The Saga of Evil Monkey Man

Season One

Fiction - Graphic Novel/Comic
116 Pages
Reviewed on 12/03/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Saga of Evil Monkey Man: Season One is an action and adventure graphic novel written by N. Blake Seals, with art by Butch Mapa. The bucolic nature of the little hamlet nestled on the North Shore of Long Island, Cold Spring Harbor, was disrupted one day by an explosion at the most notorious element of the area, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Those who were closer to the scene were also privy to a most unusual sight. A gigantic monkey-man dressed in clothes that seemed shredded as a result of a transformation had appeared outside the Lab. He was even now trying to evade the authorities. Would he have time to figure it out? Was there a way to reverse the experiment that had created this man-monkey fusion?

This story is apt to be an irresistible draw to any Long Islander; I know it was for me. Seeing the opening frames showing downtown Cold Spring Harbor brought to mind the night I was first introduced to that marvelous, historic hamlet. Likewise, the flight of the Monkey Man and the motley crew that assembles to assist him out to Montauk and onwards had me revisiting the far eastern reaches of the island in my mind and wondering if it wasn’t time to go back for a visit. If you’re not from Long Island, try the story anyway. You’ll probably end up becoming an honorary Long Islander and planning your own visit in the near future. N. Blake Seals and Butch Mapa do a grand job of making the island real, no small feat considering the constraints of the format and the fantastic elements of the story.

The Saga of Evil Monkey Man: Season One is marvelous, spectacular and so much fun to read. It’s beautifully put together: the art, coloring, storyline, and the result is a professionally designed and created story that’s wacky, entertaining, and filled with fast-paced action. Seals’ characters are well-crafted, and his plot is ingenious and clever. This is one of those reads that makes one experience a pang of regret when it’s over -- but it’s not! There appear to be three more seasons based on the artwork shown at the end of the book. The Saga of Evil Monkey Man is most highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

He really doesn’t remember much. He knows his name is Michael, but, after the explosion and his attempt to rescue a young woman trapped in the debris, he discovers he’s something everyone else fears. He’s been dubbed the Monkey Man and there are people chasing him, wanting to capture him, or worse. He’s not mean in any sense of the word, but he does feel the need to protect himself and to find out who or what he really is. Lina, a kung fu champion, tries to fight him, only to discover that Michael is more of a victim than a predator. She makes it her mission to keep him safe, away from the law, the feds, and those who seek to do him harm, to help him find meaning to who and what he is.

N. Blake Seals’ graphic novel, The Saga of Evil Monkey Man: Season One, has all the makings of a great adventure mixed with mystery and a bit of science fiction. Set in a New York suburb, the plot develops from a peaceful community to one upset by fear and almost horror which begins with the explosion of the laboratory nearby and the sudden appearance of a monkey-man creature, aka the Monkey Man. The plot thickens as various government departments converge on the community to capture the Monkey Man, most likely to experiment on him. But Monkey Man, Michael, has other plans. The story follows Monkey Man/Michael’s attempts to keep himself from being captured, periodically switching points of view to the law enforcers, the feds, and others from the community who are trying to come to terms with who and what this creature is. Fear mounts as the plot develops. The colorful illustrations are well executed and provide this comic book adventure with the excitement it warrants to make it a good adventure story.

Jamie Lee Wandel

The Saga of Evil Monkey Man: Season One by N Blake Seals begins with an accident at a lab in New York. Immediately, readers get pulled into the story. Several interesting characters emerge after the explosion. The main character is an ape-man, Mike, that despite trying to help, inspires fear and also attracts the attention of greedy agents. He runs into the owner of a martial arts shop, Lina, and they join together to figure out what exactly happened. When they return to the scene of the explosion, they run into an assistant scientist, Manny, and the scientist himself who turns out to be just a floating head. Things get more bizarre as they flee from the agents and meet Doc at a hotel and complete their team. Their mission to return Mike to his human state is pretty straightforward, but how they will do that seems all but simple.

I really enjoyed The Saga of Evil Monkey Man and think it would be well-received by young adults and kids. The time-traveling and science fiction components make it weird but fun. I personally enjoyed the artwork and felt that it made the sometimes sporadic flow of events easier to follow. The first episode definitely left me wanting to read another since things are set up but there is clearly plenty left unexplained. Other than the intended aim of the experiment, we see glimpses of the characters' abilities that make this read gripping. I will recommend this to friends that are One Piece fans. A fun graphic novel for all ages!

Jacob R LaMar

The Saga of Evil Monkey Man Season One is a 116-page graphic novel created by N Blake Seals and illustrated by Butch Mapa. The story centers around Cold Springs Harbor, a peaceful suburb in New York City which is rocked from its usual tranquility by an inexplicable explosion. Amid this newly found chaos, a previously unknown character appears, saving someone from the rubble of the calamity, though he is confused when he’s met with fear and hysteria instead of appreciation for his heroic act. What he does not realize at the beginning is that he has been turned into a strange man-ape hybrid and he does not remember how it happened. The rest of this story involves his adventures to learn about the strange occurrences of his past and - along with some new friends - figure out how to turn him human again.

Reading The Saga of Evil Monkey Man was interesting, to say the least. The illustrations throughout were drawn in the expected style of a comic book or graphic novel, though they were eye-pleasing, nevertheless. I thought the story was a bit confusing at the beginning with the way it jumped straight into the somewhat perplexing action, though to its credit, it drew me in and sparked a bit of interest by the final page. N Blake Seals does a good job of making the text humorous as most of the jokes land where they are supposed to. Ultimately this was a pretty good graphic novel with great art and an interesting premise. It’s a bit disjointed throughout, which takes away from the overall product, but will certainly entertain the 8-12-year-old age range it should be targeted towards.

Rylanne Burdette

The Saga of Evil Monkey Man (Season One) by N. Blake Seals is a humorous and exciting graphic novel about chaos erupting in New York when a giant monkey man is supposed to have been responsible for an explosion in the area. The story switches between several different perspectives as Mike, the monkey man, gets chased by authorities who are determined to bring him down, believing him to be a monster. In the process of this huge chase and adventure, Mike learns a bit about his past and meets new people to help him along the way. However, the story ends on an unresolved note, and we will have to wait and see what happens next!

I don’t typically read graphic novels, but when I do, it is for entertainment. The Saga of Evil Monkey Man provided just that! The illustrations were by far my favorite part of the story, and they really drew my attention. The various characters were amusing, and I enjoyed seeing their different interactions. The dialogue could be a bit confusing simply because of its placement at times, but other than that, I thought this was a fun and easy read. The end of the graphic novel provides a bit about the history and evolution of Seals’ story, which I thought was interesting. N. Blake Seals has created a thrilling world full of action and intensity, and I am curious to see how the story continues. I personally loved this comic and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new graphic novel to pick up.