War is coming, but it’s hard to root for either side.

As Caesar looks to rebuild in War for the Planet of the Apes #2, humanity looks to rebound. Won’t be so easy with the Simian flu regrouping. Is it good?

The Skinny

Science is a mess after the creeping apocalypse, but even across the country, collaborators agree that while the virus makes apes SMARTER it in turn makes us DUMBER. Is this established in the current movie universe? Or is writer David F. Walker going into business for himself?

Some other ape tribes sure do, hurtling the world toward all out war, against Caesar’s desires. The human military welcomes such a conflict, even at the expense of cutting off the virus before it mutates further. And you thought we lived in the Idiocracy now.

The Lowdown

War for the Planet of the Apes #2 is not a very new reader-friendly issue. It leans on a lot of precurosury knowledge from the film franchise, and even finer points from the mini-series’ debut issue. Neither of those things is necessarily bad, as Apes fans seem to generally be of the “super” variety, but it is a little daunting and can necessitate a lot of flipping and Wiki for those not completely entrenched.

There are also redundant plot devices, some occurring only pages apart. The motivations of characters can be mysterious, and not in a good way, and what’s meant to be the most exciting part of War for the Planet of the Apes #2 is actually one of the least surprising reveals you’ll see. It all makes for the worst kind of experience you can get from a comic — a boring one.

Jonas Scharf’s art isn’t as sharp as in the previous issue, either. Caesar doesn’t look as “Caesar” as he did before, and the human figures seem misproportioned at times. We do get a better glimpse of the apes using sign language, but it’s nondescript enough to not really be identifiable, if it is at all. Jason Wordie’s colors detract a bit, too, as the pastels seem a little too bright for this gritty, gruesome world.

The Upshot

War for the Planet of the Apes #2 fails to live up to the superb standard set by the debut issue. It’s insular, predictable and worst of all, boring. You could say the redundancies add to the feeling of parity between the ape and human sides, but it just comes off as forced. The art can’t follow through on its precedent, either, creating a package that falls off as dramatically as Simian flu-addled frontal lobes.

War For the Planet of the Apes #2
Is it good?
It's not bad, but it is insular and derivative. The first issue of this mini-series was a breath of fresh air; the second is a more pedestrian slog.
A little parity between apes and people is good, as neither side is outright heroes or villains
Apes are drawn well
TOO MUCH parity comes off more as lazy than compelling
People are drawn poorly
Colors make the book look more like War for the Easter Egg Baskets