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DC Comics Announces Green Lantern Earth One Vol. Two

DC Comics announces Green Lantern Earth One Vol. Two will be released in July from New York Times bestselling author Corinna Bechko and artist Gabriel Hardman. Corinna Bechko has been writing both comics and prose since her horror graphic novel Heathentown was published by Image/Shadowline in 2009. She has worked for numerous publishers including Marvel, …

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Review: Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #8


Writers Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman continue their story of Ape society in an action-packed and plot-rich Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #8.

Chimpanzees are at their lowest ebb as members of Ape society, several being marched into refugee camps as names become  numbers; this, on top of the fact it was they who suffered most from the great deluge.

But one chimp there is who refuses to lose his true identity and that is Cadmus, and this fact will soon lead to trouble in masse for ApeCity.

Meanwhile, the great orator Zaius speaks of unity among all Apes, promising the best jobs and the richest rewards to chimps since they did suffer so much from Nature’s fury.

But his call for unity rings hollow throughout the Ape community, and when word begins to spread of Cadmus’ imprisonment the crowd becomes a mob and the buzz becomes a righteous riot!

And then there is the archeologist Cornelius, who begins quite a tale on … “ancient chimpanzees.”

The pace never slows down and the plot threads pay off in #8, as artist Damian Couceiro turns in panel after panel of great art any film cinematographer would drool over.

New comics come and go, but this sci-fi series remains a quality gem in the crown of BOOM! Studios.

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Advanced Review: Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #6


Questions of the health of produce and, er uh, other things in Painted Valley has the fate of Ape City and those who are striking a deal for much-needed nourishment in doubt.

The secret of the Monster of the Mountains is out, and it points to a science heretofore unknown to Apes.

Morale is at an all-time low at the Chimpanzee Camp as young ones are being recruited for the works of war.

And de facto Council chair Zaius would rather battle the coming crises with books and brains than with a brand of reality he refuses to acknowledge.

Just another day on the Planet of the Apes post-deluge.

Ape society as a whole are starting to drift apart as caste systems are breaking down and reforming. Old mysteries are solved while new mysteries are discovered. And we may still see that population of known people underground yet! Or the Apes will.

While there is no great action as such to this month’s Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm, #6 does offer some fine character work, the progression of plots societal and personal, and lets us explore some of the more ignored characters just a little.

It is such a pleasure to read, and scribes Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman keep the tone of the books the same as has come before, which in turn reflects the film parents of the comic. Everything is done intelligently and for a reason in this book; not by the characters but by the authors.

The art by Damian Couceiro, Mariano Taibo and Darrin Moore actually leave you breathless, especially if you appreciate the palette they are trying to convey from the films themselves. Murky, dank and dusty: damn dirty Apes!

Reading this venture into futuristic sci-fi is fun and intoxicating. I thank BOOM for keeping the experience going. 

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Review: Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #5


In the aftermath of the flooding, the chimpanzees have lost much of their history, but the Apes want to begin deconstruction of the area, leaving Cornelius upset but ready to take on a mysterious new project at the behest of Dr. Zaius.

And that is the adventure, with some interpersonal drama along the way, that sparks Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #5 into a roller coaster drama where you are never sure who is keeping what secret.

Of particular interest to those in Ape City is food, and a riotous subject it has become. Meanwhile, returning families from the vast flooded area causes Zira and her nephew to be cast adrift among the homeless of the decimated lands.

Meanwhile, Zaius continues his interest in the mysterious rock found at the Chimp Museum. He approached the imprisoned Dr. Milo about the stone, which may or may not hold the riddle of a “being” that could have destroyed the Moon.

The welfare of infants and toddlers, the rise of a new monstrous threat on the other side of the snowy Mount Lam, and the personal drama in between are again expertly woven together in this best of BOOM! Studios properties by writers Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman. And the perfect art for this series is rendered flawlessly again by Damian Couceiro and Darrin Moore.

Where will the mystery of the stone lead and what of the giant wolf monster of the mountain? See you next month!  

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Advanced Review: Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #4


The Apes franchise continues to be in good hands with writers Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman as old flames are rekindled, secrets revealed and Ape Society as a whole teeters on the brink of calamity in Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #4.

We saw last issue that the book is not titled “cataclysm” for naught, and that feeling of rescue, of disaster, or absolute urgency continues here as Ape must trust Ape even though a sacred law has been broken and the knowledge thereof is spreading even faster than the wildfire that threatens lives.

Bechko and Hardman continue to delve into the politics and caste system of the Ape Society even as the humans of the Underground worship a bomb that could destroy both of their “worlds.” The threat of nuclear holocaust and loss of trust leaves all our heroes adrift (some literally).

And with nowhere left to turn, Zaius must trust the one Ape that has the most to hide!

Artist Damian Couciero continues to render the action and the emotion in a manner in keeping with the BOOM handling of the franchise thus far, the dusty but detail-filled art of landscape, structures and Apes that harkens back to the films on which this sci-fi comic is based. Flawless!

I cannot say enough for BOOM’s efforts on this front, and I appreciate all involved for keeping this book the praise-worthy mag it has been and continues to be. A keeper!

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Advanced Review: Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #3


For those who thought “cataclysm” was just a loose description for this incarnation of BOOM! Studios’ successful Apes franchise, issue #3 of this title will prove how really descriptive that word is!

In the brink of disaster and continuing to run out of choices – and land — Cornelius, Prisca and the other Apes try to find shelter before the fragments of the moon set off an even greater calamity: the destruction of the dam, and the only thing keeping ApeCityaway from the devastating waters.

Amid the emotional tragedies we encounter in this book, somewhere it is finally discovered that the greatest decree of the Lawgiver has been violated. One bullet hole in a dead chimpanzee shows that “Ape has killed Ape.”

Will the caste system, which has brought a kind of peace among the Apes, be broken as the news spreads? Or will it have a chance to spread before the flood waters consume all? And what of the humans?

Excitement and action are never far from ApeCityin this book, but the emotion and politics of a people (the Apes) are front and center in the eyes of these characters.

Writers Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko continue to convey the socially conscious feel of the parent movie series by drawing parallels to our real world. And they do so without missing a beat in characterization or drama.

One of the big bonuses of these Apes books has been the consistency of the art and how it reminds of the dusty, musty films of the franchise. The art of Damian Couceiro brings us right back to those very Apes films with architecture and costumes faithful to the genre. And of course seeing longtime favorites like Dr. Zaius in comic book form is one of this book’s highlights!

Another cosmic knock out-of-the-park for the POTH: Cataclysm team, and for BOOM.

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Review: Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #1

It is eight years before a human named Taylor drops from the stars, and society on Earth – at least that of the Apes – is at its pinnacle. The ancient caste system remains in place, but not even the most conservative of the orangutans can deny that the rumblings of revolution have been felt – even in a seemingly perfect world.

Meanwhile, the mute humans are considered animals, unhealthy and dirty and banned from Ape cities. It is the low ebb for homo sapiens, or so it would seem…

It is this world – the Earth that precedes the coming of the famed film franchise – that is being investigated by Planet of the Apes mini-series writers Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman in this new ongoing, Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm. The writers explore characters familiar from the movies as well as new ones who will play key roles in the course of the adventure. Actually seeing longtime favorites like Dr. Zaius brought onto the comics page is one of the story’s highlights.

Artist Damian Couciero continues the standard set by others in previous Apes books here at BOOMby keeping the tone of the renderings true to the film genre from which it came, and insuring that every Ape is as individual as human characters would be today. His panel usage and feel for the script are superb, seeming to promise a great ride with this new comic.

There is adventure in the dusty deserts, pageantry in the abodes of the Apes, and fans of the original films will thrill again at the detail in every panel. And the story itself makes next issue a must-read!

BOOM has itself another cosmic classic, it seems.

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Exclusive Interview: Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman Talk Planet Of The Apes: Cataclysm

Exclusive CBN Interview:
Planet of Apes’ Bechko, Hardman discuss mini series, new ongoing



As the creative team of BOOM! Studios’ Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes mini series moves over into the announced ongoing Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm in September, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer talks in this exclusive interview with wtih creators Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman.

The duo discusses creating a comic based on the classic film franchise, Planet of the Apes, on some of their favorite characters and, for Hardman, the difficulties of illustrating a comic book, plotting and scripting with a partner.

Also be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Daryl Gregory, writer on BOOM’s Planet of the Apes, and what’s next for the sci-fi author.

Cosmic Book News: You have been praised by fans and critics alike for your handling of the Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes mini-series. But tell me, when you first began, what were the biggest challenges, especially since you probably wanted to stay true to the films yet make them different or distinct from the ongoing comic?

Corinna BechkoIt’s so nice of you to say so! It definitely was a challenge. We’re both huge fans of the movies, though, so getting the tone right was almost second nature. The hardest part was really knowing when to cleave to the originals and when to veer off. We wanted our Apes stories to be clearly set in the same universe as the films but we didn’t want to imitate them. That’s why we’ve tried to introduce new characters and to expand the world a little bit. We spent a lot of time before we even started the writing process discussing exactly how to do that. As to the ongoing comic, we both love what Daryl Gregory has been doing with his Apes stories but they are set so far apart in time from ours that there wasn’t any real danger of overlap.

Gabriel HardmanThe biggest challenge was to tell a self-contained story that was both undeniably set in the movie world of Planet of the Apes but that could still be accessible to a reader who had never seen those films. Luckily, the basic concept and conflicts in the POTA world are a clear and easy jumping-off point. I’ve always felt like it would be an interesting challenge to create a book that’s genuinely feels like a pre-established world but is telling a new story. So often licensed comics aren’t able to give you the tone and atmosphere of the original. Though considering the influence superhero movies are having over the comics these days, I think the definition of licensed comics is becoming blurred.


CBN: How did you and your writing partner on these projects share plotting/writing duties as far as the direction of the minis?

CB: We collaborate on every aspect of the script. We plot out the direction of each issue, breaking it down page by page and often panel by panel. After all of that, I go through and type everything up in script format, and then we pass it back and forth a few times to polish up the dialogue and pacing.

GHWe work on every aspect of the scripts together. We write full scripts even when I’m drawing the book myself. I’m pretty good at visualizing the panel breakdowns for the final art so we just put all that info in the script up front. That’s made for an easier transition to writing for other artists since we never wrote in shorthand just because I was drawing.

CBN: Which characters if any have been your favorites along the way and why?

CB: I’ve really loved Aleron, our gorilla protagonist from Betrayal and Exile, from the beginning. He’s such an iconoclast and he never makes things easy for himself. And of course, nothing is more fun than writing for Doctor Zaius. He’s a rebel in his own way, always so convinced of his position. And I’m really enjoying writing Zira and Cornelius now, the chimpanzee couple from the original Planet of the Apes film. They both have such distinct personalities on screen. Capturing that is both a challenge and a joy.

GH: Aleron is easily my favorite character. He’s battle-hardened and weary but he never lost an idealism that drives him forward. He’s the kind of character I love! Granted, that’s a pretty self-serving thing to say about a character we created but what can I say, it’s just true.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2657:]]CBN: Corinne, what is it like working with a writer who is also the artist on a series? How important is Gabriel’s art to the success of the series?

CB: It was fantastic to have Gabriel draw Betrayal. No one can draw a gorilla on horseback like he can! That said, we also loved working with Marc Laming on our second Apes miniseries Exile on the Planet of the Apes. With Gabriel as the artist, we get to mainline what’s in our heads straight to the comic book page. But sometimes working with other artists can bring unexpected delights to the story, and that’s always exciting.

CBN: Gabriel, what is it like working as a writer who is also the artist on a series? Do you get a different perspective on storytelling, etc.?

GH: In a word, it’s great. Having the power to tell a story I’m passionate about and draw it as well is extremely satisfying. Every once in a while “artist me” gets frustrated with “writer me” for coming up with such difficult stuff to draw but what can you do? The story has to be what it has to be. I’ve had a lot of fun working with great writers like Jeff Parker at Marvel but I plan to focus on drawing stories Corinna and I write as much as possible for the time being.


CBN: What is coming up next: for yourself and for any more POTA work down the line?

CB: We’re definitely going to be continuing on with Apes. We’re hard at work on and very excited about the new POTA ongoing that will launch in September from BOOM! The first arc is called Cataclysm and, as you might guess from the title, we really put Ape City through the wringer. We also both had stories in the POTA annual. Outside of Apes, we have a couple of creator-owned projects in the works that we’ll be announcing shortly.

GH: We are very excited to be writing Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm as a new ongoing series. It’s set eight years before the 1968 POTA movie and while some of our earlier characters carry through, it will be a clean jumping-on point for anyone who hasn’t read our mini series. Also, setting the series closer in time to the first movie gives us a chance to bring in familiar characters like Cornelius and Zira which is a tremendous amount of fun. We also have three more projects, creator-owned and freelance, that we will be able to announce soon.

CBN: Thank you so much for your time and talents. We are looking forward to more of those “damn dirty apes” from both of you!

“Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm” #1 hits in September from BOOM! Studios.

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Review: Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #2 (of 4)

  General Aleron seems to have violated the most sacred of the Lawgiver’s edicts: Ape does not kill ape! First he is on the run, then imprisoned in the nightmarish location called … The Reef! And it seems the only witness who may assist the down-fallen general is … a human who cannot speak? Truly, …

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