Co-published by IDW and BOOM!, “Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive” #1 blends the universes of two of pop culture’s most beloved licenses. Sticking with the 1960s and ’70s versions of the franchises, respectively, this series opens up by sending members of the Enterprise deep undercover.
Bearing more than a passing resemblance to William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols and George Takei, the crew of the Enterprise quickly find themselves heavily embroiled in a firefight with the Klingons. Adhering to the look of the 1960s series, the Klingons are less bulbous and more savage as they were on the show. Rachael Stott has such a magnificent grasp on the ships, settings and characters from “Star Trek” that little else matters, especially since the stars of “Planet of the Apes” are limited to just a few panels in this opening issue. Stott keeps the storytelling straightforward and crisp throughout the comic, giving readers a nice, guided tour from cover to cover.
Charlie Kirchoff follows Stott’s lead, bringing the palette for “Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive” #1 in line with the artwork, helping to sell this as both tribute and period piece. Colorist and artist meld nicely, giving the comic a polished appearance certain to lock in readers’ attention. As with the variation in character, the call for variance in word balloons is curtailed by the story. Tom B. Long keeps everything linear, but manages to fit it all on-panel.
The story in “Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive” #1 carries a cadence very similar to so many episodes of Gene Roddenberry’s most famous creation and quickly welcomes the reader in. Writers Scott and David Tipton, given the freedom of time and evolution of the “Star Trek” brand, use Sulu and Uhura as the readers’ introduction to the adventure. As fan favorites, Sulu and Uhura deliver and have fun doing it, thanks to the energy present in the Tiptons’ script. In addition to giving those two characters a scene in the spotlight, the Tiptons also nail the voices and banter between Kirk, Spock and Bones.
An interesting notion, “Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive” #1 promises readers a fun time with some entertaining adventures. The first issue does a decent job of setting things in motion, but it also establishes the situation that the crew of the Enterprise stumble into without prescribing a finish. While it may be a given that certain conclusions simply cannot come to pass, Tipton, Tipton, Stott, Kirchoff and Long certainly give readers the impression that almost anything can happen, especially as readers make the final page discovery alongside Kirk and Spock.