What the heck is Marvel’s Hit-Monkey?

The new animated series might be Marvel's strangest project to date.

Marvel's Hit-Monkey

Since becoming one of the biggest brands in pop culture, Marvel has been braver about championing some of its weirdest creations, from Guardians of the Galaxy to MODOK – but Hit-Monkey might be its strangest project to date.

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The animated series coming to Hulu (in the United States) and Star on Disney Plus (here in the UK), follows a vengeful Japanese snow monkey as he wreaks havoc on Tokyo’s criminal underworld.

Hit-Monkey is mentored by the ghost of an American assassin, voiced by none other than Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis, quickly becoming a formidable adversary to some of the Marvel Universe’s most dangerous villains.

If you’re wondering how on Earth this project came about, you’re not the only one. Read on for all the details on Hit-Monkey’s tumultuous journey to screens as well as how to watch in the UK.

Marvel’s Hit-Monkey release date

Marvel’s Hit-Monkey will be released as a binge-watch launch in the United States via streaming service Hulu, with all 10 episodes being released on Wednesday 17th November.

It is expected that the series will arrive on Star on Disney Plus on the same day, but if it follows the same release pattern as sibling show MODOK, it will be released weekly in the UK rather than all at once. This is to be confirmed.

What is Marvel’s Hit Monkey?

Hit-Monkey and Ghost
Marvel’s Hit-Monkey
Hulu/YouTube

Hit-Monkey was put into production just prior to Marvel Television (producers of Agents of SHIELD) being dissolved and absorbed by Marvel Studios proper (the movie division headed up by Kevin Feige).

For this reason, it feels a tad inconsistent when lined up with the other Marvel projects we’ve seen this year, barring Patton Oswalt’s MODOK, which this series was originally intended to share a universe with.

Indeed, Hulu had once been building towards a comedic crossover called The Offenders, which would also have included appearances from Tigra, Dazzler and Howard The Duck, but this was scrapped in January 2020.

It will be interesting to see if this turbulent path to the screen will affect Hit-Monkey’s chances of a second season, with Marvel Television’s final live action project Helstrom being dead on arrival, while the fate of MODOK remains unconfirmed.

Believe it or not, Hit-Monkey is based on a real character from the Marvel Comics, created by Daniel Way and Dalibor Talajić, who debuted in his own self-titled comic book back in 2010.

The character went on to be closely associated with Deadpool, with one storyline seeing Hit-Monkey target the Merc with a Mouth for elimination, but is caught off-guard by the mutant’s extreme healing factor.

Marvel's Hit-Monkey
Marvel’s Hit-Monkey
Hulu/YouTube

Hit-Monkey’s origin story is both dark and bizarre, beginning with an injured (human) assassin being taken in by a family of Japanese snow monkeys, who help restore him back to health.

The clan are overall very welcoming of their new member, with the exception of one monkey who distrusts him and fears he will bring conflict into their peaceful life.

This protesting monkey prevents his family from administering any aid to the assassin, whose health is rapidly deteriorating, with this act of violence and selfishness causing him to be banished from the group.

This means he can only watch on in horror when his worst fears are realised, as a group of mercenaries arrive to finish off the assassin and murder the family of monkeys looking after him too.

Hit-Monkey is all who remains and he becomes determined to seek vengeance for those he has lost.

In the animated series, the ghost of the assassin – unnamed in the comic books, but referred to here as Bryce – sticks around as a mentor figure to the powerful primate.

Marvel’s Hit-Monkey cast

Jason Sudeikis leads the cast of Marvel’s Hit-Monkey as Bryce, a suave assassin who encounters the family of snow monkeys after a botched mission and later becomes a supernatural mentor to its last surviving member.

Star Trek legend George Takei also takes a voice role as politician Shinji Yokohama, while Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse) plays his ambitious niece, Akiko.

Ally Maki (Home Sweet Home Alone) and Nobi Nakanishi (Teen Wolf) also feature as police partners Haruka and Ito, who find themselves in an uneasy alliance with the primate vigilante.

Marvel’s Hit-Monkey trailer

Hulu released the first official trailer for Marvel’s Hit-Monkey in October 2021, introducing the insane premise and all-star voice cast. Watch below.

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Marvel’s Hit-Monkey premieres on Wednesday 17th November 2021. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.