Collective Consciousness: Planet of the Apes Green Lantern #1

by stephengervais on January 31, 2017

Welcome back to Collective Consciousness, our weekly article where the staff takes one comic and puts it under the microscope. This allows us, and you, faithful reader, to get a good idea of how the comic fares against a variety of opinions. This week we're taking a look at a brand new crossover from DC Comics and Boom Studios, Planet of the Apes Green Lantern #1.
Solicit: “When Taylor goes missing, Cornelius investigates and discovers an ancient ring, unlike anything the universe has ever seen.

As its power echoes through the stars, the Guardians of the Universe must reveal to their Lanterns a secret they had hoped would remain buried.

With the Green Lantern Corps, led by Hal Jordan, racing to get to the source of this power before Sinestro can get his hands on it, they will discover a truth that will change them forever on...THE PLANET OF THE APES.”
Written by: Robbie Thompson and Justin Jordan
Art by: Barnaby Bagenda
Colours by: Alex Guimaraes
Publisher: DC Comics and Boom Studios
John White
Finally fans of intergalactic police forces and super intelligent apes have a comic book series of their very own. In what in hindsight is an obvious crossover, the highly intelligent apes of the Planet of the Apes series is being merged with the expansive mythos of the Green Lantern Corps. The issue opens with a mysterious figure stealing the essence from members of the various Lantern Corps and solidifying them into one all-powerful ring, which for some reason promptly flies off to Cornelius and the rest of Ape World.  Now armed with what appears to be a ring with the same control over the entire emotional spectrum as the White Lantern’s ring, he tasks himself with bringing peace to his war torn world all the while avoiding the mysterious cult members who seem determined to use the ring for their own gains. With appearances by Hal Jordan, the Guardians of the Universe, and the rest of the GLC, this issue finally answers the long-standing questions of “what would a hyper intelligent ape do with ultimate power, and are bananas involved”?

Jennifer Lund
Books like this one make me kind of sorry that I’m such a noob where comics are concerned. The writers expect readers to have more than a passing familiarity with Green Lantern and the Lantern Corps, as well as an appreciation for Charlton Heston’s turn as astronaut out of time in the original “Planet of the Apes” film. I’m good on the second, but not so much on the first. I mean, my favorite Lantern was Ryan Reynolds in a goofy green suit, after all. However, I know a good villain when I seen one, and Sinestro is firing on all thrusters as an interesting baddie.

I enjoyed the art by Barnaby Bagenda, particularly the fact that it made the “Apes” part of the story look less hokey and stuck in the 70s. Other than that, I’m not quite sure how I felt about this book. I thin I may have reached my threshold for batshit crazy when Sinestro slipped on the universal lantern ring and then transformed into an ape. At this point, I may check in on the end of the miniseries to see how it ends, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to read 5 more whole issues to get there.
Kalem Lalonde
Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1 is a horrible Green Lantern comic and a semi-bad Planet of the Apes Comic. The first issue of these types of crossovers always show the two separate factions tying together in a cliff-hanger so you can divide the comic into two sections. The Green Lantern sections of this comic feels like it was written by an aspiring 1980s sitcom writer. Sinestro is not Sinestro, he is a moustache twirling villain with embarrassingly bad dialogue. Hal is not Hal, he is a boring “cool guy” with horrible “cool guy” dialogue. On the other hand the Apes scenes avoid being as horrendous as the Green Lantern ones but they still do not provide anything special. Even Barnaby Bagenda is off his game here. His figures lack detail and his scenery often looks sloppy. Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1 gets a strong pass from me.
Forrest Hollingsworth
It kind of seems like, with this deluge of crossovers, DC is throwing a lot of seemingly fun ideas at the wall and seeing which stick. Unfortunately, Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern, like the Justice League-Power Rangers crossover just weeks ago, doesn’t really stick. 
This first issue is not an affront to either brand or anything like that, no, the Lanterns are funny, capable and appropriately heroic while the Apes embody what we’ve come to expect from their respective property.  That being said, this issue is pedestrian. The core idea (what would happen if someone who didn’t understand a ring’s power got a ring?) has been covered before, as has secrets kept from the Lanterns etc. and there isn’t enough exploration on the Ape’s side to warrant the overly-long setup. 
The art and colors are effectively true to the genre, the Red Lanterns in particular looked good. When there is so little happening narratively, though, there’s no room for the art alone to save or particularly embolden an issue and that’s exactly what’s happened here. 
A competent, if boring, first issue that spends too much time treading previously trodden water and setting things into motion for a limited series – which is a shame. With more to come, maybe that setup will pay off well but I wouldn’t blame readers for not wanting to follow-up. 
Jason James
This was definitely not a book with a first time reader. As someone who is only familiar with the Planet of the Apes series via the modern movies, I felt hopelessly lost in the Apes section of the book. It seems they just expect people to know who all the characters are. The Green Lantern portions felt like they were happening in a different book. The art was okay, but didn't light my world on fire. I guess I can say I'm just not a fan of the concept despite it featuring my favourite character Hal Jordan. Just another pointless crossover, happening at the same time as the Justice League is meeting the Power Rangers. Not something that is going to get me to part with my money 4/10

I feel like I missed something. A lot of somethings, actually. Am I supposed to understand what happened at the beginning of this comic? Who are those figures that want the ring? Am I supposed to know who that slave girl at the beginning is? Was she in the movie? I think she was.

I haven't seen the movie in 20 years and this comic is perfectly willing to leave anyone behind who doesn't remember the details.

It seems to me that if the main plot isn't straightforward enough to avoid confusion, there is no need to explore a marriage engagement subplot between apes. It was a plot point in the books, I guess. When one of Planet of the Apes' primary characters becomes a yellow lantern, do we really need to follow the source material anymore?

The art isn't great either. It isn't bad, but it doesn't do its job. Barnaby Bagenda misses visual cues to strengthen continuity. In film, they would be called "pickup shots." So far, this is a confusing and unimpressive effort.


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