Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Monkey King: Volume 3 Journey to the West Graphic Novel Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Wei Dong Chen
Art By Chao Peng
Cover By Chao Peng



Sun Wu Kong, punished by Buddha centuries before, has spent five hundred years buried under Five-Finger Mountain when he encounters San Zang, a priest headed west in search of Buddhist scriptures.  On the Goddess of Mercy's instructions, Wu Kong frees himself and assists the priest on a journey to the west that will be fraught with peril. But San Zang soon learns that trouble won't come only in the form of dragons or bandits; it will come from the violent and impetuous monkey who is now his companion.


I've always been a fan of the Monkey King stories / legends and even though they have come in many shapes, sizes, forms and styles they have always been entertaining.

That's most definitely the case here as well.

JR*Comics have done an absolutely superb job with this release.  The story is beautifully written and set out in such a way that it flows.

Writing wise, the story is superb.  I really loved just how Wei Dong Chen brings the familiar characters to live and feel fresh and exciting.   The dialogue is precise and really feels like you are just sat there watching the story unfold.  In fact, I would even go so far as to say that this is the best version of the Monkey King stories that I have seen in a long time.  The way the writing brings Sun Wu Kong, the monkey of the title, to life is spot on.  His personality really flies off the page and you just can't take your eyes off of the character any time he is the page.

The art work by Chao Peng is definitely suited to this title.  In fact, it fits the story like a nice, comfy sweater.  You can most definitely tell that he is a student of Chen and can see his influences all over his work yet at the same time he has his own style too.  It's a great mix of the two and really makes the panels eye catching and exciting.

This is definitely worth picking up for fans of the 'Monkey King' legends and is a really good adaptation of the famous tales.

Story 4/5
Art 4/5
Overall 8/10

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