The Marvel Universe is filled with all kinds of characters. A patriotic soldier taken out of his own time, a teenager with the abilities of a spider, and of course a killer monkey in a suit with the skills of an assassin. Ok, that last one isn’t exactly a household name, but with the debut of Hulu’s original series Hit Monkey, that might just change soon.
Hit Monkey follows a Japanese snow monkey who is linked to the ghost of an American assassin. After watching his tribe get slaughtered, he vows to get revenge on those who took his family from him. Using the advice of his new ghost friend, he kills his way through the Yakuza underworld until he can get what he wants.
This is far from your typical Marvel story. Not only is our hero a gun-wielding monkey in a suit, but he’s also a ruthless killer. Think Deadpool but, you know, a monkey. It’s rare that Marvel gets you rooting for the beast on a murder spree, but they absolutely manage to do exactly that here.
The lead character is far from the only difference from your typical Marvel project however. While this show is animated, it is still one of the most gruesome things Marvel has every released. People are constantly being shot or stabbed and one lady even gets sawed in half, and not in the fun magic way. It’s a hyper-violent show that will likely desensitize most viewers in a matter of minutes.
And then there’s the humor. Marvel has been known to slip a somewhat adult joke into its movies and series every now and then. That got taken to a new level when M.O.D.O.K. debuted on Hulu earlier this year. Hit Monkey is absolutely on that same level and at times maybe even goes a step further.
That’s not to say these jokes aren’t delivered in a hilarious way. Jason Sudeikis steals the show as the ghost of Bryce, the former assassin. Admittedly, most of the show is him playing off of the grunt and screams of a monkey, but somehow that just makes it more hilarious. The back-and-forth between the two is always entertaining and occasionally provides a genuine laugh-out-loud moment.
There’s also a fair amount of real-world drama in this show, that balances out the ridiculousness of this monkey assassin story perfectly. A political assassination sparks an investigation from a detective who hopes to avenge the murder of his partner. Meanwhile, the campaign team of the murdered politician attempt to continue their mission of cleaning up crime in Tokyo. The dark superhero story is still present, it’s just lying underneath miles of hilarious monkey-ghost team-up action.
Overall, Hit Monkey is going to be hit or miss. It’s wildly entertaining and hilarious, but it’s also gruesome and a big departure from what fans typically expect from Marvel. Those who are open to wildly different and at times slightly vulgar Marvel fun, like what we saw in M.O.D.O.K., will likely enjoy Hit Monkey. If you don’t want to watch an animated monkey slicing up Yakuza with a katana, maybe skip this one. Most Marvel fans will likely enjoy this incredibly ridiculous romp though.
Marvel’s Hit Monkey will debut on Hulu on November 17th.