IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios present the conclusion of Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive this week. Kirk and Kor show the apes how it’s done; Taylor makes a decision; and the apes prove that deft hands with opposable thumbs are good survival tools. Spoiler review after the break.
Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive #5, April 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
Taylor prevents Kor from killing a gorilla general with a timely rifle shot. Kirk rides Kor down on horseback. Insults and fisticuffs ensue. An Enterprise crewman is stabbed and Cornelius tends to him. Although he gets the worst of it, Kor is nonplussed as he is transported away, intending to strand Kirk and his crew. Meanwhile Ursus confronts the Klingon-armed Marius and wins the day.
Unsure that Ursus is an improvement over Marius, Cornelius and Zira, meet with the humans one last time. With the Klingons gone, Kirk, Spock and the rest of the landing party say their goodbyes, asking that their presence be kept a secret. Taylor decides to stay and learn what happened to this planet, his home. Transporting back to the Enterprise, Kirk is confronted by Kor. Free from Organian influence, the Klingon commander is ready to settle this like warriors. Three days later, Klingon and Starfleet crews are still playing a cat-and-mouse game because Kor has really been waiting for reinforcements. As two more Klingon ships arrive and try to maneuver in Saturn’s rings, they destroy themselves. When Kor makes a run for the portal back to their own universe, Earth’s atmosphere ignites, the result of a massive cobalt bomb, eradicating all life. Kirk let’s Kor go. There’s been enough damage done. The Enterprise returns home. Their planet is dead, but some of the apes had a plan. Cornelius has something that may help.
When this mini-series was first announced last year and I learned that Kor would be the principal antagonist, I thought we’d be witnessing another Kirk/Kor confrontation like Errand of Mercy. In the television episode, much of the appeal was watching the verbal duel between Kirk and his Klingon counterpart, played with cheerful wickedness by John Colicos. This distingushed Canadian actor easily held his own in scenes with fellow countryman, William Shatner, and together, they became, for me, the most memorable of Trek adversaries. In the final issue of The Primate Directive, writers Scott and David Tipton finally put Kirk and Kor together. They knock each other around a bit, briefly play cat-and-mouse in space, and ultimately go their separate ways. I’m disappointed, but maybe my expectations were unrealistic. If I set aside those expectations, I see that the Tiptons gave us more of an original series-style morality play, with an amusing epilogue that preserves the complex Planet of the Apes timeline. So, even if I didn’t get the Kirk/Kor engagement I expected, The Primate Directive was an enjoyable read. One small mystery remains. Nova, missing in action since the first issue of the mini-series, returns just in time to head off into the sunset with Taylor. I know she never has much to say, but where was she all this time?
Issue after issue, Rachael Stott’s interior and cover art kept me coming back for more. I believe this is her first comics gig and it earned her more work on IDW’s ongoing Star Trek series later this year. Congratulations to Ms. Stott on a job well done. I’m looking forward to all the comics she’ll be working on in the future. If you follow her on Twitter @RachaelAtWork, you’ll get a kick out of her warmup sketches, which are often Trek-related. Colorist Charlie Kirchoff also did a tremendous job. From first issue to last, humans, apes, interiors, exteriors and backgrounds, all look magnificent. The covers for issue #5 are all memorable, from Dr. Zaius playing 3-D chess with Spock using humans and Klingons as pieces, to my favorite Kirk cover ever! J.K. Woodward’s gorilla armed with a bat’leth, pinning Kirk to the ground in glorious victory, is sensational. Finally, the last Gold Key-style photo cover pays tribute to Leonard Nimoy, whom we lost recently. IDW’s penchant for variant covers has always given me financial grief, but this series has some terrific covers that I felt necessary to track down and purchase. Finally, a brief warning to all the folks who had a stroke over Trek crossing over with Apes; please don’t read the July 2015 news below without your doctor’s permission.
Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive #5 will be at your local comic shop this week, Wednesday, April 8. A trade paperback collection of Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive will be published this summer. You can pre-order the book at your local comic shop next month or online now.
Stay tuned for another installment of the ongoing series, Star Trek #44, later this month.
A new volume of Gold Key Star Trek comics
Last week, IDW Publishing released the third volume in their series of hardcover reprints of the Gold Key Star Trek comics. Volume 3 collects issues #13 thru #18, newly recolored, with an introduction by Joseph F. Berenato, editor of New Life and New Civilization: Exploring Star Trek Comics and co-editor of the forthcoming The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes, both from Sequart Organization. This volume also features a brief biography of artist Alberto Giolitti, who was responsible for drawing half of the Gold Key issues. If you haven’t read them, this is a terrific reprint series to own.
Star Trek Gold Key Archives, Vol. 3
Written by Len Wein and Arnold Drake, art by Alberto Giolitti and Giovanni Ticci, cover art by Michael Stribling, colors by Digikore Design, collection edits by Justin Eisinger and Alonzo Simon, collection design by Tom B. Long
A six-issue mini-series coming July 2015
At WonderCon Anaheim 2015 last weekend, IDW Publishing, CBS Consumer Products and DC Entertainment announced a new crossover event featuring the NuTrek crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise with Hal Jordan and the entire Green Lantern Corps.
Set in Star Trek‘s 23rd Century, the balance of the universe will be tested when the Green Lantern Corps’ Power Rings come into the possession of certain Star Trek characters while a dark and powerful evil looms around every corner. Only the combined power of the Green Lantern Corp and the Federation stand any chance of stopping those who worship evil’s might.
The six-issue mini-series begins in July. Will there be as many variant covers as there are colors in the Lantern spectrum? We’ll see. For more information see IDW’s press release.
Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War #1, July 2015
Written by Mike Johnson, art by Angel Hernandez, cover art by Gabriel Rodriguez, Francesco Francavilla, Elsa Charretier, and Garry Brown.
July 2015 is EC Comics Cover Month at IDW Publishing
One last news item before signing off. Star Trek #47 is one of twelve IDW titles that will have a variant cover celebrating EC Comics classic cover designs from the 1950s.
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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!