The Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern crossover has been a hit or miss affair in my opinion, suffering from some shaky art issues and a plot whose core bears too much of a resemblance to a recent Green Lanterns story arc. On the other side of that the series does have some interesting elements which keeps me engaged despite the issues I have with it. With that in mind the recently released finale truly represents my feelings about the series as a whole as issue six and I have a love / hate relationship.
On a positive note Justin Jordan’s script takes a number of interesting turns since he’s allowed to play with the toys in both universes and has no repercussions to face when he decides the story is well serve by breaking the toys. Issue five saw the death of Zira and by the end of the last issue the body count is upped substantially, and these are minor characters we’re talking about here. Knowing that nothing’s off limits makes the tension in the finale much more real – granted this is essentially an Elseworlds type story and nothing here is in canon – but in experiencing the story the heightened sense that anyone is eligible to be cannon fodder brings a degree of anxiety if you’re willing to fully invest in the experience. I also liked some of the surprise plot twists that comprise the last few pages which leaves the door open for a sequel if BOOM! Studios is so inclined to go back for a second effort. To be honest my general disinterest in this story don’t leaving me wanting more unless there was a better effort from the art side and a more original plot from the writer.
The downsides lie mainly in the art department this issue. I know that Barnaby Bagenda was highly praised for his artwork on the Omega Men mini-series for DC Comics, but I honestly think that he effort on this limited series has been pretty poor. The artwork is primitive looking and I guess from one perspective you could say it’s symbolic of the plot, but I really found it more distracting than anything else. Unless this entire series was finished prior to publication you’d think that someone would’ve caught the white boot issue and corrected it. In my mind it shows a lack of reverence for the source material and I just can’t find a way to excuse it. There are also some glaring continuity issues with this installment – things like Arisia shooting laser blasts out of her non-ring hand, and the gauntlets which protect the ring bearers from the Universal Ring disappearing and reappearing on characters arms. There was even a panel where Arisia’s nose is missing! Constructs look dull and uninspired and when Cornelius goes all-powerful this issue the art team decides to convey it by covering him in multicolored dashes and lines. It’s all just so hard on the eyes.
Planet of the Apes / Green Lantern #6 is both a triumph and a failure. While the plot manages to crawl out from under the spectre of the Phantom Ring with some surprising plot twists and risky character decisions it’s bogged down by some of the worst art I’ve seen in a long time. I suspect that the enjoyment factor for readers will come from their interest in see the two franchise collide, but for my it’s just not enough to make me bananas about it. Four out of ten lanterns.