The end for man is only the beginning for ape. At Koba's request, Caesar sends a search party into the wild. The time to create sanctuary for all apes is upon them. On the other side of the Americas, Malcolm refuses to let Rita, his wife, die alone. Willing to risk the infection, his family must venture through the harsh and dying cities to find some chance for a cure.
In the dead of night, Pope and two chimps, Cora and Fifer, stumble upon a human dwelling near a cornfield. Pope signals them to check the house’s contents and remain vigilant for humans. Cora and Fifer proceed, climbing up to the second floor balcony, looking through a bedroom window for sings of humans. Cora gives the all-clear, but Fifer tells her to wait as he mocks Pope. Bot chimps proceed inside the house laughing.
As they rummage through the kitchen, Cora notes how easy it is to collect food than hunting for food. Fifer also recollects on their cruel days in a laboratory, with the only upside being given tasty treats. As they place the food in a bag, they heard a voice and the kitchen lights turn on. They spot two humans, a male and female, looking at them. The male, Jeremy, tells the female, Liz, to get back as he forces the apes outside at gunpoint. Liz notices the food in the bag and tells Jeremy the apes could have contaminated everything with the Simian Flu, meaning they would have to leave their home. Enraged, Jeremy demands to know why Cora and Fifer broke into their house, and their kind’s presence is wiping out humanity. His hands shake as he prepares to pull his gun’s trigger
As Jeremy prepares to fire, Pope jumps from the roof, catching Jeremy’s attention. Jeremy turns and opens fire, only for the savage chimp to land on him before pulling the trigger and proceeded to beat the human to death. Pope, covered in blood, tells Cora and Fifer to never show weakness, but not in sign. He has obtained the power of speech. Liz, horrified, runs back in the house and out the other side. Pope tells the chimps to kill her, but Fifer states Caesar said no killing human. Pope coerces Fifer to kill Liz by stating the possibility of Liz telling more humans about the apes and the possibility of hunting the apes to extinction. Fifer runs after Liz, reaching her in the corn field and proceeded to maul her to death.
Cora heads for Fifer, who stands over Liz’s body. Fifer turns to Cora, horrified by his own action as his eyes tear up. Cora attempts to calm him, but he leaves her with the body.
In Ape Village, Cornelia finds Caesar staring at a tree, telling him he can’t always watch over the apes. But Caesar states it’s his responsibility. Cornelia tells him he must learn to trust them to grow on their own, but Caesar believes they’re not ready due to their ability to act on impulses rather than think before they act. Cornelia points out that he wants the apes to be more like the humans, and reminds him the apes and humanity are different. Caesar replies he knows and he must work with the apes to find their own future for Ash and the next generations of apes, and Cornelia asks him does that include their own. Caesar realizes she’s pregnant. Cornelia tells him to show the apes how to grow through their own child.
Malcolm pulls up near a motel, asking Rita if it’s suitable for the night. Rita accepts the motel, laying out a plan to sleep in shifts with one of them being on lookout. Rita then expresses her concern about placing Malcolm and Alexander in danger. She then reminds Malcolm of what he was doing before she became infected: searching for a place to live with food, energy and resources, even if it means abandoning her, which upsets Malcolm. Rita questions whether any choice they make will feel right or not, and Malcolm assures her their choices will be right because they’ll make them right before heading inside.
Malcolm walks in the manager’s office, seeing no one inside. He heads for a wall with keys on hangers, reaching for one until he notices an elderly man. Malcolm apologizes for the intrusion and states he needs a place to stay for the night. The man asks if Malcolm has good water because his went bad and told Malcolm he’ll give him a room for a jug. As Malcolm heads outside to get the jug, the man pulls out a walkie-talkie and informs the person on the other side that he has enough people in his motel and he’ll be waiting for them.
As Rita and Alexander sleep, Malcolm wakes up to a scream. Alexander and Rita also wake up and Alexander asks his father what was what noise. Malcolm tells him to remain quiet and head in the closet with Rita at he heads for the window. He sees armed, masked men dragging people into vans until one of them stood face to face with Malcolm through the window. Malcolm reaches for their gun as the doorknob rattles. Two masked men burst in their room; Malcolm bashes on in the head with the butt of his gun and grapples with the other. The other man pushes Malcolm out of the room, causing him to drop his gun. The man held Malcolm’s head as he pulls out a knife, ready to stab him. Malcolm reaches for his dropped gun and pulls the trigger, sending buckshot in the man’s abdomen. He tells Rita and Alexander to head in the closet and not make a sound. He runs towards one of the masked men standing in front of a woman and her daughter, knocking him out. He tells the woman and her child to run until a gunshot pierces the side of his right thigh. He turns to an unmasked man, telling Malcolm his people doesn’t take any casualties, but will make an exception.
As the man prepares to fire, another gun is fired. Blood falls down from the man’s chest as he drops dead in front of Malcolm. Malcolm turns to a woman standing in front of him with a gun, telling him to get up. Soon, the masked men open fire on at an armed group. The group’s leader tells them to aim for the trucks’ tires to keep them from escaping. Rita runs to Malcolm, horrified to see his wound. He assures her he’s fine and they need to leave the motel. The group’s leader and the woman who saved Malcolm ran after the trucks, firing at them until the trucks disappeared. Rita helps Malcolm down the stairs, asking him if he can watch their son as she pulls the car in. Before he could answer, the group approaches them; the woman remakes sarcastically about how they saved Malcolm, his family and anyone left in the motel. Malcolm grabs his gun, telling the group he wants nothing to do with them, but the leader assures him they’re not the ones he should be worried about. He asks Malcolm how far he can travel with his wounded leg. Malcolm attempts to raise his gun until he lost consciousness from the blood loss. The leader tells his team to take Malcolm and his family with them as rain begins to pour down. The woman grabs Alexander as another man grabs Rita. Rita assures her son everything will be fine and calls Malcolm’s name twice.
- Caesar - Leader of the Ape Colony
- Cornelia - Mate of Caesar
- Pope - Former lab chimpanzee, now trainer of the soldiers of the Ape Colony
- Fifer - Chimp follower of Pope
- Cora - Chimp follower of Pope
- Malcolm - Father of Alexander
- Rita - Mother of Alexander
- Alexander - Son of Rita and Malcolm
- Liz - Human killed by Pope's troop
- Jeremy - Human killed by Pope's troop
- Shavers - Leader of a human community
- Amber - Shavers' second-in-command
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1
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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #3