Under the direction of U.N.C.L.E., 3 boys wage war against evil in all of it’s forms. Together, Brendan, Connor and Logan are MONKEY SQUAD ONE!
What do you get when you throw together the influences of your nephews, your nieces and your best friends growing up and turn them into heroes or villains? Monkey Squad One! In the first of a new feature where we shine some light on some of the great creator comics out there, we shine some light on Monkey Squad One. Written and drawn by creator Doug Michel, Monkey Squad One is the tale of three boys chosen to fight evil by government-controlled agency U.N.C.L.E. The boys undertake a series of hilarious and butt kicking adventures under the guidance of U.N.C.L.E. Doug fighting the evil Dr. Metropolis (who later finds himself in charge of U.N.C.L.E.) and the rogue agency A.U.N.T., slaying zombies and journeying through time and parallel dimensions. After seeing Doug Michel promoting his book on Twitter to anyone who would listen, or read as it were, I gave Monkey Squad One a chance, and folks, I was far from disappointed.
The first thing I noticed about the book was the humor. Michel blends pop culture references and jokes together seamlessly to produce a very witty book. If I was forced to compare it to another book I would have to say the humor is similar to the sharp wit that made the Scott Pilgrim series such a brilliant read. These boys are hilarious, and along with the not so sharp U.N.C.L.E. Doug, kept me rolling through each issue I delved into. Michel’s use of familiar and not so familiar music and comic references play along with the jokes expertly making for one funny read.
It’s not all about the jokes though. Michel has also built a world around these characters that pay homage to previous comic works while crafting a world all his own. In addition to Monkey Squad One, there’s also Monkey Squad Two, an all girl team of heroes that work in the shadows of the awesomeness that is MS1. There’s Monkey Squad Zero, a past MS team who are the modern day U.N.C.L.E.s. The MS universe is also rich with parallel Earths, such as All-Girl Earth with their own all girl version of MS1, Evil-Kitten Earth and Fake-Future Earth set 20 years ahead of our own Earth inhabited by evil versions of the boys fighting against their hero kids. A big part of a great comic is world building, and Michel has it here in spades with a world that hits every comic bullet point while being uniquely his own.
The cast of characters introduced through MS1 is deep, based on real people in Michel’s life, each one is a joy to meet, whether it’s the rapper Trik-eeze (yes, he’s real.) or Cletus Whiteheart, a down and out singer/songwriter who finds himself controlling zombies by playing the most emo song in history. As great as the stars of the show are, it’s the supporting cast that really makes this book shine. Trik became a favorite of mine with his thug life attitude that seems like a rapper’s gimmick, but at times comes off as real. There are no throw away characters here, each one is fully fleshed out and lends their own to some really great story telling.
Monkey Squad One is one of the most original and well-written books you will find out there from any creator. Trust me when I say you will enjoy this book too. If you’re unsure and not willing to take a gamble then guess what? Michel has you covered, he wants to share his work with you so much that he will send you free copies, all you have to do is ask. You can also catch issues #1-6 for free at monkeysquadone.com as well as 2 pages of back issues posted every Monkey Squad Monday at the same site. You can reach Doug Michel by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MonkeySquadOne. So if you’re looking to get away from the normal comic staples and are looking to try something new then definitely look into Monkey Squad One.
If you are a comic creator looking to get the word out about your book then direct message me on Twitter @AUDone44 or by email at email@example.com.