Marvel and Hulu’s deal to make TV together almost fizzled out as quickly as it arrived. After Runaways came to an end, much of the ballyhooed deal was quietly canned—saved for MODOK, which actually turned out pretty well. But, it turns out at least one more of the shows survived the fallout... although the chances of a MODOK -esque turnaround seem stacked against it.
After what feels like an age of silence—to the point it would’ve been surprising if it had met the same fate at the Howard the Duck show or Tigra & Dazzler—Marvel has revealed that Hit Monkey is not only still alive, but coming to Hulu in just a few months. The series, inspired by the comics character of the same name, follows a Japanese Snow Monkey (voiced by Fred Tatasciore, of course), who becomes a top assassin in a quest for vengeance against the criminal underworld in Tokyo, at the urging of the spirit of a dead American contract killer that happens to talk to him (voiced by Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis, also of course). Josh Gordon and Will Speck created the series, and act as showrunners and executive producers. The cast also features Star Trek icon George Takei as Japanese politician Shinji and Olivia Munn as Akiko, Shinji’s mysterious neice, as well as Nobi Nakanishi and Ally Maki as Ito and Haruka, two Tokyo PD officers caught up in the bloody conflict.
It’s a lot, and in the right hands, could serve as the kind of irreverent, weird, and over-the-top-gory riff on adult animation that’s all the rage today—Invincible but with a Monkey, if you will. But something looks... off about Hit Monkey in this first look. The voice work is fine, to be sure, and the art style itself seems solid. But the fact that it’s animated at a framerate that would make the first season of The Dragon Prince look like it was smooth as butter is absolutely doing no favors for a show that is not only incredibly action oriented, but also being dropped after over two years of silence in just a few month’s time.
Time will tell if there’s more to Hit Monkey than is being let on here, or if it’s going to be a load of bananas—but not much, as the series drops on Hulu on November 17.
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