Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Monkey Prince #12 Review


Written by: Gene Luen Yang
Art by: Bernard Chang
Colors by: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters by: Janice Chiang
Cover art by: Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: March 7, 2023

Monkey Prince #12 ends the arc (and the series) with a shocking revelation about the Monkey Prince's origin and another confrontation with King Fire Bull.
Is It Good? 

File Monkey Prince #12 under "Let's just wrap up the big points and go home." Gene Luen Yang brings the arc and the series to an end with plenty of magical action, a surprise twist, more Lazarus Planet shenanigans, and a reasonably hopeful albeit incomplete conclusion.

When last we left Monkey Prince, he came to terms (sort of) with the fact that the Ultra-Humanite is his "grandfather" before racing off the deal with the Lazarus Planet conflict between Demon Nehza and King Fire Bull. Monkey Prince heavily works through the cleanup efforts when a mystery figure unleashes King Fire Bull from his poorly constructed and hidden prison (???) for one last run at conquering the world.

In a word, this issue is lazy. Gene Luen Yang nails the structural aspects of the story in terms of pacing and dialog, but everything related to the plot feels rushed and thrown together to get to the finish line.

Monkey Prince makes friends with Shelli, the Deep Princess who tried to eat him for reasons never explained or set up.

King Fire Bull, stewing in the weakest and most poorly hidden prison for a threat of his caliber, is freed by a mystery woman without explanation, context, or setup.

A now-freed King Fire Bull taunts Monkey Prince with a revelation about his origin that proves to be true. Monkey Prince is still the Monkey King's son, but not in the traditional sense (no spoilers here). The explanation holds water, but no context is provided as to how or why Monkey Prince came to be, why King Fire Bull knows the details, or why any of this information was presented in this issue when it has nothing to do with the plot.

Of course, all ends as it should with King Fire Bull back in his prison. The mystery woman simply flies away, Marcus never confronts his parents over their henching ways, and everyone enjoys a family dinner with Ultra-Humanite at the head of the table (in human form). Again, the major points are wrapped up, but a lot of little things still need to be addressed, leaving readers with a sloppy, lazy story.

The art by Chang, Maiolo, and Chiang is reasonably good. The mystery woman's skeleton soldiers look great, and the action is loud and fun, so that's something, at least.

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 #12 ends the series with fun action and at least one big reveal, but most of the plot points are not set up or explained, so it feels like the creators threw the issue together to be done with it.


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