After what was a shaky start Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern #3 seems to be an improvement over the first two issues of the BOOM! Studios crossover event. While the story still presumes that the reader be familiar with both franchises this issue moves the story forward significantly and positions the major players for the second half of the story.
Sinestro lives up to his reputation by quickly adapting to this alternate timeline and by issue’s end finds himself on higher ground than the Green Lanterns thanks to the presence of another trinket from our universe. Writer Justin Jordan leaves this revelation for the issue’s final page and one has to wonder how it arrived there given that the Phantom Universal Ring was kept a big secret. Jordan will no doubt expound on the history behind this latest twist in the next issue but for now Sinestro has gained a significant advantage over Hal Jordan.
Meanwhile Zira is helping to bring Hal Jordan to find Cornelius but the road is hard to travel given the status of humans on this world. Hampered by the plight of the humans Hal finds himself the clear underdog in a race against time with little resource to help him other than the handful of sympathizers and Nova.
Fortunately for Hal the cavalry is coming and they are bringing a friend. The addition of Gorilla Grodd to the story kind of comes out of nowhere considering there’s not a lot of history between him and the Corps, but given the far out nature of the story you just have to go with it and enjoy the ride. They all arrive just as the Universal Ring wielding Cornelius is being confronted by General Ursus and his troops. The resulting battle is the focal point of the issue and it’s crazy to see all the characters interacting in this bizarre battle until Grodd gets involved.
Guy, Arisia and Kilowog not only bring Grodd along but they unknowingly open the interdimensional door for the Red Lanterns who make their presence known by going straight after Cornelius with explosive results. All these elements make this issue a better read than the first two issues, partly because the similarities between the Universal Ring and the Phantom Ring take a back seat as Justin Jordan focuses more on the interplay between the characters while advancing the plot much more significantly.
While the script for this issue is a marked improvement I’m afraid I can’t say the same for the artwork. Barnaby Bagenda’s pencils are very loose and lacking in detail which makes it look like a rush job. This is compounded by lackluster coloring which does little to compliment the pencil work. The white boots are ever present and Arisia’s hair color is far closer to Guy Gardner’s than her blond locks. It’s really a shame that the same care and effort that was put into the cover designs was spent on the internal artwork.
Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern #3 is an improvement over the two previous installments but still suffers from below average artwork. The good news is that the this issue significantly advances the story while being a fairly entertaining read but that’s not enough to convince me to recommend this series yet. Six out of ten lanterns.