Woke up this morning and found that the world has gone ape! That is, I received the second issue of the Star Trek/The Planet of the Apes crossover: The Primate Directive. IDW has been batting a thousand, what with Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever and The Q Gambit (which just concluded brilliantly, last Wednesday); but they’re continuing their streak here, with this merging of two fan favorite franchises, as well as, with BOOM! Studios for this series. And, what a great story this is turning into; it’s everything I’ve been anticipating, since – news of its release at San Diego Comic Con.
In Issue 1, (which quickly went to a second-printing, by the way), Scott and David Tipton laid the groundwork for how the planet of apes is found, and Rachael Stott (with colors by Charlie Kirchoff) brought the story to life with some fine art. The Klingons (anxious for conquest, but their hands tied by the Organian Peace Treaty) are using alien technology to infiltrate parallel universes; in this instance, they have found a very different Earth. Kor has formed a shaky alliance with this Earth’s rulers, namely: apes, arming them with weapons. Captain Kirk follows them into a rift to the planet; leading a landing party, consisting of Spock and a pair redshirts, they beam down to investigate what the Klingons are up to.
We open this issue with Kirk and crew being spotted and making a narrow escape, but, in-fleeing, they tip-off the Klingon commander and his gorilla cohorts. Kirk and Spock return to the Enterprise to debrief and strategize. Kirk asks Scotty to beam them back to the planet, placing them in, what is now, a very familiar and ‘iconic’ location to the Apes landscape. They meet Colonel George Taylor there, a ship’s commander from Earth, who is half out of his mind, (due to his circumstances on [this] Earth and the horrific treatment of his crew by its ape ruling society); he takes them to meet Cornelius and Zira. After some introductions and a brief lesson in their stratified society, Taylor insists that Kirk use his technology to set history, and – humanity’s existence here, right. Kirk refuses, stating the prime directive and makes it clear that Kor and the Klingons are his only concern. Seeing no alternative, Taylor takes matters into his own hands…
Once-again, the Tipton brothers have written a great piece, there is a lot of story to digest, too; from Kor and the Apes, to Spock’s dissertation aboard the ship about this parallel Earth and it’s origins, to the meeting of Taylor, Cornelius and Zira, they’ve really outdone themselves (kudos to letterer Tom B. Long). I especially liked the writing of Col. Taylor, as I could hear Charlton Heston; and thanks to Stott and Kirchoff, he is excellently rendered. I liked the lessons from Spock and Zira, as well; not being a fan of the show/movies, I am able to follow-along with ease. That said, who doesn’t know Zira’s usage of ‘bright eyes’; her term of endearment for Taylor? This issue lays out the battle to come between Kirk, Kor and this Earth’s militaristic, gorilla ruling faction; with the monkey-wrench (yes, I did…) Taylor being thrown into the mix, as he sets his own agenda. I’m really enjoying the art by Rachael Stott and Charlie Kirchoff, as well. That panel when Kirk, Spock and Bones beam back down on the beach is beautifully done; (their cover for Issue 2 represents this, as well). Plus, the scenes on the ship and planet, and the characters from both series are rich with detail and the colors are vibrant.
This issue gives us three covers: the main regular cover by Stott and Kirchoff; again, iconic with Taylor and Kirk under Liberty. Next, we get Joe Corroney and Brian Miller teaming-up for the sub-cover, depicting an awesome Kor, leading an armed gorilla army. Excellent work, as usual. Finally, there’s the retailer incentive cover, for those avid collectors. Some terrific art, to be sure.
Overall, I’m impressed with The Primate Directive, thus-far. I’m looking forward to the next issue, to see where this story goes. Great job, Sarah Gaydos, Scott and David Tipton, Rachael Stott and Charlie Kirchoff, Tom B. Long, and – finally, to IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios, too. This story is fun, and it’s becoming another #GreatStarTrek adventure.
As always, be sure to listen to Michael Clark and Bunny Summers on The Holodeck, as they look at the creators, writers, artists and stories depicted in Star Trek comics.
‘Til, next-time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone