Archive for Monkeys!

A Dose of Awesome: Apes and Monkeys!

I have again been neglecting my responsibilities to jam pure awesomeness directly into your forebrain, but I will now remedy that situation by jamming pure awesomeness directly into your forebrain… with apes and monkeys!

Apes and monkeys are not, of course, the same thing — an ape is a different critter than a monkey. They’re all primates, of course, but apes include gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans, while monkeys include spider monkeys, howler monkeys, baboons, mandrills, proboscis monkeys, capuchins, and (hee hee) titi monkeys, as well as many, many more.

We may think of them as our hairier, less sophisticated cousins, but apes and monkeys are capable of many amazing feats, ranging from traveling into space to running large and unusually awesome libraries. They can help the handicapped, act in movies and TV shows, and even be elected to city councils!

But they are not to be underestimated. Sure, chimpanzees look cute and harmless and fun, don’t they? But chimpanzees are stronger and faster than humans, and attacking chimps have seriously mutilated and killed several people in the past. Our primate cousins could mess us up pretty good if they wanted to.

Nevertheless, their many skills and their aptitude for ass-whuppin’ combine to make monkeys and apes just ridiculously awesome, and they’ve been rewarded with lots of love from the entertainment community. Comics have loved apes for over fifty years, with DC’s Silver Age devotion to apes and monkeys being particularly strong — Detective Chimp, Congorilla, Gorilla Grodd, Titano, Monsieur Mallah, and the Mod Gorilla Boss all got their starts in the ’50s and ’60s, and more modern ape characters have included Gorilla-Man, King Solomon, Rex Mantooth, Cy-Gor, Brainiape, Axewell Tiberius from “Monkeyman and O’Brien,” and the Kriegaffes that show up from time to time in the “Hellboy” comics.

How much do people love apes and monkeys? Just look at this page.

Monkeys and apes are awesome.

Comments (1)

Friday Night Fights: Chimp Champion!

Hey, man! Friday Night Fights is back in action! Let’s get things started the right way — with monkeys!

Here’s September 2006’s Shadowpact #3 by Bill Willingham and Cory Walker, where we get right into Detective Chimp showing Kid Karnevil why you should never make a chimpanzee mad at you:

Okay, that’s that. Don’t party too hard tonight — I expect y’all all to be at the Lubbock Comic Book Expo tomorrow and Sunday at the Civic Center!

Comments (1)

Monkey Business

Hit-Monkey #1

Marvel’s been talking this one up a lot. “Character creation of the year” and all that. It starts out focusing on a hitman, injured and on the run. He gets inexplicably taken in, cared for and healed by a small tribe of Japanese macaque monkeys — he is accepted by all of the monkeys but one. While the assassin heals up enough to be able to move about, he doesn’t have a lot of bullets and knows he’s still not well, so he starts training himself in unarmed combat, observed by the one untrusting monkey. In time, the people who tried to kill the hitman come after him, killing him and all the monkeys but the one outcast who didn’t trust the assassin — ironically, he’s learned enough about martial arts and gunplay by watching the hitman that he’s now able to take his revenge for the death of his tribe.

Verdict: Thumbs down. It’s actually a fairly dull story, and it certainly doesn’t live up to the hype that Marvel has given it. We never see the monkey in the snappy suit from the cover. We never get any indication that he’s actually smart enough to care about wearing a suit, much less figuring out how to use a handgun. Oh, I know, you should never ever expect too much logic from comics — especially not from comics about monkeys. Nevertheless, I was hoping for better.

JSA All-Stars #3

Hurray! It’s the happiest cover ever! Maybe DC really is figuring out that everyone hates Magog…

On the other hand, this is a pretty danged awkward issue. The JSA annual came out just last week, but this entire issue is set before the annual. So at this point, Magog is still a member in moderately good standing within the All-Stars. Most of the action in this issue takes place during a team training session, where Magog mainly tries to encourage everyone to kill their opponents, and Power Girl eventually clocks him a good one. But there’s some background stuff, too. Johnny Sorrow kills Killer Wasp mostly for grins, Atom-Smasher has been kidnapped by some evil magic user, and Sandman is waking up from his dreams with a mission. Oh, and Power Girl apparently has a new costume without the infamous/celebrated “boob window.” The backup story about Hourman and Liberty Belle is full of lots of good comedy, mainly stemming from Tigress and Icicle buying a plane ticket from Liberty Belle while she’s in civvies, giving the two married superheroes some extra cash to spend in Venice.

Verdict: Ehh, thumbs up, I guess. Nothing much to recommend it, but at least there’s nothing particularly bad either. The background elements are actually more interesting than the main storyline. And I do wonder why the decision was made to alter Power Girl’s costume, since I doubt her uniform will change in any of her other comic appearances.


Punisher #13

I missed an issue of this one a while back, but Frank Castle is still a stitched-together Frankensteinian killing machine, trying to save a bunch of monsters from cyber-samurai trying to destroy all monsters. That’s really the whole summary of the issue. There are some good fights with Morbius the Living Vampire, Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing, and lots of scenes with the Punisher shooting the heck out of samurai.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of good fights, lots of fun monsters. I heartily approve.

Comments off

Friday Night Fights: Monkey Mayhem!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the weekend! As always, we prefer to kick things off with a little gratuitous buttstompage in the form of… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight, we get our fisticuffs from August 1999’s The Flash #151 by Joe Casey, Duncan Rouleau, and Aaron Sowd, as Kid Flash gets slapped around by Montague, one of the intelligent apes from Gorilla City:


And for our musical accompaniment tonight, we’ll head for the bright, shining lights of Broadway!

Comments off

Friday Night Fights: Battle Monkey!

Another Friday means it’s time for another session of comic-art pain to kick off the weekend! Everyone strap yourself in for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Our weekly dose of ultraviolence comes tonight from the 2005 anthology Bizarro World and a story by Evan Dorkin and M. Wartella called “Monkey, the Monkey Wonder.” Here we see the inevitable result when Beppo the Super-Monkey catches Batman trying to do away with his new monkey sidekick.



My mon Spacebooger don’t shiv.

Comments off

Happy Monkeys!

Tiny Titans #9

The lengthier storyline this time concerns Beppo the Super-Monkey getting hold of a magic wand and then turning everyone into monkeys. This leads, as expected, to an awful lot of hijinx and monkeyshines. We also get to meet the Atom’s family (Snap! Snap!) as they hang out in Batgirl’s flowerbed.

Verdict: Not much happening here, but I’m still giving it a thumbs up, because it included Mallah the Super-Cute Beret-Wearing Gorilla, as well as a sound effect that just said “Monkey”. That’s absolutely awesome, people.

Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #4

Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Hulk hang out together, beat up a bank robber, and then discover that the sonic-powered supervillain called Klaw the Unconquerable has a new career: country-western singer. And he performs wearing his supervillain costume, wearing his funky little megaphone in place of his hand, and wearing a spiffy little cowboy hat on top of the whole thing. It’s not the most surreal thing I’ve ever seen in a comic book, but it’s gotta be close. So is Klaw’s new passion of twangy music legit, or is this just another scheme?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Supervillains as country music stars — I swear, that’s absolutely brilliant. And yeah, the other characters are great. The interplay between Spidey, Shellhead, and Greengenes is outstanding. Hulk seems to get the most laughlines — his attempts to live the country-music lifestyle are very funny, and it’s nice that he’s so fond of his pants — but Spidey and Iron Man get their share of great lines, too. Heck, even Klaw’s band members are pretty nicely depicted.

Comments off

One Nation under GRODD!

Hairless bipeds! You will submit to your simian superior! You will submit to GRODD!


The puny, primitive humans will bow before Earth’s ultimate master! All hail Gorilla Grodd!


There is no state! There is no religion! There is no society! There is only Grodd!


Humanity is an evolutionary dead end! Only Grodd reigns supreme!


The master of Gorilla City is destined to become the master of the world! All hail GRODD!


Duuuude, you tried these bananas? Awwwwwesome.


Humanity will kneel! Kneel before Grodd!

Comments off

Age of Wonder


Wonder Woman #14

This is a series that has had a lot of problems. After they relaunched it last year, they started a new storyline that they weren’t able to finish — they actually started a new storyarc and delayed the last issue of the old one almost a year. After that, there were way too many months of novelist Jodi Picoult’s less-than-acceptable writing. But new writer Gail Simone has a lot of people entertaining high hopes that this title is going to get very good very quickly.

Plotwise, this issue sees Wonder Woman fighting off and then befriending a bunch of genetically engineered super-gorillas from Gorilla City, and then undertaking a mission in her secret identity as superspy Diana Prince to capture Gorilla Grodd for the Department of Metahuman Affairs — except it’s not Grodd, it’s Captain Nazi and a horde of his evil Nazi minions! You know what that means? It means next issue is going to feature a Guatemalan megaton of Nazi-stompage. Good times for us all!

This issue has several small moments that still come across as unusually cool. There’s Wonder Woman letting the rogue gorillas live in her apartment for a while, and one of them apologizing for the “flinging incident.” There’s also Agent Prince getting a surprise birthday party and getting stuck with a mouthful of birthday cake just as the boss wants to talk to her.

But the really interesting thing is the re-introduction of Etta Candy, one of Wondy’s oldest supporting cast members. Back in the ’40s, Etta was — not to mince words — fat. But she was loud and enthusiastic and funny and positive, and she kicked about nine kinds of ass every issue. This new version of Etta is Lt. Colonel Candy, an undercover government operative who’s looking for a good excuse to ruin Wondy’s life. And she’s not fat anymore. Frankly, I don’t think she even qualifies as overweight. Sure, she’s not the comic-book world’s ideal — but as she’s depicted here, if you met her in real life, you’d certainly classify her as a knockout. I’m not sure what I think of this new character yet. I may end up liking the character, but I really did kinda like the old chubby version of Etta.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m hoping this comic continues to stay good.

Comments off

Monkey Monkey Monkey

Mmmmm, giant Kryptonite monkey…

One thing you should know about comics fans: We really love monkeys.

“What’s so strange about that?” I hear you ask. “All red-blooded Americans love monkeys!”

This is indeed true. But it still must be said: comic book fans really, really love monkeys.

A lot of this stems from comics’ “Silver Age” in the late-1950s to ’60s. DC Comics had an editor named Julius Schwartz, who had a method for spurring writers’ creativity in which he’d send them some utterly outrageous cover (Green Lantern giving away free power rings to passersby, the Justice League getting turned into trees, the Flash being transformed into a life-sized wooden puppet), then tell the writers to come up with a story based on that cover image. As it turned out, the covers that had DC characters interacting with a gorilla or monkey nearly always sold more copies than other comics, so you saw more and more DC comic books with monkey guest stars, monkey villains, like Gorilla Grodd, Monsieur Mallah, and Titano, or even monkey superheroes, like Detective Chimp or Beppo the Super-Monkey.

So, based on this noble, banana-eating heritage, comic book fans really love monkeys.

There are, however, limits.

DC decided to really push the envelope of monkey-love back in 1999. Back then, all of DC’s annuals would revolve around central themes — one year, it was pulp fiction, the next it was “DC One Million” with new versions of DC’s heroes in the far flung future. Well, in 1999, the theme was “JLApe” after the evil Gorilla Grodd succeeded in one of his oldest schemes: he turned the members of the Justice League into gorillas.

The Justice League of Apes?

Someone’s made monkeys of the JLA…

Green Lantern channels Charlton Heston

All in all, it doesn’t seem that bad, does it? Well, unfortunately, despite all the funky monkey art, the series as a whole just wasn’t very well written, but then again, lots of comics aren’t well written. The biggest problem is that, rather than being a single comic with a bunch of gorillas in it, it was seven or eight comics, in the space of a month, with a bunch of gorillas in ’em. That’s like chain-smoking Cuban cigars for a month, or guzzling bottles of fine champagne for a month — when you over-indulge in a luxury, it stops feeling luxurious.

So to summarize:

A few super-monkeys = good!

A whole bunch of super-monkeys over a dozen comics all in the same month = Let us not speak of this again.

Comments off