(Monkeybrain Comics, 2013)
Review by Brad Gischia
Written by Micheal Moreci & Steve Seeley
Artwork by Kyle Latino
Color Artwork by Jordan Gibson
Little to no spoilers, other than awesomeness…(but you already knew that)
I’ve come to expect great things from the Moreci/Seeley camp. With their premiere of Hoaxhunters last year and its continued success they have proven that they have comic chops. The ability and gumption to keep at a good idea, to expand, make it bigger than the original while staying within the concept. Wednesday premieres the team’s newest book, Prime-8’s, and rest assured, they have delivered again.
It is fitting that Monkeybrain Comics has decided to publish it.
I’m not going to say that you’ll “go ape” over this book. I won’t insist that this book is the (mon)key to happiness. (Once you read the book, you’ll see that Moreci and Seeley have more than likely thought of any and all monkey-related puns, and made a few more just to keep things interesting.) I will say that it is right up there with other offerings from the duo.
The premise is that a group of sentient monkeys (I use the term generically, we all know that gorillas and chimps are different etc. etc…) have come to Earth in its time of need a la Return to the Planet of the Apes. But these monkeys have special powers, including kung fu, super intelligence, four arms, and…booming stuff. So these apes fought an arch nemesis, which they then beat. He vanished and they lost a reason to be a team and dispersed. Prime-8’s picks up later, when strange things are happening again.
Seeley and Moreci have taken their passion for comics and turned out another gem. If you’re already a fan, it’s a good balance to Hoaxhunters, which is a darker book over all, and it still deals with the “stuff” that other mainstream books do. The heroes are disenchanted with their place in society, the world, and the universe. They wonder that they mystery of their existence, they try, with some success, to fit in to a world not their own. They eat bananas. These are issues that continue to plague comic characters. (Excepting the banana part. On that note, check that. I assume they eat bananas. At no point in the book is a monkey actually shown eating a banana. Or a gorilla etc. etc.)
You can tell that they love the subject matter, that they enjoy writing a lighter book by the wonderful dialogue and fantastic action. There are flashes of James Bond, the X-Men, Planet of the Apes, the Avengers, Shield, all things taken from a popular cultured universe and rolled into an enjoyable book.
The combination of Kyle Latino’s pencils and Jordan Gibson’s colors give the book a playful feeling. I get glimpses of Kirby-esque facial features, and traces of Timm in some of the action sequences. It’s all fun and colorful, from the original Prime-8’s costumes (kind of remind of the Wonder Twins) to the S.h.i.e.l.d. type costumes later; it’s the kind of comic we all want to read.
Prime-8’s is a prime example of what creators can do when they’re allowed to have complete fun with a project, and proof that when you have determined and committed people on a comic, the best always comes out.
So, just in case Mr.’s Moreci and Seeley have missed any, which I’m sure they haven’t, go to your local comic shop, Spi(der) this monkey book on the shelf, and buy it, then Howl(er) to all your friends to buy it as well.
Follow Brad Gischia on Twitter: @comicwasteland