Friday, March 15, 2013

Review- PLANET OF THE APES VOL. 4: THE HALF MAN

PLANET OF THE APES VOL. 4: THE HALF MAN (Boom, 2013; Softcover)
Collects Planet of the Apes Nos. 13-16 and Planet of the Apes Annual No. 1 (cover dates August, 2011- July, 2012)
Writers: Daryl Gregory with additional stories in the Annual by Corrina Bechko, Jeff Parker, and Gabriel Hardman.
Artists: Carlos Magno with additional stories in the Annual by John Lucas, Benjamin Dewey, and Gabriel Hardman.

Everything comes to a head here. Skintown. The conspiracy to arm the humans and the revolt within the ape community. It has been a decade since the events in the first arc of this series, and the human child who lives amongst the apes cannot be kept hidden any longer. This series has been a fun ride. All of the questions as to why the semi-civilized apes seen here become more barbaric and less industrialized are finally answered.
The annual is a series of short stories, most of which measure up to the core series. One or two of them have cheesy artwork but they didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of this book. Now why on Earth won't Boom reprint the Marvel black and white magazines from the '70s???
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Give me a break, Boom Studios! Shrinking the covers of each issue (and their respective variants) down to two per page is ridiculous. There are plenty of wasted blank pages throughout this book that could have served as full pages for cover images. For example, the front interior of the cardstock cover has a useless stock image that could have been better utilized. Each issue has a page wasted where it states CHAPTER THIRTEEN, etc, while the rest of the page is left blank. Issues 14-16 have two wasted pages, one with a useless stock image and one with the worthless chapter page. An additional five pages are wasted, first by the double page spread in the front of the book with the credits (this could have been done on the title page, which had nothing on it except for the logo) and in the rear of the book, with a page that has nothing but the logo and then a double page spread that reads COVER GALLERY. And finally, a completely blank page at the end. So we have 16 covers total which are presented over eight pages. There were clearly enough blank pages where they could have included each cover at full-size but Boom decided to go this route instead.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. This has an excellent weight coated stock that smells terrific. If I am ever found dead holding one of these books, it will be from huffing the sweet smelling toxic Chinese ink and paper.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Glued binding. Don't get your panties in a bunch, it's a softcover.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 4.75 out of 5. The cover has a decent wax coating that should be durable over the long haul on your shelf.

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