Fear Itself: The Monkey King #1: Review

Sep 2011
Joshua Fialkov, Juan Doe

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Fear Itself: The Monkey King #1 Review by (May 5, 2020)

Review: Who is this guy? This is his full origin issue, after showing up in three issues of a comic book no one read and he seems cool, with a minimal tie to FEAR ITSELF despite its being in the title. No idea what Marvel had in mind for him but he wasn’t seen much, subsequently appearing in four issues of AVENGERS WORLD, a flashback in one issue of CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS and dying in the War of the Realms in WOTR: NEW AGENTS OF ATLAS #3-4. Maybe someday someone will come up with a good reason to bring him back and he could headline several incarnations of his own title (like Moon Knight, another hero no one thinks of). Here’s hoping.

Comments: Tie-in to FEAR ITSELF, taking place between issues #2 and 3 of the parent series. Monkey King’s escape from the Eighth City is seen in more detail in IRON MAN 2.0 #5-7. Issue includes “Moment of Truth,” reprinted from MOMENT OF SILENCE as a memorial on occasion of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fear Itself: The Monkey King #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Then: Buddha wished to teach Sun Wukong, the original Monkey King, a lesson in modesty so he challenged him to leap out of Buddha’s hand. The Monkey King leaps and returns but learns he never left Buddha’s hand….

Fifteen years ago: a cocky gangster calling himself the Monkey King challenges the crime boss called Lion during a poker game and beats him. As a gift, Lion takes Monkey King to a cave atop a mountain in China, telling him it is the final resting place of the real Monkey King whose treasure awaits. Monkey King enters to find the Monkey King’s rod of power and discovers he has been trapped in the mountain by Lion. Alone, he sees the real Monkey King who tells him that if he has evil in his heart he will be cast down to the Eighth City but if his heart is good, he will go free with the rod…and so he finds himself in the Eighth City. A hammer crashes down from the sky and Titania and the Absorbing Man come to claim it; Monkey King escapes at that time as well and comes back to claim his criminal kingdom with his new powers….

Now: Using his new shapeshifting powers, Monkey King breaks into Lion’s headquarters in the form of a chameleon then easily defeats a band of female warriors (one wielding a chainsaw) to find Lion. He tells Lion he has come to clean up his city and turns into a hawk to take Lion back to the mountain cave in China. On the way he tells him that he has been punished for his sins in the Eighth City but when Lion threw him into the hole his soul merged with that of the Monkey King, gaining his powers, his memories, and his magic rod. He then throws Lion into the hole and goes forth to bring honor to his country and peace to his city as the Handsome Monkey King!

Juan Doe
Juan Doe
Will Quintana
Juan Doe (Cover Penciler)
Juan Doe (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Lanphear.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)

Plus: Monkey King, Titania.

> Fear Itself: The Monkey King: Book info and issue index

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