Comic: "Marvel Apes"
Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Karl Kesel
Artist: Ramon Bachs

Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Posted: 4/28/2009

Plot: C-list superhero, The Gibbon, enrolls himself in a scientific study of superbeings being conducted at State University. The leader of the study decides to break into a dimensional experimentation lab to test her theories, only to screw up the machinery and transport both herself and The Gibbon to a dimension where the universe is populated by simian versions of the heroes/villains from Earth 616.

Review: If Joe Quesada ever came to you and asked for a story portraying Marvel superheroes as simian versions of themselves, how would you do it? Odds are it would come down to the choice between A) alternate dimension, B) pseudo-scientific doomsday device that causes humans to devolve, or C) some screwy time travel scenario. And coming off the heels of Marvel Zombies, you’d likely go with A.

I had never heard of “The Gibbon” prior to reading this comic, and rightly so. A man who has all the powers, and looks, of a gibbon? Doesn’t exactly sound like a winner to me, but then again, there are a lot of famous superheroes who are just man-animal combinations. Not the Gibbon, though. It turns out he’s just a loser hero-turned-villain-turned-hero who is just plain lame.

The postscript for the comic explain, in not so many words, that his own crappiness is part of the reason he fit this story so well. I guess that’s justification enough to have an outcast character launched into a dimension where suddenly he’s in the majority. The downside is that he’s not much of a superhero even in this universe. On the other hand, at least he’s out of the regular superhero dimension.

The real tragedy here is the abundance of simian wordplay in the comic. As soon as you read one of the ape civilians exclaim, “flingin’ feces,” you know you’re in for some trouble. And so the stream of puns continues, ranging from “bad” (Spider-Monkey and his nemesis, Dr. Otto Ooktavius) to “just stop” (Starmonks, Apebook, Monkhattan, etc). On the other hand, a number of the superbeings retain their original names because the writers couldn’t come up with a way to cram a simian reference into names like “Captain America”. Surely, they could’ve renamed Reed Richards as “Mr. Ape-tastic”.

Eventually, the wordplay does give way to a more serious note in the plot. I suppose it was necessary in order to give the comic some purpose beyond drawing out the “everything is now the ape version of itself” joke, but it didn’t do much for me. In fact, immediately after the close of the main story in the first issue, we’re treated to a brief history of the Marvel Apes universe from Uatu the Watcher (Ook-atu the Watcher?). It features, among other things, ape versions of both Galactus, and Hitler. I thought it was better than the actual story being told in the front half of the book. But hey, what do I know from ape-oriented stories.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

The Magnificent Bastard
Apr 30th, 2009, 02:29 AM

I swear alot of these comics are just being made on a dare!

Anyway, be sure to let us know if they ever make "Marvel Clowns" or "Marvel Babies". Those are what I'd really like to read.
The stealer of Pies
Apr 30th, 2009, 12:55 PM
be sure to read "amazing spider-monkey" number 1. the very last page of the comic, after the marvel apes almost get through to other dimensions,the marvel zombies snuck in and are now running around monkhattan......
Forum Virgin
Apr 30th, 2009, 07:38 PM
only in america
Apr 30th, 2009, 08:22 PM
wow this is crazy, I thought the zombies was a little out to lunch but this series really cuts the cookie.
Sam Sam is offline
The Unicorn
Apr 30th, 2009, 08:42 PM
Forum Virgin
May 1st, 2009, 04:24 AM
I can't believe I used to spend money on this crap. This is why I gave up on comics (on a weekly basis).
Amicable Herculean
May 1st, 2009, 06:38 PM
This is why I gave up on Marvel, period.
King of the Monsters
May 1st, 2009, 09:58 PM
<.< It's not bad. Once it finally started going onto the main storyline at hand it got a bit more interesting. The Watcher parts were hilarious though.
May 2nd, 2009, 02:19 AM
No. Just no.

Unless we get a Purple Mandrill.
May 2nd, 2009, 09:48 AM
Hey, if they ever make Marvel Babies I want to see an infant version of Hitler right there.
May 2nd, 2009, 04:16 PM
The idea was retarded to begin with.
Vigilante All-Star
May 2nd, 2009, 04:31 PM
there was an X-Men babies...does that count?
The Magnificent Bastard
May 2nd, 2009, 09:08 PM
There was an X-Men babies?!?!

I gotta track that down.
That guy...
May 3rd, 2009, 02:17 AM
The Magnificent Bastard
May 3rd, 2009, 11:21 AM
OK, now I definitely have to read that.

That actually sounds like a fun story. I wonder if it's in any TPBs.

Actually, I could probably look for that in my local antique store (they have alot of 80s comics there).
May 3rd, 2009, 02:55 PM
How about Marvel Big Ass Robots? Or have they done that already?
May 3rd, 2009, 04:38 PM
Actually, the general plot makes WAAAAY more sense than marvel zombies. I have a hard time believing rotting corpses are smart enough to orchestrate inter-dimensional plans of ultimate domination, but intelligent apes... yeah that makes sense.

You've gotta remember, somewhere along the line the ape family tree started to fork and one side became.. well us... and the other side kind of remained stagnant due to our dominance. I've gotta think that if we were out of the picture, the other great apes would be in our position now.
Dirty Birdy
May 6th, 2009, 02:46 PM
The only thing I want to see from Marvel is Joe Quesada's still-writhing corpse impaled in front of the offices in Manhattan with the word "HACK" painted on his forehead in crimson lettering.
Big In Japan
May 6th, 2009, 08:29 PM
Now that's just stupid...
Jul 1st, 2009, 04:08 AM
"How about Marvel Big Ass Robots? Or have they done that already? "
*clears throat*