Reviews: Planet of the Apes #1, The Walking Dead #84, The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #1


Time again for some weekly comic reviews! This week we’ve got one from Image, one from BOOM!, and one from Dark Horse. I was hoping to have a copy of Hate Annual #9 to review, but it looks like Diamond failed it to deliver to my store this week. Grr!

As my “day job” is an evil night/third-shift schedule (11 p.m. - 7 a.m.), I can never make it downtown during the week, because I mostly sleep during daylight hours, like a Vampire. However, due to the magic of the internet, and publishers who are living in this century, I now get sent a ton of digital copies of the week’s comic. Not all publishers do this, so you can mostly expect to see stuff here from: 2000 AD, Archaia, BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Oni Press, and Radical Comics.

If you work for a publisher, and want to get your books to me for review, please email me at [email protected]!

This week’s reviews (click the title to skip to the review):


With the all of the hype surrounding the upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel movie, and its recent teaser trailer, BOOM! Studios couldn’t have timed this new series better if they tried!

I must to admit to a little trepidation towards this new Planet of the Apes comic. When I first heard about it, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be set within the continuity established in the original film series, or that of Tim Burton’s terrible 2001 remake. However, I’m glad to report that this comic is firmly based on the events of the classic movies - specifically, 1,200 years before Taylor’s legendary crash landing. Even more specifically, the comic actually picks up events just after the conclusion of the fifth movie. In fact, the issue opens with a scene that almost exactly mirrors the closing scene of Battle for the Planet of the Apes, with a group of human and ape children gathered before the wise and sagely Lawgiver, hearing the story of how Caesar helped create a society where humans and apes live together peacefully.

Thus begins a new chapter in Planet of The Apes history, with humans and apes living side by side in a somewhat fragile co-existence. It’s probably better to describe the community as being more like a powder keg, just waiting for the spark to set it off, and as the issue begins, that spark comes in the form of an assassin who murders the revered Lawgiver. So starts an intriguing thriller that follow our human protagonist as she tries to find the perpetrator of this heinous crime, before Apekind declares war on Humankind.

Two pages in to this new series and not only had my aforementioned trepidation disappeared, but I was already hooked! Daryl Gregory delivers a fantastic new story, which slots perfectly into Planet of the Apes continuity, while Carlos Magno provides some great looking artwork that pays homage to the look of the original movies. I’ve always had a soft-spot for the Planet of the Apes movies, but it’s been a number of years since I’ve actually sat down and watched them. Reading this new series was like rediscovering this magical sci-fi/fantasy world all over again. I’ve now added the series to my pull-list, and plan to spend the weekend watching the movies all over again. An overwhelming triumph!

My Pick of the week!

After the shocking conclusion to The Walking Dead #83, I was dying to see what happened next! Being a bit of a bastard, Robert Kirkman doesn’t quite provide the resolution that readers were hoping for, and at the end of the issue, Carl’s life is still pretty much hanging by a thread. However, the issue is packed to the brim with zombie killing goodness, as the survivors rack up what could be one of the the highest body counts in the series’ history!

I’ve been reading The Walking Dead for close to six years, and some of these characters are almost like family to me now. Consequently, Kirkman can play my emotions like a twisted marionette, and seems to revel in doing so, frequently. This issue will take you through the emotional grinder, as Kirkman delivers a script, that while full of action, has some amazingly dramatic and emotional moments in it. Charlie Adlard’s work on The Walking Dead has been consistently excellent throughout the series, and this issue is fine example of why he’s one of the best in the business. Kirkman has him drawing multiple characters in multiple plot-lines, fighting towards each other through crowds of zombies, and he doesn’t even break a sweat!

This issue gives us a firm ending to the ‘No Way Out’ storyline, and brings us into a new chapter of the series, with a streamlined cast, who are now more scared and damaged than ever. How do they fight on when things always turn out so bleak? I don’t know, but Rick always seems to find a way!

Here’s a comic that wasn’t on my radar at all, but Dark Horse sent me over a preview copy of the book, so I thought I’d it a try, as I’m always looking for new titles.

Now, comics and novels that use Jack the Ripper as their backbone are kind of a risk these days, because Alan Moore pretty much did the definitive take on the story with From Hell. However, the solicitation text for this one promised that this story was unique, in that it would mix the fictional story of Jekyll and Hyde with the true story of Jack the Ripper. This worried me a little though, because that sounded dangerously close to the story that Eric Powell just wrapped up in Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities and the Ghastly Fiend of London. Thankfully the plot of this comic is quite different from Powell’s zanny monster-fest, as the story here is more akin to that of Silence of the Lambs, with Jekyll/Hyde taking the place of Hannibal Lecter, as an incarcerated criminal providing the police with insights into the mind of the deranged killer, Jack the Ripper, here taking the place of Buffalo Bill. Mixed in with this we have the the myth of Spring-Heeled Jack stalking the city streets.

Despite my hesitancy, I found a lot to enjoy about this comic. It’s got an interesting mixture of fact and fiction, which makes for an intriguing premise. New writer Cole Haddon backs this up with a strong script, which is brought to life with some impressive artwork from M. S. Corley. This one is definitely worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of all things Victorian. For some reason the feel of the book put me in mind of The Sixth Gun from Oni Press, which can only be a good thing!

Related posts:

  1. Planet of the Apes #1 Sells out Before Release!
  2. Image Comics Releases The Walking Dead Volume 6 and The Walking Dead: The Covers
  3. New Images From the Set of AMC’s The Walking Dead
  4. Planet of the Apes Comes to BOOM! Studios! This April
  5. Robert Kirkman Answers Fan Questions About The Walking Dead Season 1


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