Planet of the Apes and the Green Lantern is definitely not a crossover I ever expected to see. The comic appears to begin after the 1968 Planet of the Apes movie and opens with a group of lanterns from the various spectrum’s being sacrificed to an unknown being. Right from the start, we have an exciting start to the series as we see multiple Lanterns fall to the power of an unknown being.
Next up, we see Cornelius discovering one of the power rings by accident. His need to protect his planet leads him to pick it up and attempt to research it hoping to find a trace of Taylor, Charlton Heston’s character. As a newcomer to the universe, the opening was a bit daunting to me since I have no prior knowledge of Planet of the Apes. The comic gives little exposition of who the character is and only a brief mention of his reasoning to want to take and study the power ring before we are thrown into a scene involving a battle between The Green Lanterns and the Red Lanterns.
Truthfully, I think the battle is pretty fun to look at and read, the lines and jokes delivered by the lanterns are pretty funny. For me it was definitely the highlight of the comic, seeing that crazy cat Dex-Starr taking on the Greens is always great. The big baddy of the series finally shows himself and of course it’s Sinestro, revelling in his power gain from the start of the comic. I love Sinestro as a bad guy, though it comes to no surprise that he’s the big bad in a Green Lantern comic. Hopefully, he will team-up with some interesting villains from the Planet of the Apes side; we can only wait and see. We finally get to see Cornelius wielding a power ring of unknown type leading to Hal Jordan making his way to the planet. Cornelius seems to have no control of the ring he’s now wielding, resulting in a scary, untrained user who could probably fry someone with a power blast by accident. It’s near the end of the comic we seen some character development; Cornelius wants to protect his planet and he will do anything to do so including considering to use the power ring if it’s a weapon. It all felt a bit rushed, constantly jumping between two completely different scenes in an attempt to have a lead up to the main story that’ll take place on the ape planet. I can only hope the next issues fixes the mistakes made in this one.
The art is impressive; in addition to being enjoyable to look, the characters are also well presented. Every character within the comic – which there are a lot of – is well detailed and can be easily seen in the busier panels. The costume detail is also amazing, and each character is easily identified; a reader who may not know who the Red Lanterns are just because of their colours. Alex Guimarâes makes clever use of earthy colour tones when focusing on Cornelius and brighter colour tones when the Green Lanterns were the main focus. The details of the surroundings of the character making the lands of the planet look even more arid and the planet of Oa as spectacular and wondrous as it always is. In panels full of action, it’s easy to imagine the power emanating from the power rings, the stylised light almost looks like it could leap through the boundaries of the panels. The art is without a doubt the strongest point of the entire comic.
Overall, however, the first issue is just a bit messy. However, it does have the potential to go somewhere and we’ll see if it picks up next issue.