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Monkey King 1: Birth of the Stone Monkey Library Binding – September 1, 2012
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The Monkey King series retells an ancient Chinese legend so of course it teaches lessons, the greatest of which is: Don't be a bad monkey! In other words, don't be prideful and boastful, and don't use your magic powers to cheese off the rulers of the other realms. Whether the stone monkey will ever learn these lessons is doubtful, nor is it clear that he needs to, given his unique status as a being created from energy. Talk about a force of nature! Volume 1 ends with a cliffhanger, so readers will need to wait for volume 2 to discover whether the stone monkey can be defeated, or at least humbled.
The writing style is crisp. Humor pervades the story (as you might expect in a story about monkeys). The art is perfect for the story. Sometimes the art looks like it early computer graphics, in a time when too few pixels produced fuzzy images. Other times it is sharp and clear. The stone monkey's facial expressions are priceless. This would be worth having for the art alone. Combined with the fanciful story, Monkey King is a series graphic story fans -- particularly those with an interest in international differences in graphic storytelling -- will want to check out.