DC Comics’ unsung heroes — The Monkees?
The Monkees, who are coming to the Mesa Arts Center this Friday, cornered the music and television market in the late 1960s, and their influence was felt all across pop culture, including the world of comic books. Dell published a Monkees comic when the band was at its peak, but I’m more interested in the gang’s possible (and inadvertent) inclusion in the DC Comics Universe.
The Monkees’ and Bill Dozier’s Batman TV shows aired around the same time, so the pop culture crossover and comparison is palpable. In fact, MonkeesTV explores the group’s multi-tiered connection to Batman here, including the Penguin’s cameo on their TV show. And there’s the angle I want to explore: that the Penguin’s appearance is actually a clue that the Monkees coexist with Batman in the same world.
Consider this other campy cameo, in an episode of the Monkees’ show called “The Audition (Find the Monkees).” The Monkees are performing for a booking agent over the phone, as an impatient line forms outside the booth. Recognize that well-dressed, barely mild-mannered reporter? Can we expect this sequence to reappear in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel sequel?
Additionally, artist Alex Ross is an unabashed Monkees fan, and, rumor has it, he included the band’s heroic alter egos, the Monkeemen, in his DC Universe epic Kingdom Come. Don’t those four faces over Red Robin’s shoulder look familiar?
Yes, that’s Wonder Woman in the foreground. So, there’s the gang, alongside some allusions to DC’s biggest guns. Can this latest tour be the Monkees’ reincarnation in DC’s “New 52?” Come to the Mesa Arts Center this Friday to find out!