Thursday, August 4, 2011
Fanholes Side Story #11 You Say You Want A Revolution...
The Revolution has begun...and it will be televised. Revolution On The Planet Of The Apes picks up just one day after Caesar and his army of apes have taken control of San Diego. In this version of events the internet has been shoehorned in, as well as Homeland Security. The Government denies anything is wrong, telling us that apes have not risen up and shuts down any web site carrying footage of Caesar’s revolution.
We see Caesar establish the first ape law: Ape shall never kill ape. Though I have to say, I don’t agree with the way it is portrayed here. Caesar seems to act bipolar through this mini series. Sometimes acting quite logical, sometimes given to fits of rage.
Later on we see Aldo, who is a janitor at Area 51. The guards have grown tired of him and send him off to be experimented on...only Aldo starts his own revolution. He rises up, says ‘No!’ and kills his oppressors. He manages to free the other apes, they take over the base and, as a result of experimentation, are able to fly fighter jets.
Meanwhile the President is surrounded by advisers who bicker about what should be done. One argues they should strike at Caesar, while another believes they are safe from the apes. I guess I should talk about our cast of characters. One is someone who takes it upon himself to march into Ape City with a video camera and record everything. Expose the truth, so to speak. Caesar approves of this and has the mock trial of Governor Breck broadcast for the world to see. Through the first few issues we are teased with something known only as Churchdoor. Caesar cites this as evidence that Breck, along with the government, will lead to the destruction of the world.
Before the trial concludes Caesar is shot. A strike team lead by some familiar characters, namely Kolp from Battle For The Planet of the Apes, prevents the apes from passing sentence on Breck. A battle breaks out between Kolp’s forces and Caesar’s army. They manage to rescue Governor Breck and escape, trying to make it to Churchdoor before Caesar can stop them. Meanwhile, the world begins to fall as nuclear weapons are used and ape armies attack cities world wide. Aldo’s forces attack Washington DC and issue four ends with this…
We continue in issue five with Caesar trying to break into the Churchdoor facility. Breck and Kolp marvel at the Alpha Omega Bomb. The President manages to escape DC and makes his way to New York, only to see that the city is in ruins and, naturally, the Statue of Liberty is destroyed. Breck announces that if Caesar does not surrender he will detonate the bomb. He’d rather destroy the world than see it fall into the hands of the apes.
General Aldo’s forces arrive to aid Caesar. His jets blast a hole in Churchdoor and the ape army attacks. In the end, the governments of the world launch their nuclear missiles. They intend to cut their losses, seeing the ape controlled cities as ‘infected’. The bombs begin to rain down, but Caesar survives. He and his followers inherit a world laid waste.
I have to say that when they first spoke about Churchdoor, I already figured out what it would be. It could only be the bomb from Beneath the Planet of the Apes. This mini series has been full of call backs, nods and references to all the movies. Even the same catchphrases are used. These moments feel very forced. As though the creators are saying, hey remember when Taylor said this? It's one thing for George Lucas to reuse several phrases in the Star Wars franchise...but Planet of the Apes is not Star Wars. I prefer Apes to stand on its own.
Ever since I watched the original film series I was curious as to exactly what happened between Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle For the Planet of the Apes. These comics were not satisfying. Maybe I just had my own preconceived notions of what would happen. The story of Revolution On The Planet of The Apes simply connects the dots between the films...nothing more. The art is also a mishmash of different styles in each issue. One issue may have an animated style while the next one is grim and gritty.
Throwing in elements such as the internet, Homeland Security and the notion of a video blogger just feel forced and out of place. The only character that is fleshed out any is Caesar, and as I said earlier, he seems out of character here. In the end, Revolution on the Planet of the Apes is not satisfying and it only reminds us of better Apes stories.