Monkey Khan, real name Ken Khan, was a monkey from Leung West who was forcibly turned into a cyborg by Dr. Ivo Robotnik, now serving as the "King of the Free People". Khan's enhancements were made by Robotnik as a means of building an army of cyborgs to overthrow Mobotropolis once the Overlanders were defeated in the Great War. However, Monkey Khan proved uncontrollable and was sealed away for ten years. He was accidentally liberated by Sally Acorn after the death of Dr. Robotnik in 3235, and went off to start his own life. He eventually found himself at war with the Robotnik-allied Iron Dominion in the Dragon Kingdom, and was named King by the Free People for his efforts in defending them, as well as his association with an ancient prophecy. He has fought both against and alongside the Knothole Freedom Fighters, more often choosing to work with them.
Change to Monkey Khan
Near the end of the Great War, Robotnik (still then called Julian Kintobor) invaded the neutral city of Leung West, looking for test subjects for his cyborg project. There, he kidnapped all of the villagers, among them Ken Khan, son of village elder Lau Khan. Unfortunately, Ken Khan was the only villager that was able to survive being rebuilt as a cyborg, due to his athletic capabilities and roughhousing habits. While initially finding the idea of a single "chimp with a stick" a laughable excuse for an army, Robotnik tested Ken Khan out anyway. Ken Khan, now simply called Monkey Khan, single-handedly routed a small army of Overlanders; however, Khan then rebelled, feeling hatred for the apparent deaths of his people. He was subsequently locked away by Dr. Robotnik, considered a failed test subject, though the experiments made on him pioneered Dr. Eggman's future Legionization techniques. As a result of the changes made to him, he became ageless. (StH: #86, CSE)
Over ten years later, following the death of Robotnik, a band of Eggbots under the control of the incarcerated Snively were sent forth to track down the rogue wizard Ixis Naugus. Unknown to the Eggbots, or Snively, the power drill they were using contained a storage crypt that Monkey Khan was imprisoned in. When Sonic the Hedgehog, Princess Sally Acorn, and Antoine D'Coolette investigated the Eggbots' mission, NICOLE picked up another energy signal, leading Sally to discover what appeared to be a crypt. Forcing it open, she found, to her surprise, a person within. Freed, Monkey Khan soon saw the Eggbots unearth a large Power Ring, which they had mistaken for Naugus's energy signature, and summoned it to him. Khan made the ring a new headband, enhancing his abilities. Almost immediately, Khan then obliterated the whole squadron of Eggbots. When Sonic learned from Sally that Robotnik was behind the creation of the cyborg, he immediately fought Khan, which only caused Khan to take better notice of Sally. He kidnapped her, declaring that he needed a companion after being alone for so long. However, Sally told him that despite his arrogance, he was obviously very powerful, and that he could use that power to become a true hero. Liking this idea, Khan returned to help Sonic and Antoine finish off the Eggbots, striking them with lightning. He then departed to resume his life after his long imprisonment. (StH: #55)
While travelling the planet on his flying cloud, Monkey Khan was detected by the Iron Queen when he was approaching Stormtop Village. Due to the rage and anguish he felt within, Monkey Khan was easily susceptible to the Iron Queen's magic spell, and was thus brought under her control. The Iron Queen then had Monkey Khan fight Sonic and Tails, who were trying to put out the blaze which consumed Mount Stormtop for over a hundred days. After Tails broke the Iron Queen's staff, Monkey Khan regained his free will. The three then attacked the Iron Fortress together to defeat both the Iron King and Iron Queen and to find a way to stop the fire. While Khan battled with the Iron King, Sonic and Tails retrieved the Fan of Fen Xing. They used the fan to dispose of the Iron King, as well as put out the fire consuming Mt. Stormtop. The Iron Queen then retreated, swearing revenge. Returning to the village, Li Yuen explained that a prophecy existed about the coming of a "Monkey King", possible referring to Monkey Khan himself - much to Khan's surprise. (StH: #60)
While in the village of Leung Kar, Monkey Khan chased off members from the Yagyu Ninja who were trying to steal from the village's Temple of the Golden Lotus. Following this, Khan went with two of the villagers, Liu Fang and Liu Chi Mei, to track down the escaping thieves. Managing to break into their headquarters, Monkey Khan and the others found themselves falling into a pit, though once inside the pit they discovered all of the treasure the Yagyu had stolen over the past fifty years. Although the Yagyu's giant robotic dragon soon attacked them, Khan managed to use his staff's powers to destroy the robot's tracking device and set it after its former masters, forcing the Yagyu to flee. Fang then asked if Monkey Khan would returned to Leung Kar with them and celebrate the recovery of their town's treasures, but instead Monkey Khan went off on his own quest. (SSS: #8)
- It is most likely that at some point during this time Monkey Khan earned the title the "King of the Free People."
After this Monkey Khan briefly returned to Stormtop Village. While Sonic was running across Mobius with the Super Emerald to restore Knothole to the proper time frame and get rid of a "mysterious energy beam" hitting the planet , Monkey Khan, Li Moon and Li Yuen witnessed Sonic run past the village. (StH: #71)
Fighting the Eggman Empire
Immigrating to Kar Leung in the Dragon Kingdom, Monkey Khan lived there in peace for some time. However, after Robo-Robotnik came to Mobius Prime, he located the village. Monkey Khan was drugged and rendered unconscious by the forces of Robo-Robotnik (now calling himself Dr. Eggman). While Khan was unconscious, Eggman's forces completely obliterated the village and captured all of its people and roboticized them. After Monkey Khan awoke, Eggman had a roboticized General Hunn attempt to install microscopic transmitters in order to override Khan's free will. However, due to his Power Ring headband, Khan maintained his free will, instead receiving a power boost from the procedure. He then broke free and destroyed Eggman's entire factory. However, Eggman informed him the village had been destroyed while he was unconscious and the entire population roboticized, and flew away on a ship with the town's Robians, leaving Khan with a hollow victory. (StH: #87)
Monkey Khan then spent the next two weeks walking on foot towards the re-captured Robotropolis to confront Dr. Eggman. Arriving outside of the city while Sonic was speaking to the recently-returned Overlanders, Monkey Khan lashed out and attacked them. Sonic attempted to defend the innocent Overlanders from Khan. During this time, Dr. Eggman deceived the Overlanders into believing the Mobians were savages (with Sonic and Khan's fight proving an immediate example) and lured them into the "safety" of Robotropolis. Before Sonic could stop them, the city's dome shield was activated and both Sonic and Monkey Khan were trapped outside. Khan then flew away on his flying cloud, saying he would soon have his revenge against Eggman. Despite this, Monkey Khan did not return; he was next seen fighting alongside the rest of Mobius' inhabitants to combat the Xorda. (StH: #92, #125)
Fight Against the Iron Dominion
As the war against the Eggman Empire carried on, Monkey Khan fought against the Iron Dominion in the Dragon Kingdom, with the help of a group of local Freedom Fighters. But the Iron Queen, used her powers of Magitek to gain control over Monkey Khan's cybernetic body and had him destroy his comrades. Having served his purpose, the Iron Queen released Khan to gloat over how she turned him into her "divine weapon." Khan tried to continue fighting back on his own, but his efforts were for naught. Eventually he learned of the Queen's plan to usurp the heart of the empire and flew off to the main continent to get help. (StH: #204)
Monkey Khan later made a violent entrance in New Mobotropolis's Coliseum, interrupting the performance of Mina Mongoose's band, the Forget Me Knots. Khan berated everyone present for their celebration, calling them "self-congratulatory jerks" and disapproving their behavior when, as he claimed, the rest of the planet still had problems. Sonic, eager for action, jumped in to confront Khan, but Sally quickly put a stop to any fighting. Khan revealed that while Eggman may have been defeated, the Iron Queen had taken over the Eggman Empire, explaining that she had neutralized the Freedom Fighters of the Dragon Kingdom and taken control of the region's four ninja clans. He and Sonic then took off to do a reconnaissance mission New Megaopolis, though both were overly-eager to confront the newly-empowered Iron Dominion. (StH: #201)
Upon arriving in the ruined city the two were ambushed by the Dark Legion and then set on by the Yagyu Clan. Espio the Chameleon, Lightning Lynx, and the Iron King also joined in the battle, the involvement of the former coming as a surprise to Sonic. Outnumbered and outmatched, Sonic and Monkey Khan hastily pulled out after the Iron King wanted them to swear allegiance to the Iron Dominion, to which both declined. While Sonic reported their findings to King Elias, Sally and Knuckles the Echidna, Khan walked miserably off, asking himself what kind of "king" he had become. (StH: #202)
The following day, Khan was subjected to rock throwing from Sasha, Rory, and Snaggle for ruining Mina's concert until Sonic stepped in to reprimand them. Surprisingly, Khan actually apologized to them for his behavior and said he had already done the same to Mina and her band. When Sonic asked about his change, Khan explained he was trying to better control his temper, but flew into a rage when Sonic brought up the "Monkey King" prophecy as it only reminded him of how he failed everyone in the Dragon Kingdom. Shortly afterwards, the Iron Queen and Snively arrived in New Mobotropolis. When Regina took control of Bunnie D'Coolette's roboticized parts with Magitek and used her arm cannon to attack her friends, Monkey Khan got the three orphans out of harm's way. The three urged him to help defend the city and save Bunnie, but Khan was reluctant, due both to his previous failures against the Iron Queen and knowing she could take control of him through her Magitek powers. Khan eventually built up his courage, however, and intervened to save Bunnie's life. However, while distracted conversing with the Iron Queen, Snively snuck up and removed his Power Ring crown, thus making him vulnerable to Regina's Magitek. Despite his efforts to resist, Khan once again came under the control of the Iron Queen's powers. He proved too powerful for the Freedom Fighters, but in the end Sonic used a Power Ring from the Lake of Rings to break the Iron Queen's hold and restore Khan back to his former self. After Sonic restored back to his former self, Khan told Sonic and the gang how he destroyed the Dragon Kingdom by letting Regina take control of him. With low self esteem Monkey Khan was going to give up the fight against the Iron Dominion till Rosie's children convinced him to fight. (StH: #203, #204)
He was later seen in the Tommy Turtle Memorial Hospital, giving flowers to an on-the-mend Bunnie, much to the dismay of Dr. Quack whose orders of staying in bed were ignored. When Sonic received news of something within the Great Forest, Khan set out to go help but was stopped by Dr. Quack. Later, he left the hospital in hopes of talking to Sally Acorn but they were intercepted by Tails dragging in a knocked-out Dr. Eggman. Khan was all for killing the weakened Doctor but Sally convinced him he was more helpful alive. Khan then took the Doctor to the prison. He then helped Bunnie get to the edge of the city, where they taunted the Iron Queen and Iron King for a failed attempt of attacking New Mobotropolis from them. After Sonic had a little exchange with Dr. Eggman, Khan asked Sonic why he had compassion for Eggman when he nearly destroyed everything he's cared for time and again. Sonic's reply was that he just lived in the now and does what's right at the time. Khan reply to that was, "You're either a Zen Master or a fool but you're impressive either way." Sonic then thanked Khan for bringing Bunnie out to taunt and Khan said, "It was the least I could do." (StH: #205, #206)
During a heart-to-heart lunch with Princess Sally, Nicole interrupted revealing to them that the Iron King was attacking the Mes Braves Battalion at Fort Acorn. After a quick explanation on Robotropolis' radioactive remains he set off on his cloud, arriving between the ox and Sonic, who had arrived before him. While Khan was battle with the Iron King, Sonic interrupted and tricked the bull into smashing an empty shell of the power generator. Once in New Mobotropolis again, the heroic duo traded good-natured insults before Khan was dragged away by Sally to talk. (StH: #207)
Later on, the Iron Dominion would return to New Mobotropolis, this time with a devastating new battle plan; taking control of NICOLE and by extension the very nanites that composed New Mobotropolis itself. Sally directed Khan to rescue her brother and the other members of the Acorn Council from the castle, but the castle had already been locked down, preventing him from gaining access. He then proceeded to engage members of the Dark Egg Legion and Yagyu clan until the Iron King showed up. Khan then fought the ox to allow Sonic, Sally, and Tails to escape to the airfield. He became distracted when he realized that the trio would be unable to get out of the city with a huge metal dome covering it. Just as the Iron King was about to strike while Khan was vulnerable, Amy Rose intervened, saving Khan. Amy then took over fighting the Iron King, sending Khan to help the other three. Once he regrouped with them, he used his Atom Bat to blast a hole in the dome covering the city and accompanied the three as they made their escape to Freedom HQ. Sonic then had the idea of using the Particle-To-Light Organizer & Transporter Device they'd used to access Gerald Robotnik's diary to access New Mobotropolis's mainframe. Sally agreed to go through with the plan despite it being highly dangerous and reckless, and Monkey Khan showed clear concern for her. After Tails hit the switch on the device and transported Sonic and Sally into the digital world, Monkey Khan was left thinking for some other way to end this. He came to the conclusion that the only thing to do was to put NICOLE out of her misery, but Tails realized what he was up to and intervened by taking him on before he could get to New Mobotropolis. Tails protested that despite him thinking NICOLE couldn't possibly regain self-control under the Iron Queen's power, Khan was wrong and Sonic and Sally could save her if they saved Bunnie and himself. Eventually Tails convinced Monkey Khan to wait until Sonic and Sally returned before trying anything. When they did, Khan was informed that NICOLE was herself again and was acting as a spy. Sally then ordered everyone to pack up and head for the Dragon Kingdom in order to bring the fight to the Iron Dominion's homeland and wreck their support. (StH: #171, #208, #209)
Return to the Dragon Kingdom
After returning to the Dragon Kingdom, Khan was captured by the Gossamer Clan to ensure Sonic would meet with the Bride of Endless Reach along with Sally and Tails. Upon Sonic's arrival, they were freed, but Khan held back for a few minutes to talk with a distressed Sally, and helped her get her mind on track after all had happened recently. After this, negotiations began with the Bride of Endless Reach, and Khan introduced himself as the King of the Free People at Sally's behest, and they convinced her to rebel against the Iron Dominion for peace, and although she predicted it as a long and difficult journey, she agreed to this. Later on, they returned to the Temple of the Golden Lotus, and he conversed with Sally while eating with Li Yuen before a shuriken came through the window bearing a note, saying the Yagyu Clan wished to meet them. After being ambushed in a marsh by a group of Yagyu ninja who believed them simple travelers, Khan and Sally were granted an audience with the Yagyu Lord. Following some unsuccessful negotiation, Khan persuaded the lord to defect from the Iron Dominion in exchange for freedom for the clan to return to its old thieving ways. Content that the clan would be less efficient in this state, he and Sally then left to find Sonic and Tails only to run into Fiona Fox and Lightning Lynx's old teammates from the original Fearsome Foursome/Destructix. After a brief-and heated-confrontation, Khan was able to negotiate a team up between the two groups, both of them storming the Iron Fortress occupied by the Raiju Clan in an effort to break the clan's ties with the Dominion and regain Destructix teammate Lightning Lynx. When the Bride of Conquering Storm demanded a show of strength, Khan proposed a duel of champions to decide what the clan would do. Khan's champion Sonic defeated Lightning, who was then banished from the Raiju Clan as the Bride promised that her loyalty to the Iron Dominion had ended, but that her clan would not be aligned with the Free People. Khan's team then left, and while trying to determine how to locate the final clan were approached by none other than Espio. (SU: #13, #14, #15)
Khan's response was to approach Espio with his Atom-Bat powering up, only for Sonic to come to the chameleon's defence. Monkey Khan said Espio was nothing more than a traitor, but Sonic argued he was a friend long before that. Then Khan counter-argued that he had attacked them, and Sonic said that both he and Khan had got into many more scuffles with each other than Espio, and by that logic he should be going against Khan himself. He let Sonic have his way, and quietly scolded him for letting Espio off the hook just like he did with Eggman. In order to get the four heroes to accompany him, Espio revealed all their secrets he'd come across as a spy, such as Sonic's alter-ego "The Sneak," Tails's old comic book and the location of Sally's birthmark, which Khan was more interested in than any of his secrets being exposed. Espio revealed he had no secrets on Khan, but confirmed there were other Khans. Monkey Khan was confused about what he meant and thought he was talking about another member of his family, which was impossible, and that the family name Khan was a pretty common one, so Epsio must have been mixed up. Espio soon cleared this up, revealing he was talking about others like Khan himself. (SU: #16)
The Dominion Defeated
Later, their mission in the Dragon Kingdom completed, Khan and his teammates returned to New Mobotropolis to confront the Iron Queen. They arrived just in time to aid Amy, Antoine, and Geoffrey St. John, and were aided in turn as NICOLE revealed her true colors by attempting to capture the Iron Queen. Khan addressed the Yagyu Clan stationed in New Mobotropolis and gave them his word of honour that they no longer served the Iron Dominion. The bats then fleed the city and soon engages the Iron King, but the combined efforts of Khan and the Freedom Fighters are no match. Until Espio the Chameleon arrives with the Fan of Fen Xing and Khan uses it to send Jun Kun flying out of the city. The Iron Queen was then addressed and was to be arrested without harm, which Khan half-heartedly agreed on thanks to Sally. The Iron Queen resisted by forming a dragon out of nanites, but Khan's Atom-Bat put a stop to it and she was finally imprisoned, and Khan then went up and hugged Sally. (StH: #210, #211)
Returning to the Dragon Kingdom with the Iron Queen in custody, Khan spoke with Sally as they looked down on Stormtop Village. As they discussed how things had unfolded, he contemplated the challenges ahead: rebuilding the Free People's trust in him, keeping peace between the clans, learning about a group of "other Khans" he had heard about from Espio, and ensuring that the Iron Queen remained imprisoned. Sally complimented him on how he had matured, and he asked if she would stay and become Queen of the Free People. She turned him down in favor of returning to New Mobotropolis, and he replied before she left that he would always be there for her. (StH: #212)
Over a month later, Khan entertained a return visit from Sally to Stormtop Village, whereupon he assured her the situation in the Dragon Kingdom was still under control after the Iron Dominion's defeat. Khan could tell that Sally had other things on her mind though, and he eventually got her to admit that she had really visited him out of concerns over her starting to date Sonic again. She confessed she was uncertain their relationship attempt would work out since they had changed so much following their breakup, however Khan told her that things would be fine for her regardless of what happened and that he would be there for her through it all. Feeling more relaxed with Ken's support, Sally then thanked him and took her Warp Ring back home to prepare for her date. (StH: #222)
Khan's next meeting with Sally would be nowhere near as pleasant, coming in the midst of a battle between Dr. Eggman and his treacherous subordinate Snively. Leading his people against Eggman's invading robots, Khan went after Eggman himself, only to encounter Mecha Sally, the Robian version of his friend. Forced into a battle with the deadly automaton, Khan found himself unable to harm her, and tried to disable her with his lightning powers without doing any damage. His strategy proved effective, and Mecha Sally shut down, but Eggman then claimed that it was due to a low power reserve and that she would soon die unless she received another Power Ring. Khan willingly sacrificed his own crown, only to be attacked by the reactivated Mecha Sally. The doctor then placed a command crown on Khan, putting him under his control, though it was quickly usurped by Regina after Snively freed her from her prison using the Iron Oni. Once again enslaved by his old nemesis, Khan was pitted against Mecha Sally again, and the Robian resorted to using her organic self's memories to try and sway her foe. Khan was unmoved, but was then released from Regina's Magitek control. Finding Mecha Sally damaged, Khan grudgingly turned her over to Eggman as the only one present who could hope to repair her. As the mad doctor left, Khan swore that he would have revenge, though Eggman laughed off his threats. (SU: #39, #40)
Despite usually meaning well, Monkey Khan is arrogant, aggressive, vengeful and quick to judge. He enjoys fighting and thinks highly of himself in general. While his behavior is often rash, he can be talked down and humbled on occasion. He is ultimately willing to protect others and doesn't take failure well, desiring revenge against Robotnik for those whose lives he's ruined. Under the influence of Magitek he becomes utterly devoted to the Iron Queen and even more egotistical, his declaring that he is the "divine weapon of the Iron Dominion." Realizing his lack of self-control made him more vulnerable to the Iron Queen's power, he has made a greater attempt to keep his anger and arrogance in check. His self-confidence took a major hit when he began to feel he was failing to fulfill his prophesied duty as King of the Free People, though with Sally's support he eventually accepted the title with confidence and humility. While he still occasionally loses his temper, he's better able to rein it in.
Khan has brown fur and blue eyes. Designed by writer/artist Frank Strom using inspiration from Journey to the West, Khan wields a large staff and is often depicted flying about on a magic cloud. While a cyborg, all of his robotics are internal and are thus not visible. Khan’s original attire consists of a red-and-green vest with golden plates on the shoulders; it is adorned with taijitu symbols. He wore a crown made from a Power Ring; it featured a red gem in a slightly ornate setting. While briefly under mind control, his eyes glowed gold and blank.
Later on, his vest was changed; the lower segment became much longer with a slight split in the back and its colour shifted to more blue than green. His crown was replaced by a regular Power Ring worn as a circlet or headband, though he eventually gained a new crown. Under mind control again, his appearance temporarily changed to include red eyes on black, white hair at his temples and green glowing symbols all over his body; his magical cloud likewise became dark and stormy. An unused redesign by artist Jeff Axer featured much more elaborate attire for Khan, including a robe tied at the waist, detached sleeves, a sword with a roped sheath, and a braided rope headband decorated with more taijitu symbols.
Monkey Khan is a proficient fighter due to his incredible strength and durability as a cyborg; about half of his body, despite its outward appearance, has been replaced with mechanical parts. He also has the ability to conjure a cloud upon which he and others can float/fly, and can also conjure lightning that he can either bring down on his opponents from the sky or absorb into his Atom Bat in order to add power to his attacks. When wearing a Power Ring as a crown, his abilities are enhanced, and he also receives protection from Magitek and other forms of mind control that his cyborg nature otherwise leaves him susceptible to.
RomanceShortly after his liberation by Princess Sally, Monkey Khan kidnapped her as he had felt lonely after being kept in a crypt for ten years and took her away, and even commented that he thought Sally radiantly beautiful and wished to bask in the "heavenly glow of [her] loveliness". Sally however quickly convinced Monkey Khan to act more heroically instead of being so egotistical, and he returned with her to save Sonic and Antoine. When Khan arrived in New Mobotropolis two years later, Sonic had mentioned that he and Sally were no longer together, which earned a reaction of pleasant surprise from Khan, indicating a continued interest in Sally. He also told her to call him by his real name of Ken after she tried to comfort him after his failed mission against the Iron Dominion. She also seemed concerned over him when Sonic was forced to fight Monkey Khan while under the Iron Queen's control and later comforted him and hugged him afterward. She later has lunch with him and discusses something private with him. Khan also gave Sally some confidence after they had been captured by several Gossamer clan members. The two later flirted after Khan had tricked the Yagyu Clan into rejecting the Iron Dominion. After the Dominion was defeated, Khan offered Sally the opportunity to be his Queen and kissed her, but she turned him down in favor of a second chance for Sonic. Khan accepted the news with some sadness, and thanked her for being honest but remarked that if Sonic blew that chance, he would be there for Sally. (StH: #55, #86, #201, #202, #203, #204, #207, #212, SU: #13, #14)
- Canceled storyline for post #134 issues of the main series included Monkey Khan taking Knuckles on as an apprentice in martial arts, the two of them training in a dojo built atop the hiding place of a powerful jewel called the Master Geode. The two would then have fallen under the control of Robotnik and the Iron Queen and been pitted against each other over the ownership of the jewel.
- Monkey Khan draws inspiration from Journey to the West's main character Sun Wukong.
- When he was first controlled by the Iron Queen, Monkey Khan was already wearing his power ring headband. However, in StH #203 Snively had to remove his headband to make him susceptible to the Iron Queen's control again. It is possible that due to his anger and hatred in the past he was more vulnerable to her control despite the ring headband, but was unable to control him later when he became more humble.
- The flying cloud Monkey Khan uses is reminiscent of the Nimbus cloud used by Goku and his son Gohan in the DragonBall manga and anime series.
- The word Khan is an Asian title for a sovereign or military leader.
- In his first few appearances Monkey Khan originally spoke in third person, but in recent stories he has apparently stop this habit.