Friday, February 10, 2023

Bullet Review: Monkey Prince #11

I recently reviewed Monkey Prince #9 and Monkey Prince #10 on the site because Supergirl was a guest star. I was pretty impressed by those issues for a number of reasons. Certainly, Supergirl was fantastic in the book, given proper treatment. Second, the story was a fun, rollicking adventure with great action and dialogue by writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Bernard Chang. The story had more Kryptonian ties than just Supergirl. Lastly, it was a great tie-in to Lazarus Planet. 

So when Monkey Prince #11 came out this week, I grabbed it. Maybe Supergirl would still be in it. Regardless, the story and art grabbed me in the prior issues and I wanted to read more. High praise and shows what a good guest star can do, introduce you to a new book and make you buy it.

This issue was a bit of a revelation for the book. There is no Supergirl, not a big surprise. But the premise of the book (at least that I could glean from the issues I have read) is that Marcus' father, the Monkey King was thought to be an evil presence. Now that might not be true.

Even more interesting, the origin of our title hero not only feels a little more like Superman's but has some direct ties to Krypton. Very interesting for me!

As always, Bernard Chang just brings it on art here. The panels and action sequences are dynamic, innovative, and crazy in a good way! I really like his work and this seems the perfect book for him.

This will be a quick review!

One thing I have always liked about Gene Luen Yang's books is that there is usually a fair amount of humor in it. 

I like this line by the Ultra-Humanite to his son-in-law as they bicker over their inability to rebuild a Phantom Zone projector. The villain says he would have replaced his son-in-law with an android if he thought he could get away with it. 

Too funny.

One thing that was tricky about this was the timeline or the time passed. Last issue, the Lazarus Planet event started. Here, it seems like Marcus is talking about some interaction with Black Alice which takes place in Lazarus Planet Omega, what I believe is the last issue of the event. Does that mean the event itself is very brief? I don't know if I needed this note.

And while this issue does carry a Lazarus Planet banner, there isn't much in this issue about the story other than the persistent rain. 

The Monkey Prince is trying to stop his adopted grandfather, who he discovered is the Ultra-Humanite, from releasing the Monkey King from the Phantom Zone. 

I love this panel where the Monkey Prince is called Supergirl's sidekick! I'd love for this to be something that kind of sticks as a running joke. 

The villains do get their Phantom Zone projector does work. But before the Monkey King can escape the Zone, the Monkey Prince flies into it, fighting his father, a presumed super-villain.

I love the battle, especially where Monkey King shows the Prince what he really can do. The King can do actual clones, not chibi versions.

Check out the art and the page here. Double page splash, diagonal panels, wild action with crazy close-ups. Bernard Chang is awesome. 

Within the Zone, the Monkey King comes to a quiet moment with the Prince. He wants to show Marcus where he really came from. We get a flashback!

Back when Marcus' adopted parents were working with the Ultra-Humanite, again trying to open a portal to the Phantom Zone to release the Monkey King.

In the middle of the turmoil, energy and meteors flying out of a Phantom Zone portal, the JLA shows up. The parents are saved by Superman. 

Then a giant meteor flies out of the Zone, lands at their feet, and cracks open.

Inside is baby Marcus!

Marcus was born in or born from the Phantom Zone! That is some link to Superman! 

But what does it actually mean! I hope we learn more!

Meanwhile, we learn that the Monkey King can't leave the Zone. He'll die in actual space. But he also doesn't seem like a villain either. He gives Marcus some advice on who to seek out to further the Prince's powers and mission. 

This is a limited series. I assume it all ends with the next issue. But I'll be there. This is too fun, too entertaining,  and too visually engaging to pass up.

Overall grade: B+


williamslagun said...

I know this off topic but there’s a CBR article on how they’re getting Supergirl wrong in the upcoming DCU movie:


Anj said...

Thanks for link.
Lots of stuff I have said here ad nauseum.

Anonymous said...

I was a bit confused that this takes place after Lazarus Planet Omega, but then remembered that the inciting incident mini-series Batman vs. Robin concludes after Lazarus Planet Omega.

So even though Monkey Prince #11 is set after Omega, the Nezha story is clearly not yet complete, and will presumably tie up in Batman vs. Robin #5 at the end of this month. Or, will resolve in Monkey Prince #12.


SG Fan said...


Thanks for sharing that! It's nice to see some articles calling out this bad take on Kara.

Also, I just might not have seen enough stuff but, the pic you shared Anj, that's the most anime style Superman I've ever seen. Now I'm sort of curious what a Superman anime would look like LOL

Martin Gray said...

Surely the Black Alice scene is the one with Marcus in Lazarus Planet: Alpha?

Anyway, this is indeed great stuff. I love the running gag of Marcus’s henchparents dressing like their villain bosses.

Anj said...

Of course you're right Mart now that you point it out.

I think I was confused by the editor box thinking that alone time already took place in Omega rather than us seeing the outcome in it.

Silly Anj!

Steve said...

I'd love a Monkey Prince ongoing and the Prince join the Teen Titans but only by the same writer. There's been so many bad TT series I've started only reading them if Mart gives approval in a review.