Review: Planet of the Apes: Visionaries

The past few years has seen the re-imagining of different movies with different takes. It feels like a new take on the cinematic obsession with the “director’s cut,” as it can either improve on the original or is just an extended version that really no one asked for. Either way, popular culture has become obsessed with these different takes. In fact, we see this with the recent release of the Blu-ray of Deadpool 2, which gives fans an extra 14 minutes not seen in the movie theaters.

There are whole movies in which fans get to obsess over what could have been. Recent documentaries about Dune, Justice League, and Superman, lets fans explore a myriad of what-ifs. One of favorite “what ifs” was George Lucas’ original rough draft of Star Wars, which was turned into a graphic novel a few years back. It showed different versions of characters the world has come to love. One different take that is masterfully done is Rod Serling’s original screenplay for Planet of the Apes, which is finally realized in graphic form in Planet Of The Apes: Visionaries.

We are introduced to the crew a spaceship headed on their way to a planet named Terra, when they wake up from hibernation, they arrive with one fatality, not completely sure of what happened. As they set out exploring they find a planet much like Earth, in its vegetation and sustainability. They soon find some other humans, looking like primitive cave dwellers, where each of them starts to get picked off by an infantry of primates, who slaughter everyone in their line of sight, except for one. Thomas is the lone astronaut left, who finds himself in a cell, with a collar, being asked by a doctor who looks like an ape, if he can speak? While that may seems familiar, Serling’s take is so different from the film we’ve come to love.

Serling dives into politics of race and equality and how those in power tend to believe that they are inherently better and not in position because of societal hierarchy. This is best exemplified in how Thomas teaches Nova, a human, woman how to read and write in five weeks, compared to the 5000 years it took apes to walk upright according to this world’s anthropology.

Overall, the graphic novel is a searing mindbender of a story that only Serling could create. It features cunning and complexity. Gould’s adaptation is dense, intelligent, and exciting. The creative team’s art is gorgeous. Altogether, an equally engaging story as the story the public saw but one that would draw direct parallels that both entertain and stimulate.

Created: Pierre Boulle Story: Rod Serling and Dana Gould Art: Chad Lewis, David Wilson, Darrin Moore, Miquel Muerto, Marcelo Costa, Ed Dukeshire and Paolo Rivera
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review