Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monkey Man Unleashed

What Is It?: Monkey Man Unleashed 1-3 by Brian Lynch. (NOTE: You can find 'em on EBay. I did.)

Timing: Sometime at some point in Monkey Man's life.

REVIEW: Pretty much, think of the most bonkers story you can imagine, and you've got this. "Monkey Man Unleashed" is basically the comic form of a cartoon that should be on Adult Swim, yet it's way better than the stuff they're currently airing. The story is basically about a monkey who was experimented on by scientists and has transformed into the ass-kicking Monkey Man, his little brother Money Boy who isn't retarded but is pretty much "the biggest genius in the world only the opposite of that," a geek named The Geek, and an ass-headed alien named Nigel 7 who doesn't know he's an ass-headed alien but thinks he's just an... erm... ass-headed guy. With green skin. The plot includes Monkey Man being captured and abandoning his life's mission of defending his geeky friends to A) star in a movie and B) chill with Poppy, who is life-mission-abandoning worthy. At the same time, The Geek and Nigel 7 are being chased by who they once thought would be Nigel 7's dream girl... turns out, not so much.

Like Brian's work in "Everybody's Dead" and the latter issues of "Shadow Puppets," each of these pages is loaded, and I mean filled to the tippy top, with jokes and references. Not all of them work as good as others, but when you've got so, so much material here (29 pages of comic per issue, in addition to funny opening dedications with a running joke, as well as illustrations in the back, and an advice column run by Monkey Man himself) it doesn't matter if a few gags fall flat because there will be a laugh-out-loud moment right after it. Some of the best moments from from references to pop culture, especially the appearance of the O'Doyle Rules! dudes from "Billy Madison." That was freaking awesome. Not to mention a certain panel that includes Dawn, Buffy, and Spike, which Brian Lynch has said was his first time writing Spike!

The story is trippy, hilarious, and outright fun. There is so much material in each issue, on each freaking page, that it'll take you quite a while to get through each issue. I wish this would be made into a nice thick trade to put next to my "Everybody's Dead" collection when they comes out, but at the moment I'm just happy I was able to pick these up. After reading these, I'll surely be checking out the rest of Brian's Monkey Man webcomics. Overall, it's not as entertaining or grasping as "Everybody's Dead," but it's still a comic that is very, very deserving of a read.

Art: The art is wonky and perfectly fits the mood of the story. It's in black & white, which I usually bitch about, but again it really works well here. It's kinda Futurama and kinda something-else-entirely, but every panel, even the chaotic fight scenes, are so well done with such sharp and clear images that nothing ever looks crowded or confusing. Nicely done work, DJ Coffman.

Rating: 7/10

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