Watching the new trailer for Hulu’s upcoming Hit-Monkey animated series, it’s interesting to consider whether Guardians of the Galaxy represented the moment when Marvel decided just how much ridiculous gun-violence the studio was comfortable getting away with, so long as an animal was pulling the trigger. The series’ titular monkey who kills may have a rather traditional arsenal of weapons at his disposal, but unlike Rocket Racoon, whose murderousness is often played for laughs, Hit-Monkey’s no-nonsense about the work he deals in.
In Marvel’s comics, the Hit-Monkey gets into the assassin profession following a chance encounter with a wounded human assassin fleeing for his life. With the help of the wild macaque and the rest of its tribe, the human is able to heal to a certain extent and begin training in preparation for a conflict with the people hunting for him, and it’s by watching the human’s training that the soon-to-be Hit-Monkey first begins to learn of new forms of lethal combat. Bryce (Jason Sudeikis) is Hulu’s answer to Marvel’s assassins, and he’s careful to try to keep his animal friends away from the grimness of what he’s fleeing. But in a very tragic twist of events—many of which are laid out in Hulu’s trailer—Hit-Monkey (Fred Tatasciore) finds himself swearing to avenge his fallen friends and family, and to do so he becomes, you know, a monkey who gets paid to murder.
Though Hit-Monkey gets top billing, Bryce, now a ghost, backs him up as Hit-Monkey follows in his footsteps in search of the people who destroyed his former life. The trailer also showcases other characters like politician Shinji Yokohama (George Takei) and his niece Akiko (Olivia Munn), two more humans who aren’t sure what to make of the little ape running around in a suit waving pistols around, and gives you a good sense of just how bloody the show’s going to be.
In a post-What If? world, one has to wonder whether Hit-Monkey’s set somewhere within the MCU’s multiverse, and if it’s the sort of thing that the Watcher might keep up with—oif Hit-Monkey, like Hulu’s other Marvel shows, will exist in a weird sort of limbo after it premieres on November 17.
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