Somewhere in the Universe … Planet of the Apes Green Lantern #1
DC Comics (I still feel weird about writing Detective Comics Comics even after all these years) has continued collaborating with other comic companies to cross over properties in various special, limited series. Back in the day we had Superman/Spider-Man, Batman/Hulk but lately we have been getting some rather unlikely match-ups. Star Trek and the Legion of Super-Heroes was one from IDW, Star Trek and Green Lantern was another. Well this time the Green Lantern Corps is heading back to Earth in a series from Boom! and DC Comics. “Somewhere in the Universe, there must be something better than man!” goes the tagline from the post-apocalyptic movie, The Planet of the Apes.
Taking place almost immediately after the first film we see a mysterious, cloaked figure menacing a pair of Yellow Lanterns and a bolt of ring energy streaking across the cosmos (and, apparently, time) to land in the badlands of POTA Earth. We find Cornelius wandering around in the badlands looking for the humans Taylor and Nova but only finding Nova at the site of a crater created by that blast of ring energy. At the base of this crater? A ring that we will soon find out is the Universal Ring which can channel all the spectrums of light not just the green willpower energy of the Green Lanterns.
You do have to be up-to-date a bit on the Green Lantern history before jumping into this book and have, at least, seen the first Planet of the Apes movie. The latter is most likely since it was a pretty epic film that spawned several sequels, a TV show, action figures and even a Saturday morning cartoon. As far as the Green Lanterns go though, let’s recap. The green power of the Green Lantern rings comes from and harnesses the energy of willpower. In recent times the concept of other types of powered rings was explored. Red energy rings of hatred, yellow rings of fear, orange rings of greed, blue rings of hope, indigo rings of compassion and sapphire rings of love. Each emotional spectrum having their own Corps. The idea of a ring that can harness the power of all the spectrums is being explored in the main DC Comics Green Lantern titles under the name the Phantom ring. But for this story we are looking at the Universal ring.
Ever the scientist, Cornelius brings this ancient relic to his wife, Zira where we learn that life after Taylor is quite chaotic. Zaius is becoming more militant and anti-human and generally making life difficult as he and Ursus fight to maintain control and suppress any talk of rebellion. Meanwhile back in our timeline Hal Jordan learns of the Universal ring and confronts the cloaked villain from the beginning of the story and both end up sent to the future. There is a really great page with Hal Jordan crawling on the beach in front of the half-buried Statue of Liberty echoing some of Taylor’s words from that famous scene in the movie.
The art in the comic is fantastic. Barnaby Bagenda & Alex Guimaraes paint a stylish comic with great renditions of Cornelius and Hal Jordan. Not trying to recreate the faces of the actors in the Apes movies but easily recognizable. Heavy usage of colour versus inks to add depth and shading which seems to be the painted style favoured these days. Decent story and script from Robbie Thompson & Justin Jordan but no real surprises or twists just yet. Being a bit of a Mego collector and fondly remembering the Mego Planet of the Apes action figures I had as a kid I immediately created my own real life version of the action figure variant cover. Overall a great first issue to what looks to be an interesting series. My only concern is the plot might be fairly predictable as this story has been told before just with different players.
Issue: Planet of the Apes Green Lantern #1 | Publisher: Boom & DC Comics
Writers: Robbie Thompson & Justin Jordan | Artists: Barnaby Bagenda & Alex Guimaraes