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A Sampling of Speaking Simians: Rex Mantooth: Kung Fu Gorilla

I know in the last article, I promised you guys an overview of Marvel’s simian superheroes, but with the recent news stories and the overall sadness of this past week, I felt perhaps I should go with something that could lighten the mood even more, something even sillier, something with just the right robots-to-explosions ratio, something called Rex Mantooth: Kung Fu Gorilla.


Now, you all know who Matt Fraction is, right? He’s a comic book writer who has written many great comics, including the creator-owned Casanova and Sex Criminals and Marvel’s Invincible Iron Man and he was a co-writer for Immortal Iron Fist.

But his greatest work shall always and forever be Rex Mantooth: Kung Fu Gorilla. It was written by Fraction, with art by Andy Kuhn and inks by Tim Fisher for an anthology comic book called Double Take in 2001.

It starred a super secret spy kung fu gorilla named Rex Mantooth and his partner/girlfriend Honey Hamptonwick. Together, they worked for the super spy organization I.C.I.T. and their boss, Admiral Jack Arsewedge.


Rex Mantooth was the best and baddest goddamn secret agent there ever was or ever will be. James Bond? Jason Bourne? Pffft. They were nothing compared to Rex Mantooth. Did they have exploding tuxedos? Did they regularly fight ninja-robots? No, I don’t think they did.

If you get The Annotated Mantooth!, you will find three of his awesome adventures. Why only three? Because while other heroes get hundreds of stories, Rex Mantooth only needed three to declare how awesome he was. Mantooth gets the job done, they said. And that’s how I saved the goddamn world again, Mantooth said.


The first Rex Mantooth story is called “Kick; Splode; Robot” and it’s about Rex Mantooth and Honey Hamptonwick going up against Dr. Woo and his giant robot, World’s Greatest Grandpa.


But wait! you say, why is it called “World’s Greatest Grandpa?”

Why? You ask why? Why does Dr. Woo say, “Razzle dazzle space sandwich”? Why does he have a pit full of carnivorous mallards that also eat peanut butter? Why does he speak in broken Engrish when, in fact, he is actually German and actually is Adolf Hitler?


Yes, that’s right: Rex Mantooth fights Adolf Hitler in his first adventure. I mean, Captain America only punched out Adolf on the cover of his first comic book and here was Rex Mantooth, killing Hitler by dropping him into his own pit of carnivorous ducks.

Plus, hey, free robot.

I’m sorry for spoiling the entire first adventure for you guys, but there are two more in the book you should read. Plus, all the annotations by Fraction and the introductions by Warren Ellis, Joe Casey, and Greg Rucka. Because everyone loves Mantooth.


So just remember, whenever life gets you down:

Razzle dazzle space sandwich. Razzle dazzle.

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