The 3rd chapter of the Black Vortex! With a schism forming within the assembled heroes, the youngest among them face the temptation of immeasurable power. Sometimes those with great power shirk their responsibility to use it for good, though. And with Knife and his new business partner looking to take back the Black Vortex, the group may have left themselves a little defenseless…
Published February 2015, Legendary Star-Lord #9 is written by Samuel Ryan Humphries with a bit of a gun-slinging standoff between Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde cover by comic book artist Paco Medina.
The quest for answers continues as Esau, Seneca, Attar, and the human woman, Crow, flee from the vicious pursuit of ape soldiers. A mysterious forest legend, a warrior in black armour, may provide a rescue…but will he be saving our heroes for a worse fate? New battles spark a new war between the ape nation and the collaborative ape-human resistance. But some allegiances — and destinies — are still left undefined. Will Attar, the once imposing military captain, return to Derkein to try to stop the bloodshed? Or, will he continue his consuming, idealistic quest for Ari? Will Seneca, formerly of the ape senate, lead the resistance forces proudly against his ape brothers? And, will Esau stand at Seneca’s side, or make an unpredictable move to bolster solely human forces, and rid the planet of their ape overlords…forever?!
Planet of the Apes: Blood Lines collects issue #4-#6 of the ongoing Dark Horse Comics’ Planet of the Apes series and continues on from the Planet of the Apes: Old Gods trade paperback.
This time our four protagonists have escaped from the clutches of the vicious Chimera half-breeds, only to now be once again chased by yet more Gorillas on horseback. Wonderful. This time however they get saved by a mysterious ‘ghost’ warrior who takes them back to a forest-dwelling human camp where they invariably get drawn into the age old struggle between the ape-hating humans and the human-hating apes. And as this series tends to do, we end off in a gigantic battle for survival between the human camp and the marauding apes.
Unfortunately Blood Lines reads almost the same as the first story arc told in Old Gods, and the addition of acclaimed British Horror and Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer Dan Abnett to the already legendary British comic book scripter Ian Edginton fails to bring anything substantial or new to this already wallowing series. It reads like a typical action comic and is not particularly horrible or bad or anything like that – just very mediocre.
However, it must be said that the mediocre feeling that Blood Lines brings is actually not the script’s fault – rather it is the inconsistent art that brings it to its knees, and this is pretty much thanks to the go ahead in using no less than four different pencillers, all with wildly different styles, and three separate inkers to tackle three issues’ worth of material.
New additions since the last outing on the pencilling front include Sanford Greene and the established Pop Mhan, both of which are actually quite enjoyable to look at and it would actually have been nice to see either one of these dynamic and fairly clean line artists to have picked up the title. As it is Paco Medina is back again and his style, although chunky and exaggerated is always nice to view, but unfortunately so is the disaster that is known as Adrian Sibar. Once again his wildly exaggerated and ‘stylish’ drawing looks like a child was handling the pencil or at least that there was an overexcited monkey on his back while drawing because once again it is simply terrible. There isn’t anything good to say about his child-like, simplistic visuals and unfortunately it leaves a bad taste in the mouth and pretty much brings down the quality of the entire publication.
So to sum it all up, Planet of the Apes: Blood Lines picks up exactly where Old Gods left off and is your typical action-orientated fight fest (though with a little more visual gore this time around) with substandard visuals (only when Sibar is on pencilling duties mind you – the rest is actually pretty nice to look at). Again a lesson in mediocre comic book storytelling, this release probably only appeals to those who actually follow the Planet of the Apes franchise in the first place.
You can probably leave this one in the bargain bin where you found it then.
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Anything that could have possibly gone wrong since The Human War did. The human rebel Esau and the ape leader Seneca are facing a trial for crimes against the ape state. Once triumphant, they now await a hangman’s noose. Never in their wildest dreams did they think they would be rescued mere seconds from certain death by the once great gorilla warrior, Attar! But Attar has an ulterior motive. Usually reclusive, he has received a cryptic message that could finally lead him to his friend, the long-disappeared chimp, Ari. Soon hunted by the implacable Commander Kharim, Esau, Seneca, and Attar head deep into the uncharted wilds where they find a besieged outpost of apes and humans, masters and servants, fighting side by side in a battle with a primal, ancient evil…one that reveals the dark side to the origins of ape and human alike!
Planet of the Apes – Old Gods collects the first three issues of Dark Horse Comics’ ongoing Planet of the Apes comic book series and is written by Ian Edginton, pencilled by Adrian Sibar and Paco Medina and inked by Norman Lee and Juan Vlasco.
Planet of the Apes – Old Gods focuses on rebel leaders Seneca and Esau, the human and the ape that would see the human slavery overthrown and apekind living side by side with humankind as equals, will to use whatever force necessary to see their visions realised. Unfortunately for them, apekind is far superior in almost every way and their rebellion is soon crushed and their forces scattered. The two themselves are captured and taken back to the ape stronghold to face execution.
However, they receive assistance from the unlikeliest of sources and are soon embroiled in a mad dash for freedom where unfortunately they are led to a path that sees them face one of the greatest threats to both human and apes alike. Yup, if it sounds like your typical, action-driven comic book story then you are 100% right.
Ian Edginton is an extremely successful and brilliant British writer who bucked the trend and became famous in American comics before coming back to Britain and achieves success writing for 2000AD and its related franchises. He is known for a lot of franchise writing, having written a lot of the Predator, Xena and Aliens comic book series.
Planet of the Apes may not be his best writing ever, but it is a solid and enjoyable story, even if it feels a little clichéd in places and filled with moments of some real cringe-worthy one-liners and character dialogue. Of course, working with Apes doesn’t give him all that much scope to develop a very deep dramatic sense in his story (apes really seem fairly one-dimensional, honour bound critters) but he does the best with what he has.
Unfortunately his story isn’t helped by the simply appalling and uneven art, pretty much all the fault of the, in my opinion, untalented Adrian Sibar who ‘stylised’ approach to drawn is so over-simplified that it looks like a child scribbled it in places. The inkers have done the best that they could, but honestly Sibar’s less than mediocre artwork only serves to bring the entire publication down. Thankfully though he only get to draw half of the collection as Paco Medina (who has worked on quite a couple of the X-Men universe titles) steps in to save some face, also applying the same sort of exaggerated art style that Sibar tries to utilise but only with a truckload more success.
It is a pity that Medina didn’t get to handle the art chores all on his own because even though he is one of those over stylish, exaggerated and chunky visuals artists, his work is competent and enjoyable enough to be quirky and stand out as some good comic book entertainment.
In short, Planet of the Apes – Old Gods is not a masterpiece and probably will only really appeal to fans of the age old Planet of the Apes franchise. The story is fairly mediocre and enjoyable enough, it is just that the art is more than a little of a letdown.
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