Meet the next big DC hero: the Monkey Prince

DC Festival of Heroes: An Asian Superhero Celebration
(Image credit: Bernard Chang (DC))

A major new DC hero will debut next month, inspired by the mythological character the Monkey King. This new hero (inspired by the legendary Chinese hero) will debut in May 11's DC Festival of Heroes: An Asian Superhero Celebration, written by someone who has experience with the legend: Gene Luen Yang.

(Image credit: Jim Lee/Alex Sinclair (DC))

Created by Yang and artist Bernard Chang, the Monkey Prince will debut in a special team-up story pitting him and Shazam against Dr. Sivana and a Chinese deer demon spirit. 

Yang wrote about the Monkey King extensively in his seminal autobiographical OGN American Born Chinese

The mythology has also inspired numerous manga series including Dragon Ball and Saiyūki.

DC is playing up the Monkey Prince's debut, by adding a Monkey Prince variant cover to DC Festival of Heroes: An Asian Superhero Celebration - but retailers must order 25 of the regular cover for every one copy of this variant, also by Chang, to sell to their customers.

Here is Bernard Chang's design for the Monkey Prince and others in the story; Chang's design sketch here for the Monkey Prince will be used as the variant.

Here's a complete list of the stories in this anthology:

(Image credit: Stanley 'Artgerm' Lau (DC))
  • 'The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes' by Yang and Chang
  • 'Masks' by Ram V and Audrey Mok, starring Catwoman, Cheshire, and Shoes
  • 'Sounds' by Mariko Tamaki and Marcus To, starring Cassandra Cain (Batgirl)
  • 'What's in the Box?' by Dustin Nguyen, starring Cassandra Cain, Colin Wilkes (Abuse), and Damian Wayne (Robin)
  • 'Dress Code' by Minh Lê and Trung Le Nguyen, starring Green Lantern Tai Pham
  • 'Festival of Heroes' by Amy Chu and Marcio Takara, starring Katana, Cyborg, and Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)
  • 'Hawke & Kong' by Greg Pak and Sumit Kumar, starring Connor Hawke and Kong Kenan (New Super-Man)
  • 'Special Delivery' by Aniz Ansari and Sami Basri, starring Damian Wayne
  • 'Kawaii Kalamity!' by Sarah Kuhn and Victoria Ying, starring Red Arrow
  • 'Family Dinner' starring Grace Choi, Anissa Pierce (Thunder), and Black Lightning - no creative team listed 
  • 'Perceptible' by Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefenkgi, starring Ryan Choi (The Atom)

The 96-page DC Festival of Heroes: An Asian Superhero Celebration goes on sale on May 11.

This (and most all of DC's comics) are available simultaneously in print as well as digital. Check out the best digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)