Mild Mannered Reviews – APE-ril Special #1

APE-ril Special #1

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APE-ril Special #1 (One Shot)

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 19, 2024
Cover date: May 2024

Writers: John Layman, Joshua Hale Fialkov and Gene Luen Yang
Artists: Karl Mostert, Phil Hester and Bernard Chang
Cover: Dan Mora
Variant Covers: Bernard Chang and Hayden Sherman

Reviewed by: Tony Parker

“Plan of the Apes”

Grodd is imprisoned. The law of the jungle says someone has to fill the void. Monsieur Mallah claims to be the one to do so. He recruits Silverback, Ultra-Humanite, Jackanapes and Titano. While they’re not sure at first, they are convinced by his words of trickery. What his plan is yet unknown, but he is reading from the Monkeynomicon, so it’s probably bad.

Meanwhile, Sam Simeron, primate detective, tries to figure out why a dozen monies are missing from Bludhaven zoo. Plus a pair of missing chimps and some missing lab monkeys. As it turns out, Detective Chimp is also investigating the case, or well, a connected case, of missing circus monkeys. The Monkey Prince confirms this to the two, explaining that Monsieur Mallah is behind this. The trio agree to find him (after Monkey Prince explains his arm was taken by Mallah, to showcase how strong he is), with Chimp assuring that Mallah is tough but beatable.

Only for Titano to show up and start beating up the heroes. Chimp “runs away” (in actual fact to get Gleek and Beppo to help), while Monkey Prince and Sam barely hold back the Legion of Do(oo-oo-ah-ah)m. However, now armed with Gleek and Beppo, the heroes can fight back, as the JLA (Jungle League of America).

For a while, at least. But the enemies get stronger and stronger, thanks to Mallah’s Monkeynomicon. Sam tails him and discovers to his horror that the innocent monkey’s are being chopped off of their arms, to create delicately crafted Monkey’s Paw wishes. Sam puts his dukes up, ready to go out in honor.

But his friends arrive in the nick of time, as well as the rest of the villains, who are furious at Mallah’s betrayal of ape kind, and beat him up, sending him back to Simian Island for punishment. The day is saved, and Sam Simian resumes his life as a private eye.

5Story – 5: Look, normally I’d give an in depth explanation. But must I? It’s a story about the Monkey Justice League with my new favorite character Sam Simeon taking on evil monkeys. Must I even explain?? Also, Sam Simeon must get a solo series and now.

4Art – 4: Some really nice action art, felt very visceral!

“Detective Chimp in Detour”

A man is forced to kill his driver. At least, he thinks so. Then he drives Detective Chimp into town during a storm. Paranoia leads to him blurting it out to Bobo, who calmly talks the man into giving himself in. Because it’s what he does.

5Story – 5: A genuinely perfect noir story that wouldn’t feel out of place as a classic Batman tale from the 80’s. I somehow love Bobo more now.

5Art – 5: The expressions and dark coloring really sell the paranoia and morality conflict of the tale.

“Monkey Prince in Call to Arms”

The Monkey Prince stops Ultra-Humanite and Eekgor from using his cloned torn arm to inflict chaos. As it turns out, Ultra-Humanite is Monkey Prince’s grandfather, and the two share a strange relationship.

3Story – 3: The least interesting story but still quite fun, at least for the twist!

3Art – 3: Decent.

4Cover Art – 4: Fun cover, if a tad generic.

5Variant Cover Art – 5: He’s holding a banana peel like it’s the Crisis cover. Perfect.

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