Every Marvel Comics cameo in Hit-Monkey
Marvel’s Hit-Monkey is decidedly its own story, but it still belongs to a version of the Marvel Universe. This means that many canon characters have come to visit us.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Hit-Monkey Season 1, now streaming on Hulu.
“Is it like Comic-Con all the time here or something?” Phantom hitman Bryce complains in the middle of Marvel’s Hit-Monkey. Cameos are certainly worth the comparison. While the Hulu Hanime series resolutely tells its own story, it is still part of a larger Marvel universe. This means not only Easter eggs and similar nods, but a number of cameos from longtime Marvel characters, as allies and opponents of the titular simian. They are chosen with care, taking into account not only the Japanese setting of the series, but its hyperviolent underground plot as well.
A short list of them follows, in alphabetical order.
Fat Cobra is a relatively recent addition to the Marvel Universe, first appearing in Immortal Iron Fist # 8. It comes from Peng Lai, a mystical island in a hidden dimension that serves as one of the cities of paradise. He possesses powers similar to those of Iron Fist: able to manipulate his chi energy into highly improved combat skills and refrain from aging (he is over 100 years old). He also tends to indulge in food, alcohol, and sex. Hit-Monkey finds him in prison while searching for the Accountant in Season 1, Episode 4, “The Code,” and teams up with the Martial Arts Master after defeating him in an arena fight.
Kingpin does not appear in Hit-Monkey – at least directly. A photo of him appears on the wall of the tailor’s shop where Hit-Monkey has his costume adjusted in Season 1, Episode 5, “Run Monkey Run,” and Bryce makes a joke about his stocky little legs. It’s another way for the show to connect with the larger Marvel Universe without drawing undue attention to the fact. Kingpin is one of Marvel’s first villains, first appearing in the amazing spider-man # 50 in 1967 as a merger of underworld bosses. Frank Miller brought him to the Daredevil line, and he’s often seen as this crime fighter’s arch nemesis, with appearances both in Netflix daredevil series and the previous film with Ben Affleck.
As the name suggests, Lady Bullseye is a villainous Daredevil, first appearing in daredevil Flight. 2 # 111 in 2008. When the original Bullseye killed the thugs holding her hostage, Maki Matsumoto adopted her nickname and served with both the Hand and the Kingpin criminal organization. She doesn’t have any superpowers, but she’s a formidable fighter and murderer, as befits her two most notable employers. She is hired at the end of Season 1, Episode 6, “The Long Goodbye,” after Hit-Monkey kills all the assassins sent after him.
Like many Hit-Monkey’s cameos, Ogun has a strong connection to the X-Men. He first appeared in the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine limited series; a magical ninja who crossed swords with Wolverine in the 1930s, then returned to possess Kitty’s soul for revenge. He possessed formidable martial arts skills, a selfish attitude as well as powers of witchcraft. He appears in “Run Monkey Run” as one of the assassins trying to collect the bounty on Hit-Monkey. He was eliminated, although he’s been killed before in the comics and his mystical powers still keep him coming back.
Silver Samurai has been a Marvel villain since 1974, first appearing in daredevil # 111 and entanglement with Spider-Man, Wolverine, Black Widow, and Shang-Chi, among others. He’s technically a mutant, with the ability to generate a powerful field of energy that he usually focuses through his katana. This allows him to cut through anything, improving his already formidable fighting skills. Although trained and adhering to the ancient samurai code of bushido, he is essentially a hit man. He is one of the main antagonists in the season finale of Hit-Monkey – Season 1, Episode 10, “The End, Part 2” – fighter Fat Cobra as well as the main character.
Spectral Yuki plays a central role in “Run Monkey Run”, a defending spirit of Tokyo awakened by bloodshed as Hit-Monkey battles his so-called killers. It was introduced in the 2010s Shadowlands: The Shadow Girls, Vol. 1 – a title related to Daredevil – where she belonged to an elite team of immortal ninjas called the Nail. Hit-Monkey re-imagine it in more benevolent terms; although they fight fiercely in “Run Monkey Run”, she stops when she realizes her true nature and returns to provide timely assistance in “The End, Part 2”.
For more on Hit-Monkey’s connections to the larger Marvel Universe, Season One is now streaming on Hulu.
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