In Review: Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #6

Once you get your paws on this book, you won't be able to put it down. Recommended.

The covers: Five different frontpieces close out this series. The Regular cover is by Dan Mora and has Cornelius getting lost in his power. He’s the focal point of a blast of energy and all the colors of the spectrum are coming out of him. Apes, mutants, and lanterns are tossed about in his wake, with Hal Jordan and Sinestro in the foreground about to be moved next. Great layout and coloring, teasing the climax of this series. The Classic Variant cover by Paul Rivoche with design by Scott Newman goes back to 1994, offering a different take on the cover to Green Lantern #49 by Darryl Banks and Romeo Tanghal. Instead of Hal crazed wearing several Green Lantern rings, Cornelius has taken his place, wearing several rings of all the emotional spectrums on his fingers. He looks deliriously insane. A great cover. Oliver Barrett with design by Scott Newman create the Movie Variant cover. This is a new take on the classic movie poster to the original Apes film, showing several lanterns within a cage on an orange and yellow background. The top of the cover features text focusing on Sinestro, who is the image in black atop the cage. The bottom states all the major characters’ names in lieu of the actors. If one is a fan of the films, this is the cover to purchase. The Spectrum Variant cover by Felipe Massafera features a mutant from the Forbidden Zone in orange, surrounded by other mutants reaching out to grasp her. In the back of this horde is Larfleeze, looking angry that she has his ring and power battery. Neat idea, but really loosely constructed. Featuring characters portrait by Rod Reis, the Action Figure Variant cover by David Ryan Robinson and it’s a stellar faux carded Mego figure of a Mutant Orange Lantern. The character is great, with its human mask included, and the portraits awesome. Every one of these action figure covers throughout the series have been spectacular. Overall grades: Regular A, Classic Variant A-, Movie Variant A-, Spectrum Variant C, and Action Figure Variant A+

The story: Robbie Thompson crafted this conclusion and Justin Jordan wrote it. Sinestro returned last issue with a green power ring and starts this issue smacking Atrocitus down. He then creates an emerald construct of an ax and swings it at the fallen lantern. It’s blocked by Hal Jordan who won’t let Sinestro kill him. “…you are a fool, Jordan. If we strike Atrocitus down, the reds will be unfocused. And seeing as they are already weakened by the universal ring, this would give us an opportunity to stop them permanently.” The red and green lanterns battle one another and in the middle of the chaos is Cornelius on his knees. “I thought…I thought I could save you, Zira. Save us all. But I see I am not here to save us. I am not here to bring a new life.” His eyes go black and his dialogue balloon goes ebony. “I am here to bring an ending.” Meanwhile, General Ursus confronts Gorilla Grodd and Dr. Zaius hatches a plan. Cornelius is the wild card in this conclusion, who uses an ability not seen by any lantern before. His abilities become the abilities of this followers and they take some dramatic action to a major character at the top of 7. As things fall apart, one character literally gives a hand to another to help with stopping the mad ape. How Cornelius is defeated is outstanding, with there being plans within plans revealed. And should a reader believe that one character has truly changed, the final page shows the how low a character will go to preserve the status quo, while the final two panels are as appropriate an ending as the original Apes film. This was a completely satisfactory conclusion. Overall grade: A

The art: The visuals look good on this book. Barnaby Bagenda starts the book with Atrocitus getting battered down by an unseen foe, and following with the Red Lantern’s point of view looking upon Sinestro. The angle from which this classic villain is shown instantly gives him a sinister air. Page 2 has six equal sized horizontal panels that make the action appear quick. Three more of these panels follow on the next page, continuing the action. It’s in this third panel that things become more intimate with a grieving Cornelius the focus; take note how the action between Hal and Sinestro continues behind the ape. A close-up of Cornelius shows the reader that he’s lost in his emotions with his eyes going black. When he changes for the final time in this series it’s horrific; it’s nothing graphic, but it’s so odd — so alien — it makes him and his followers horrors. The action at the top of 7 is the most violent of the book, but understandable. The resistance by the gorillas on 9 looks good, but given Cornelius’s current state, it’s futile. The change by the individual in the final panel looks great. Cornelius looks wonderfully insane in the pages that follows and the battle against him and his followers remains in the skies as lanterns battle him and his minions. Page 14 contains little text, allowing Bagenda’s illustrations to tell the story and they are so cool. 20 and 21 focus on two characters after the conflict deciding what will be done next. Bagenda moves the point of view around to keep the conversation visually interesting and has the ape looking absolutely disgusted to speaking with a human. The final two pages of the book had me smiling and anxious for more. Bagenda aces this issue. Overall grade: A

The colors: For all the chaos occurring in this book, Alex Guimarães makes this book beautiful with his colors. The Green Lanterns look beautiful in their emeralds, while their constructs and outlines around them as they fly a luminescent green. The Red Lanterns have equally sumptuous colors, though in shades of crimson. The aliens in both of these squads add other bright colors to the conflict with their skin tones. A surprising but smart choice of colors is used for Cornelius and his followers in his final state and it allows them to stand out every time they appear. The third panel on Page 10 and the top of 11 are gorgeous with all the characters and their clashing colors. The placement of the sun in the final panel of the book wonderfully makes an edifice capture a reader’s attention; coloring provides the focus to solidify the irony. Brilliant. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue, yells, and the final word of the series are created by Ed Dukeshire. It would have been nice to have had some sound effects for all the ring slinging and fighting that occurs, but that wasn’t Dukeshire’s call to make. What he is allowed to do looks good, with the dialogue easy to read and the yells large enough to match the speaker’s intensity. Overall grade: A-

The final line: An explosive conclusion that matches the explosive conflict between these two groups. The story is great, the characters true, and the conflicts huge. The visuals are also well done, with both franchises looking great. Once you get your paws on this book, you won’t be able to put it down. Recommended. Overall grade: A

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To see all the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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