According to reports from out of NYCC, the suspicions of comic fans across the internet have finally, officially, been confirmed: Marvel have admitted that they're just monkeying around with their characters. Or, at least, they will when new series Marvel Apes debuts, bringing a new level of banana worship to the heroes of the House of Ideas. Is the world ready for the first appearance of Spider-Monkey?
The series - long mentioned by Marvel head Joe Quesada and assumed to be a joke - will be written by former Superman writer Karl Kesel, who was the first to admit that the project doesn't exactly sound real:
Of course, the first things that come to your mind are the jokes and bad puns— Spider-MONKEY is a hero in MONKhattan in the United SIMIANS of America. It's a Cocktail Party Idea— one you can toss around funny one-liners about with your friends as you sip drinks (in this case: banana daiquiris). But to have a STORY you need more than jokes. You need conflict, you need characters readers can admire and root for, and you need something real at stake. That's when you start looking past the banana peels and asking yourself: Okay, how does this society really work? What's important to these characters? For all its similarity to the mainstream Marvel Universe, how is it different? Once you figure that out, the story almost writes itself.
Yes, despite what you think, this really is a story where all the familiar characters get a monkey makeover, and it's one where there's a more serious subtext:
The thing about monkeys and apes is that they look like us, but they're not us. So you put them in clothes and they look funny. But it's more than that because monkeys-in-clothes (or apes-in-capes, in this case) allow people to laugh at themselves without really laughing at themselves. You don't laugh at a monkey dressed as George W. Bush because he's doing the same stupid things the real Bush does— no no no. You're laughing at him because a monkey dressed as George W. Bush looks FUNNY! (At least, that's what we tell ourselves.) And there's a touch of that "court jester" comedy/commentary in this story, too. You almost can't avoid it.
Watch for, as Quasi would sing, apeself remaining in us towards the end of this year.
Marvel Apes [Newsarama]