IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios present the next installment of Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive this week. Taylor is loose on the Enterprise and General Marius is ready to ride. Spoiler review after the break.
Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive #3, February 2015
Written by Scott Tipton and David Tipton, art by Rachael Stott, colored by Charlie Kirchoff, lettered by Tom B. Long, essay by Dana Gould, edited by IDW Publishing’s Sarah Gaydos and BOOM! Studios’ Dafna Pleban
While Doctor Zaius worries about famine, civil unrest, and the increasingly militaristic gorillas, Taylor tricks Kyle into beaming him aboard the Enterprise. When the landing party finds Chekov injured, Kirk warns the crew that an intruder may be on the ship. Taylor overpowers Kyle, takes his clothing, and begins exploring. Kirk and Spock escort Chekov back to the ship while McCoy and the others continue learning from Zira and Cornelius. Spock advises Kirk that Taylor must be found immediately. The trauma of his recent experiences has made him angry, suspicious and dangerous. They deduce that Taylor will go for a shuttle. Kirk moves to intervene. The Captain is confident he can talk Taylor down, and he does, but not before they give each other a beating. Now that they’re on the same page, Kirk agrees to fully brief Taylor, but to do so, he needs to know more about Klingon activity.
Maybe Kirk should have accepted Spock’s offer to help subdue Taylor!
Meanwhile, Kor has some new toys for General Marius, provided to guarantee his authority over apes and humans. Marius is pleased. Kor even more so.
Kor whispers sweet nothings into willing ape ears!
We’re three issues into the mini-series and the Tipton brothers have been slow to reveal what the Klingons really want. Although I’m still a little frustrated by brief glimpses of Kor and his scheming, the writers have done an outstanding job this issue working through the inevitable conflict between Taylor and Kirk, who settle their differences like men (or very angry apes), beating each other nearly senseless (until Kirk’s uniform tunic is in shreds). The story gives us a real sense of Taylor’s terrible circumstances. He has nowhere to go. His anger is completely understandable. Kirk handles Taylor, but I think he also recognizes that there won’t be an easy solution, if any, to Taylor’s problems. Lost in this tale of Taylor’s anger, are the serious problems faced by the apes. I thought the opening panels with Zaius were going to be some kind of framing device to move the story along, but the closing frame was missing from this issue. That part of the story has to come in the next issue. I’m anxious to read it.
Artist Rachael Stott is going to be a superstar. I thought her art in the first two issues was sensational. Her work is even better in this issue. Look closely at her panels and you’ll find fascinating and amusing detail, as well as likenesses with real emotional impact. Charlie Kirchoff’s vibrant coloring also has a huge impact on the quality of this mini-series. Tom Long’s lettering skills are to be applauded. His work flows very nicely with this issue’s dynamic story. Ms. Stott’s cover for this issue features Kirk and Taylor flying across the bridge at each other. The cover has an offbeat dynamic that I like, which carries through into their shuttle bay brawl. Kevin Wada’s subscription cover is very unusual and I don’t really know what to say about it. The style looks sort of familiar but I can’t place it and I don’t find it very appealing. It tasks me and I don’t know why! On the other hand, the Gold Key photo cover of McCoy and the glare of a gorilla is terrific. Creating these retro covers for the mini-series was a great idea. What’s next? Kor has provoked the gorillas to their tipping point. What will the crew of the Enterprise do in response? I’m looking forward to finding out.
Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive #3 will be at your local comic shop this Wednesday, March 4. Kneel before Marius’ might as you make your purchase, human! You can also enjoy this preview.
Look for TrekMovie’s review of John Byrne’s Star Trek: New Visions #5 this week. Star Trek #43 has been scheduled for release next week.
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Mark Martinez is an obsessive-compulsive Star Trek comics reader and collector. You can visit his website, the Star Trek Comics Checklist for more than you ever needed to know about Star Trek comics!