Monkey Prince #11
Monkey Prince, now at the Hall of Justice with Supergirl, must defend it against the Ultra-Humanite. But it looks like Ultra-Humanite needs to get through not only to acquire secret information about the Monkey King that could defeat Nezha...but also for information about how Marcus is related to the Monkey King. Will Monkey Prince give in to learn his truth but put all the other heroes at risk?
LAZARUS PLANET TIE-IN
This issue picks up after Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1, with Marcus returning to the Hall of Justice after teaming up with the other heroes. We quickly jump back into the ongoing narrative with Ultra-Humanite attempting to open a portal to free/control the Monkey King from the phantom zone. Upon opening the portal, Marcus intervenes and accidentally dives into the portal, where he meets the Monkey King for the first time. He learns the truth about his origins (at least some of it) and escapes from the portal only to be taken over by the Ultra-Humanite.
My only gripe with this issue is more related to editorial, which is a shame for the entire creative team. Editorial has failed this series twice now in the solicitations. The last issue’s solicitation was utterly wrong, and this weeks is slightly incorrect. It seems like these solicitations were written well before The Lazarus Planet event started tying into these. I was looking forward to more Supergirl/Monkey Prince-Team Up action here, but she doesn’t appear once in this issue. Monkey Prince is such a fun character, and it’s a shame that the editorial isn’t putting in the effort to sell these books.
Gene Luen Yang continues to be at the top of his game when crafting an identity for Marcus. Each issue has reminded us how important family is to him, even when facing the direst circumstances. This whole family is full of villains, heroes, and henchmen, but they are, first and foremost, a family. When it was revealed that Ultra-Humanite was opening a portal to the negative zone to retrieve the Monkey King, there were only a few possibilities as to how Marcus would finally confront him. It was only fitting that Marcus accidentally fell into the portal when trying to save his father. Yang has stayed consistent with this aspect of Marcus’s character, and even though this moment in the issue wasn’t highlighted in any way, it was a slight touch that helped bring this full story circle. Another moment that touches on this is when Ultra-Humanite briefly consoles Marcus after he leaves the portal to remind him that his father is ok.
I am not incredibly invested in the event, so this issue fits better to my sensibilities, but the reader’s mileage will vary. For those not caught up on the occasion of Lazarus, this issue only spends half a page tying up that story and quickly moves on. This is not it for those looking for an expansive Lazarus Planet Tie-in.
Bernard Chang’s art continues to be a highlight here, with the added addition of Haining. One issue plaguing comics today is how little detail the artists put into the backdrops of the panels. Often these backdrops are empty or just meaninglessly filled with color. Chang and Haining skirt this by filling the background with various clouds and action pieces that fit well with the book’s themes. The cloud motif has been consistent since the start of this series and gives this book a unique flair for people to differentiate it from others on the stands.
The ongoing mystery with Monkey King finally comes to a head here with the reveals of parts of Marcus’s origin and also the revelation that Monkey King willingly went to the phantom zone to die. Marcus’s birth came a lot simpler than I had anticipated, providing a satisfying answer that didn’t needlessly complicate the book. The introduction of Monkey King was also fascinating, as he likely subverted most readers’ expectations. We’ve spent this entire series under the impression that Marcus is the son of the Monkey King, but we learn that even the Monkey King himself doesn’t believe that’s true. Shifu Pigsy, who has sadly missed these last few issues, seems to have a lot to answer. Ultimately, this leads to a fantastic conclusion that hopefully leads to another limited series or (fingers crossed) an ongoing one.
Monkey Prince #11 wastes no time in bringing Marcus back to his own story. All of the revelations and action here lead to a fantastic set up to the eventual conclusion.
Monkey Prince #11: The Origin FINALLY Revealed
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 8.5/108.5/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10