The end of a millennium is always an opportunity to look backwards in nostalgia, but it seems when we crossed over from the Twentieth to the Twenty-First centuries we never stopped looking back.
This is a nice way of saying that, while individual comics can still be a hoot, on the whole the medium seems to be treading thin water, idea wise.
Hit Monkey #1, Daniel Way (W) Dalibor Talijic (A), Marvel
Just as the Chinese have a revolving wheel of animals to represent a calendar year there is a somewhat established cycle of go-to-funny characters we cheap humorists use when we want to mail in a joke. I think it goes Pirate, Ninja, Robot, Monkey, Caveman, Zombie, Cowboy, uhm… Richard Simmons, Nerds, Santa Clause, Bigfoot, Filipinos. Something like that…
The point is that, while the separate elements of a business suit wearing, serious toned, silver pistol toting Rhesus Monkey as a hit man seem good on paper it is the complete lack of originality BEHIND the desperate quirkyness that make him fail.
Let’s face it: Mignola did mokeys with guns in Hellboy: Box Full of Evil, then DC did the deadpan ape routine with Detective Chimp in Seven Soldier. Marvel practically ruined monkeys for the next ten years with its particularly unfunny Marvel Monkeys Joe Quesada’s pet project from a little while ago that he insisted the fans wanted.
DEADPOOL, where Hit-Monkey debuted, is a great mix of the silly and the gritty, a book far more akin to Image than Marvel. IF Hit-Monkey is going to thrive, it’ll be in the Deadpool-verse, but I fear a backlash from releasing a one-shot based on this character who was designed by committee to be “ the new wild thing.”
Colt Noble and the Megalords, Tim Seeley (W) Mike Dimayuga (A), IDW
Colt Noble is a He-Man parody webcomic written by Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley being reprinted by IDW. In Colt Noble, a 15 year-old prince is given the ability to transform into a gigantic super-warrior. While it was hoped he would use this ability to fight evil in the form of a skull headed wizard and his frankly nude witch henchwoman, Prince Jaysen is going to use his powers to get laid. This first issue makes it every plain that Colt Noble and co will fight thinly veiled versions of the Transformers, the Thunder Cats and and any other 80’s toy line they chose.
I want to stress that this is not much of a new idea, but we can give that a pass. My critique is that the art isn’t great and the humor is less than stellar. Despite its flaws, Colt Noble should find a welcome home amongst 13 years olds who like boner jokes and those of us with an inner 13 year-old still trapped beneath our hulking shells of Taco Bell abuse and lack of exercise.
If you like Robot Chicken, you’ll like this. If you liked Maus, Fun Home or Good-Bye Chunky Rice you might not.
I know Forbidden Planet still has copies of B.P.R.D. King of Fear #1, and with B.P.R.D. King of Fear #2 on the shelves this week you could pick up BOTH and begin your own exploration into the expanded world of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy.
Same goes for back-issues of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, which ships #7 this week from Brian Michael Bendis and Takeshi Miyazawa. Looks like a whole mess of fun!
Speculators might want to pick up issues of IDW’s Star Trek Nero TP, Adventure Comics #7 (hot dead Connor Kent action!) and Human Target #1 ( if the show’s a hit, this comics will be, too.)
All the rest of us will enjoy our latest issue of Muppet Show #2 YAY!