just Hal and Sinestro in this dimension along with what Cornelius is going through with his ring I don’t think we’d really need much more. Then Justin takes us to Oa with Guy leading the charge and okay yeah things get a little more crazy. I am questioning the idea of one ring to rule them all idea here that seemingly can’t be destroyed just placed where no one is supposed to be able to get it. Yes this is a superhero genre mashup with the science fiction setting of Planet of the Apes so why not use a little fantasy of the Lord of the Rings?
Justin’s ability to tell a story that is intriguing and different and yet shaded in the familiar here is truly something that sets it apart. The characterisation here is spectacular and regardless of who we see it’s just spot on and dynamic that there’s this inescapable attraction to what’s happening. Plus there’s this Guardian whom I am hoping is going with them since he’s dressed to the nines like some sort of crazed explorer.
The interiors are fantastic! I mean it’s hard to keep the look and feel of these two separate franchises the way they should be and yet make them work in synch so totally but Barnaby and Alex do just that. The way that page layouts are utilised through the angles, perspective and use of backgrounds really brings us into this world beautifully. Also I adore the way we see the Apes and how Cornelius uniform keeps running through the spectrum. The little things that stand out really do take this over the top and thrill.
There are more than a few unexpected moments in this and they really do make this what it is. From the story structure to the execution through plot advancement and characterisation that Justin brings to the table here is exceptionally well done. This keeps the thrill of the original alive and well and brings in those superhero elements so naturally only enhancing what was already there.