Comics book publishers IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios bring two fan-favorite franchises together for the first time in Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive, a 5-issue miniseries which sees the original Star Trek crew enter the world of the original Planet Of The Apes. While this crossover seems unlikely, this is Star Trek we’re talking about – Captain Kirk and crew manage to boldly go where no man has gone before and live to tell about it.
Star Trek/Planet Of The Apes #1 is mainly set-up for the collision of these two worlds in what largely feels like a typical Star Trek comic book story. Crew members in disguise beam to the surface for some quick reconnaissance, hasty retreat required; Spock ascertains just enough information from the data retrieved to make the daring Captain Kirk want to rush into uncharted territory to investigate; and there’s a whole Captain’s Log portion that gives you the background you need so that the action can begin.
So, where are the Apes? Well, the issue does begin with Ape General Marius, who’s meeting with a shadowy figure to acquire some advanced weaponry. We do find out later who the General’s new allies are, which will make the eventual meet-up with Kirk and crew in later issues much more exciting.
Writers Scott Tipton and David Tipton have already penned stories in the Star Trek universe for IDW, so they were a great choice for this miniseries, as they understand Trek history and dialogue. Issue #1 reads like an original Trek episode, especially Spock’s parts, which they have down to a science. But as with a Trek TV episode, there’s a lot of information to digest in a small amount of time, so the reader needs to really pay attention to detail here. There’s a lot to note, as well as a few throwbacks and in-jokes in there.
For the art, Rachael Stott nailed what I think is the most important aspect of a comic book like this — not only do the characters actually look like their television counterparts, they consistently look this way throughout the issue. As with the writers, artist Stott also captures Spock the best. Charlie Kirchoff‘s colors are perfect here: the Enterprise crew uniforms are bold and vibrant; the exterior Enterprise and space scenes are captivating, and the enemies are foreboding. Tom B. Long‘s lettering is clear and well-placed in an issue that’s this heavy with panels and dialogue.
If you’re not familiar with either property, I’d say this miniseries is not the place to start, although I think enough details are provided where you could enjoy this as a standalone story. For fans of both Star Trek and Planet of the Apes, this is shaping up to be a very fun, interesting, and well-done crossover.