Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Monkey Prince #8 Review


Written by: Gene Luen Yang
Art by: Bernard Chang
Colors by: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters by: Janice Chiang 
Cover art by: Marcus To, Rain Beredo
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: November 1, 2022

Monkey Prince #8 continues his adventure under the sea as an argument between Monkey Prince, and Aquaman is interrupted by a Trench invasion. Gillmen, Dragons, and Giant Talking Staffs! Oh, My!

Is It Good?

Monkey Prince #8 is half good, specifically in the first half. When we last left Marcus, he approached Aquaman in Atlantis about the ancient staff growing out of control in the middle of Dragontown, Atlantis. Rather than work things out peacefully, the two came to blows, and now we rush headlong into an underwater battle for the ages.

Sifu Piggy and the Atlanteans break off the bickering when Atlantis is attacked by the Trench. Meanwhile, Marcus grudgingly begins to meditate to communicate with the staff in the hope of becoming its master.

If this all sounds crazy, it is crazy, but crazy fun rather than chaotic nonsense. The action is exciting, Marcus displays a rare bit of character development, and then the dragons arrive to amp up the craziness a few more notches. Again, it's crazy but fun.

However, Yang's script stumbles badly during the battle's resolution, heading into the setup for what comes next.

The Silver Horn demon possesses the Trench King, which should make him more powerful, but Marcus beats him with effectively a single blow.  The Trench Princess turns back her father's army with a bitch slap and an authoritative "No!" That entire scene was silly.

Out of nowhere, we get an entire sequence about an alien, mystical force named King Fire Bull, who orchestrated the release of the demons on Earth to form a team of demonic generals. The King and his plan come out of nowhere and were poorly set up, yet Sifu Piggy spoke about the threat as if it was a significant part of the story. If Yang has another script talking about King Fire Bull, it's still in a drawer. The transition from Atlantis and Marcus's adventures to the Flame Planet is one of the most jarring, disconnected transitions in recent memory.

Last but not least, Marcus helps free his parents from prison and helps get them ready to move to the next city (Metropolis) without a word that he knows who they are, what they're doing, or his obligation to stop their henching ways. More than the misstep with the King Fire Bull introduction, Yang missed the boat here by not allowing Marcus to confront his parents and adding some depth and drama to the series.

The art from Chang, Maiolo, and Chiang is big, bold, and fun. The story may be an uneven work, but the art is visually pleasing from start to finish.


About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Monkey Prince #8 has a solid first half with a big battle at the gates of Atlantis, but it falls apart with the clunky, jarring introduction of the Big Bad and a final scene that sells Marcus (and this series) short.


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