DC will be celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month in May, along with the rest of the world! May will see DC release a new anthology comic, not unlike its upcoming pride month anthology comic. DC Festival Of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration will release on May 11th and pay tribute to their Asian superheroes. The issue will be over 100 issues long and will celebrate not just DC’s existing Asian heroes but introduce a brand new one as well. The issue will contain a 12 page story titled “The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes” and will introduce the Monkey Prince himself. The creative team consists of Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang.
I have a feeling that some of you may have already pieced together what The Monkey Prince is based off of. He was inspired by one of the most popular figures of Chinese Mythology, The Monkey King. The Monkey Prince, in the upcoming anthology issue, will actually be teaming up with Shazam! Together the two heroes will confront Dr. Sivana and a Chinese spirit that takes the shape of a deer. Gene Luen Yang actually talked a little about it on Twitter on Monday.
“I grew up listening to my mother’s stories of the Monkey King. And I’ve always loved when mythological characters make their way into modern superhero universes. Thor and Loki in the MU, Ares and Hera in the DCU… and I can’t believe we get the chance to do the same for our fav mythological character of all time.” Yang started, before going on to talk about the character’s emblem.
In Asia, the Monkey King is so popular that his story has been adapted into comics countless times. We wanted our version to feel distinctively DC Comics. Many DC heroes have iconic emblems that resemble letters but aren’t really letters. Superman’s S isn’t really an S — it’s a Kryptonian symbol for hope. Aquaman’s A isn’t really an A — it’s an Atlantian glyph. Also, heroes’ emblems often point to their origin stories. Superman’s powers originate from his Kryptonian heritage. Fitting that he wears a Kryptonian symbol. Shazam and Flash got their powers when they were struck by lightning. They both wear lightning bolts on their chests. The Monkey Prince’s emblem looks like an M, but it’s also a representation of Flower Fruit Mountain, the birthplace of the legendary Monkey King — and the origin of his powers”
All-in-all a new character is always a cause for celebration. Let’s hope that his story is well written and well drawn so that maybe he can stick around for a while!
You can nab a copy of DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration on Tuesday May 11th physically AND digitally.