The more I thought about a crossover between Planet of the Apes and Star Trek, the more fun it sounded. Tipton and Tipton are responsible for the thoroughly enjoyable Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover, and the Planet of the Apes and Star Trek allow for at least as much craziness.
Unfortunately, issue #1, “The Primate Directive” demonstrates none of the insanity as the crew of the Enterprise takes thirty or so pages to figure out what the reader knows in three (less if they have any familiarity at all with classic Trek). The title gives away the punchline: Everyone is going to end up on the Planet of the Apes, and anyone who knows about the Klingons knows of their penchant for arms-dealing on primitive planets (also, the title, while clever, is another giveaway), so watching the Enterprise crew plod through the steps needed to reach the “shocking” conclusion is akin to waiting for water to boil.
Scott and David Tipton do start out by sending Sulu and Uhura out on the initial fact-finding mission, which is a plus: The two are sadly underutilized on the main show and Uhura, with her linguistic skills, makes a logical choice for infiltration. She also gets to fight Klingons, demonstrating that her training goes well past opening haling frequencies. Unfortunately, once that brief scene is over, the rest of the book is largely devoted to Kirk, Spock, and McCoy talking, and talking, and talking about what they have learned and what they are going to do about it.
Rachel Stott is unable to overcome the word-bubble-filled panels. It is hard to see how anyone could, really. There is Uhura and Sulu’s brief fight with the Klingons to relieve matters, and a short space-battle, though even then most of the panels have large quantities of text explaining who is doing what and why. Once the crew reaches the planet—on the last page—things perk up, so possibly the next three books in the miniseries will approach the possibilities the idea offers.
Star Trek/Planet of the Apes #1 is available now through IDW.
Writers: Scott Tipton and David Tipton
Artist: Rachael Stott
Colors: Charlie Kirchoff
Letters: Tom B. Long