By Kevin Mahadeo
When this monkey comes after you, worry less about flying feces and more about the barrage of bullets. He's Hit-Monkey, and this July the gun-toting simian graces the comic page once again in the three-issue limited series HIT-MONKEY RETURNS by writer Daniel Way and artist Dalibor Talajic.
Created by Way and Talajic, Hit-Monkey got his start with a three-issue guest-starring stint in DEADPOOL. Way says the character's immediate popularity surprised him, but he definitely appreciates the chance to craft these types of strange tales.
"I think it just struck a chord with people because it seemed ridiculous and so out there," comments the writer. "People seemed to like the idea. And I think the association with Deadpool has helped out definitely because Deadpool opens the door to all kinds of different and weird stories. It just made sense to keep going with the character and let me loose to see what else can be mined from it. Personally, I like writing these bizarre stories. So, it was gratifying that people seemed to dig it and Marvel is supporting it be letting us do more."
The limited series takes place after Hit-Monkey's origin-available to read on Marvel.com-but before the character's appearance in DEADPOOL. Way explains that the story follows how the silent assassin went from fur-covered revenge-seeker to sharp-dressed killer of killers.
"He didn't realize that was his destiny," says Way. "He just wanted revenge for what had happened to his family. But what he's going to find out is that revenge isn't one of those things that has a finite end, especially when you have this spirit of this nameless assassin stuck in your head and urging [you] to go on and on and on."
|HIT-MONKEY RETURNS #1 cover by Dave Johnson|
"What I came up with is that this nameless assassin who we met in the origin story [died], but he also says that he will live on. He does as a spirit in this new series. He's the one who is speaking and who is providing readers with all that exposition that we need to make sense of what Hit-Monkey is doing. He's also driving the story forward and is a really key component in exposing to Hit-Monkey what he's actually doing and if this is what he wants to do."
The writer also teases a few appearances by other characters from across the Marvel Universe, though Way wants to keep whom exactly a secret.
"I can say it's a character I've written before and it's a character I really enjoy writing," he hints. "It shouldn't be hard to figure out once you see the path that Hit-Monkey is on that it makes sense he's going to cross paths with this guy. It's kind of a big moment."
Despite Hit-Monkey's popularity, Way confesses that what exactly makes the character work remains a mystery.
"If I knew why it works, then I would do it again and again and again," he jokes. "It's a lot of voodoo involved in the creation of comics, but launching a new character in particular, it's very hard. There's no real template or pattern to follow to come up with a successful character. We were just in the right place at the right time. I almost don't even want to try to figure it out because then we might screw it up."
As for the future of Hit-Monkey, Ways claims that you simply can't keep a character as interesting and popular as him caged for long.
"I think it's a character that we'll definitely be seeing for a while," he says. "He's already proven that he has a place in the market and that he has a place in the Marvel Universe and this limited series is just kind of stage one of weaving him into the tapestry. We'll definitely be seeing more of him."
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