Planet of the Apes #2

With the first issue designated a sellout before it even hit the shelves, it's safe to say this second issue is highly anticipated. You can check out the start of this latest issue in the exclusive preview we had posted late last week.

The first time I ever saw a white gorilla was in the pages of "Ranger Rick," a magazine about animals geared towards younger readers. The article showed Snowflake, a now famous (and unfortunately departed) white gorilla from the Barcelona Zoo. The images in that article - and the images I've since found through other research and personal interest in his story - have added to a stunning visual assemblage in my mind's eye. In this issue, Daryl Gregory and Carlos Magno introduce Nix, a white gorilla, and a former soldier who, for reasons yet unrevealed, has spent time imprisoned. Freed from his bonds and given the task of tracking down the Lawgiver's assassin, Nix quickly establishes himself as the alpha male in both mind and body. Although we've just met him in this issue, he makes a distinct, lasting impression, just as Snowflake did with me lo those many years ago.

This book continues to impress me with its raw, robust connection to the now classic "Apes" films despite the fact that it has yet to use any previously recognizable characters. Sure, apes bearing firearms and riding horses may seem virtually interchangeable, in theory, but Gregory gives these characters life beyond Magno's drawings. The two creators did not take long to gel on this title, and the "Planet of the Apes" brand is certainly better for it.

Nolan Woodard's colors play up the light of many outdoor scenes, washing out - or threatening to wash out - many of the backgrounds with a hazy sunshine. The overall effect is a striking visual that transcends printed page, giving those scenes a "captured still" feel, as though the scene was clipped directly from a heretofore unseen "Planet of the Apes" film. The visuals on this book - the line art and the color art - are stunning and worthy of the cover price alone. Lucky for us all, however, the story rises to the level of the art.

With two great issues already published, I'm genuinely excited to see where this series takes the franchise, the characters, and, most importantly, the readers. If these first two issues are any indication, this is going to be one memorable series.

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