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DC Comics announces brand-new Asian superhero and more for AAPI-driven 'Festival of Heroes' special
Next month, in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, DC Comics will release DC Festival of Heroes, a massive celebration of the company's AAPI heroes led by some of their top AAPI creators. Today, the publishers revealed more details about the 100-page anthology special, including the launch of a brand-new superhero from two of DC's very best creators.
Festival of Heroes will feature the debut of The Monkey Prince, a Chinese mythology-inspired new superhero created by writer Gene Luen Yang (Superman Smashes the Klan, New Super-Man) and artist Bernard Chang (Teen Titans, Batman Beyond). The character will launch in a 12-page original story within Festival of Heroes titled "The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes," in which Monkey Prince will both face off against and team-up with DC's Shazam! in a battle that also include Doctor Sivana a Chinese deer demon.
To mark the announcement of this new Asian superhero, DC also dropped character designs for Monkey Prince and another character from his story, Shifu Pigsy, along with Jim Lee and Alex Sinclair's ensemble cover for Festival of Heroes.
Check out the gallery below to see what's coming:
But that's not all to look forward to in this massive one-shot. Festival of Heroes will include nearly a dozen more stories starring characters like Cassandra Cain, Katan, New Super-Man, Ryan Choi, and many, many more, from creators ranging from Ram V to Mariko Tamaki to Dustin Nguyen to Sarah Kuhn. Check out the rest of the story lineup below:
- “Masks” – Ram V, writer of Catwoman, Justice League Dark, and The Swamp Thing, teams up with Audrey Mok, the artist of Sera and the Royal Stars, to tell a story featuring Jade Nguyen, a.k.a. Cheshire. Tying into V’s Catwoman run, Selina Kyle’s protégé Shoes has visions of being rescued as a child by Cheshire. Shoes takes these visions as a sign, donning a mask, taking the name “Cheshire Cat,” and asking Selina Kyle to train her. But is Catwoman ready to take on a sidekick?
- “Sounds” – Detective Comics writer and Eisner Award winner Mariko Tamaki (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) and artist Marcus To team up to tell a story featuring Cassandra Cain, a.k.a. Batgirl. Batgirl struggles to understand words, but with her ability to read body language and uncanny fighting skills, she really doesn’t have to…until she meets someone and wishes that she had the right words—ANY words—to say to them!
- “What’s in the Box?” – Cassandra Cain steps into the spotlight once more, but this time with Colin Wilkes, a.k.a. Abuse (who first appeared in Detective Comics #947, October 2008), courtesy of words and art by Dustin Nguyen. Abuse finds Batgirl sitting by a bridge, upset by a comment made by Damian Wayne.
- “Dress Code” – Green Lantern Tai Pham makes his first comic book debut in this story by Green Lantern: Legacy writer Minh Lê with artist Trung Le Nguyen. Green Lantern is fighting with Arkillo, and the villain taunts him for his costume “looking like a dress.” This reminds Tai of a memory with his dead grandmother who he inherited his powers from.
- “Festival of Heroes” – In a story by writer Amy Chu and artist Marcio Takara influenced by current headlines, Katana, Cyborg, and Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) are asked to safeguard an Asian American and Pacific Islander community celebration against potential violence from a white supremacist group. But the heroes are quickly reminded that you don’t need capes, masks, or even special abilities to be a hero.
- “Hawke & Kong” – Writer Greg Pak and artist Sumit Kumar team up on a story spotlighting the return of onetime Green Arrow Connor Hawke and Kong Kenan, also known as New Super-Man. Connor and Kenan need to do some quick thinking when a gift for Connor’s Korean aunt gets damaged in a battle with a dragon!
- “Special Delivery” – Master of None writer Aniz Ansari makes his comic book debut with artist Sami Basri in this story featuring Robin (Damian Wayne). As Robin ponders about his heritage, he slowly discovers that something about this pizza place seems off…
- “Kawaii Kalamity!” – Shadow of the Batgirl writer Sarah Kuhn and illustrator Victoria Ying (Diana: Princess of the Amazons) tell a story about Red Arrow’s reluctance of enjoying “kawaii” things because of people’s general assumptions of what she likes simply based on her Japanese heritage.
- “Family Dinner” – Amazon juggernaut Grace Choi has to meet her girlfriend Anissa Pierce’s dad for dinner. But when your girlfriend is Thunder, that means meeting the parents is that much more stressful because her father is Black Lightning!
- “Perceptible” – The Good Asian duo of Pornsak Pichetshote (writer) and Alexandre Tefenkgi (artist) tell a tale featuring The Atom (Ryan Choi) trying to defeat a microscopic robot sent from the future…to save our reality as we know it!
DC Festival of Heroes arrives May 11 everywhere comics are sold.