By now everyone knows Matt Fraction from Invincible Iron Man (which is great), Punisher: War Journal, his work on The Invincible Iron Fist with Ed Brubaker, Casanova (which I really wanna read because I hear it’s amazing), and his work on one of the X-Men titles that I’m not really reading.
But there’s also another little ditty he did, involving a character called Rex Mantooth, the Kung-Fu Gorilla. You can find out all about Rex’s adventures in The Annotated Mantooth! which, I was delighted to find out when I spotted this bad boy of a book, is on AIT/Planetlar.
First off, anything with a talking gorilla in it rules. It’s probably the only thing keeping Marvel from cancelling Agents of Atlas, the presence of Ken Hale, the Gorilla-Man. He talks and smokes and shoots big guns and let’s face it, he makes that book.
But I’m loosing track of my greater apes here. Rex is Fraction’s incredibly fucking bizarre and foul-mouthed spoof of espionage and action and kung-fu. I mean the man…the ape drinks cool drinks, seduces beautiful ladies (even a lesbian stand-in for Oprah Winfrey that looks like the Bride of Frankenstein), and crushes ninja robots with his bare hands, all while lookin’ cool when doing it. Also, he smokes, and everyone knows that only the ultra-cool smoke.
The best part about this comic (The Annoted Mantooth! comes with the original scripts as well as commentary alongside each of the 3 issues contained within) is that it really isn’t trying to be anything it’s not. It’s not high-satire, it’s the end result of a hyperactive brain wanting to tell the kinds of stories that made being a kid cool.
Which include shit blowing up, talking animals, babes, ultimate coolness, and references to every sweet old movie in the history of old movies (and a few that I’m sure are made up).
If you can ever get your hands on this it’s a really sweet little bundle of awesome that won’t let you down, definitely in the vein of Nextwave: Agents of HATE and the anime series “FLCL”, so go ahead, make your day. Spend the $12, you won’t regret it.