Is Batman to Blame for DC’s Next Big Hero’s Painful Origins? – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Attacking his parents and tracking in dreaded water, Batman is behind the childhood trauma of Monkey Prince, the newest DC Comics hero.
Warning: the following contains spoilers for Monkey Prince #1, on sale now from DC Comics.
The newest hero to enter the DC Universe is Monkey Prince, and the character has some legendary, mythological roots. Despite having more in common with characters like Wonder Woman or Aquaman, his origin story involves a certain Caped Crusader instead. Batman is absolutely central in how Monkey Prince gets his start, but it’s not exactly a happy beginning for him.
Trauma and bad memories trigger a transformation that will define the would-be simian royalty, and it all stems from a fateful encounter with Batman. While these events can logically be blamed on the Dark Knight, they ultimately lead to something positive. Here’s how Batman causes the rise of the Monkey Prince.
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The boy who would become Monkey Prince was initially just a kid named Marcus with two seemingly ordinary parents. In actuality, however, they were crooks with ties to Gotham City criminal the Penguin, leading to Batman hunting them down for some reason. Marcus awakens one night from his fear of thunder, only to find his parents being accosted by the Dark Knight. As he tiptoes to the scene, he walks on water tracked in by Batman’s entry, noting how cold it is. The intensity of the ordeal suddenly makes Marcus collapse in delirium.
His aversion to water, as well as a fear of anything reminding him of Batman linger into his teenage years. It’s only when he meets the human avatar of Sifu Piggy that he finally faces one of these fears. Having already grown a mysterious tail, he jumps into a school pool (or “water curtain”) to be transported into a magical world of mystical creatures, wherein he’s finally turned into the Monkey Prince. Unfortunately, his return back to the normal plane quickly descends into an encounter with his greatest fear: Batman!
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It’s easy to blame Batman for the trauma and fear that the Monkey Prince feels, and to an extent, it’s justified. After all, he’s the one who tracked the water into the house, which along with Marcus’ parents being attacked triggering two major phobias for Marcus. In the case of why Batman was there, however, it’s really his parents’ fault. After all, they were the ones who were engaged in criminal behavior, having ties so strong with the Penguin that Batman sought them out at their own home. Thus, both Oswald Cobblepot and Marcus’ parents are more to blame for this origin story than Batman.
Likewise, according to Sifu Piggy, this seems to be part of some greater thing for Marcus. If it wasn’t Batman tracking the water into the house, something else would have made him sick around water, something that Piggy would have had to step in and correct down the road. This is simply all part of the hero’s journey, and if nothing else, Batman’s inclusion feels like a forced way to potentially boost sales with the hero’s presence. Whether or not Marcus’ aversion to bat-related things is now cured remains to be seen, but as for water, he won’t have to worry about monkeying around with it anymore.
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Timothy Blake Donohoo is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he majored in Communication and minored in Creative Writing. A professional freelance writer and marketing expert, he’s written marketing copy and retail listings for companies such as Viatek. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching documentaries and catching up on the latest Vaporwave and Electro-Swing musical releases.


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