blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Monkey Prince (2022) #2

Monkey Prince  2Wait, is Batman just supposed to be a bad dad? Did DC really not think giving him a kid through? Or does Monkey Prince writer Gene Luen Yang just get to flash his bonafides and characterize Batman as a complete dipshit?

In addition to Batman attempting to gaslight and emotionally manipulate Robin (who’s now his son), which Robin calls out, we also find out Batman doesn’t tell Commissioner Gordon things like “I went into a high school and beheaded someone.” Is the natural conclusion of fascist, abusive Bat-dad is he’s a punchline?

Maybe, but seeing how little Batman cares about anything is still bizarre. Civilians, murder victims, whatever. Basically, he’s a tool, just like the school bully in Monkey Prince. Luckily for lead Marcus, his new school’s got plenty of non-tools around, including—sort of—Robin’s alter ego, Damian Wayne. Damian’s an annoying kid on the school newspaper who interrupts his interviews to take WayneTech Watch calls from his dad and mock him.

Marcus also gets to hang out with his crush, Kaya, and it’s adorable when he gets elated at the thought he’s on her radar (only to discover she’s part of the school’s mental health club, something Bruce Wayne probably ought to be paying for city-wide). He and de facto mentor Mr. Zhu have some long talks about Monkey Princing, and then there’s some more with Marcus’s parents.

I’m guessing Prince established Marcus was adopted last issue, but I’d forgotten. It doesn’t really change anything (yet?), but Yang’s setting him up for a big moment when he discovers his adorkable parents are actually supervillain support scientists.

Yang’s still in the setup phase of the series, though I did entirely miss the Penguin has been turned into “Golden Horn Penguin.” I blame artist Bernard Chang, who does an excellent job throughout—especially with the humor—but his one introduction shot to a mutated Penguin isn’t enough. I thought the mutant was eating Penguin, not Penguin mutated and eating other people.


Really strong issue, can’t wait for more, exactly what a teenage superhero comic should be.

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