Star Trek: The Primate Directive #4
Published by: IDW Publishing in partnership with BOOM! Studios
Written by: Scott and David Tipton
Art by: Rachael Stott
Colored by: Charlie Kirchoff
Lettered by: Tom B. Long
Cover(s) by: Rachael Stott and Charlie Kirchoff (Regular Cover) J.K. Woodward (Subscription Cover)
Edited by: Sarah Gaydos (IDW) and Dafna Pleban (BOOM!)

OVERVIEW: Having formed a shaky alliance with Colonel Taylor, Kirk must now persuade Zaius, Zira and Cornelius to help him stop Kor and General Marius from overtaking the planet – before the oldest, most-sacred Ape’s laws are broken and all-out civil war ensues.

THE STORY: Things are really getting intense, now that Captain Kirk and Colonel Taylor are on the same page (so to speak), and the Tipton’s pack this issue with plenty of Ape’s lore, action and humor. Even if you’re not an Ape’s fan, it’s easy to follow along and get the gist of what’s going on. Indeed, the Tipton’s write it so brilliantly, that I’m tempted to start watching those old Planet of the Apes movies and TV shows, again, myself I like the fact that each issue seems to spotlight one or two of Kirk’s crew, as well. In this chapter, Scotty gets a wee bit of time as he joins the landing party, bringing some humor into the mix, as well as his engineering expertise.

But the Apes planet’s stars get plenty of time to shine, too, alongside their time-displaced Federation visitors. There’s a lot of good action and adventure in issue 4, as the Tipton’s gear-up for the final showdown in next month’s conclusion. Commander Kor is proving to be as ruthless and devious, as ever, and it seems he will stop at nothing to see his diabolical schemes come to fruition. When word of this crossover first came about, I’ll admit, I was a bit sceptical. I should have had faith in Scott and David Tipton, though, because I’m quite enjoying myself with this awesome crossover. The Tipton’s are, once again, proving they are masters; bringing us fresh, imaginative, (and – believable) entertainment, while honoring the genres of both of these classic television shows.

 THE ART: For this instalment, Rachael Stott and Charlie Kirchoff really had their hands full, as did, Tom B. Long; the Tipton’s provided a lot of dialogue here, and he’s done a great job of moving the story along, in keeping with Rachael and Charlie’s terrific panels.
Moving the focus away from the Enterprise, Stott and Kirchoff had a lot of area to cover – literally. The bulk of this story takes place on the planet itself and they’ve produced some exemplary work in regards to interiors and exteriors. I was especially impressed with the outdoor scenes, be it the advancing gorilla army through the mountains, or the horseback panels, as Taylor, Kirk, and even Spock, mount-up and ride to the brewing battle site.

Plus, there were a lot of characters depicted in issue 4: Zaius, Zira, Cornelius, General Marius and Ursus, and all of the other apes and gorillas that are represented; but also, the landing party from the Enterprise, and Taylor, as well. [They] have really outdone themselves with this issue and I give them high marks in every category.

THE COVERS: The regular cover is by Stott and Kirchoff, and it’s great! It shows what appears to be a landslide on the right – Kirk and Taylor fighting against an army of armored apes, while a larger-than-life Kor watches the melee with a satisfied smirk, set against a red background. Rating: This cover will be hanging on the wall!

The second, subscription cover is from JK Woodward. This is an awesome cover! Spock – holding his ever-present tricorder – is being held prisoner in a crude, if not functional, throne chair, while a band of armed, angry gorillas stand-guard around him. I love it! This, too, will hang on my wall. I’m thrilled that JK Woodward got an opportunity to contribute to this series!

OVERALL: This issue really packs a punch, as the Tipton’s provide a great story, while setting-up the readers for what’s sure to be a gripping finale; and the art is top-notch! I’m quite impressed with this series, all the way around. It’s my recommendation, that you grab this series and enjoy the hell out of it! Action, adventure – APES! What more could you ask for in a great Star Trek comic?

‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’

Lt. Eric Cone