Why does DC's Monkey Prince hate superheroes? This #1 preview might explain it

Monkey Prince #1 excerpt
Monkey Prince #1 excerpt (Image credit: DC)

One of DC's newest heroes, Monkey Prince, will get his own starring title kicking off on February 1, just in time to celebrate Lunar New Year, but too late apparently to stay off Batman's radar from the looks of a preview from inside the first issue.

Monkey Prince #1 cover (Image credit: DC)

The 12-issue limited series focuses on the eponymous Monkey Prince, AKA Marcus Sun, a shapeshifting hero with connections to characters from the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West, who debuted in the DC Universe back in May 2021's DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration #1 anthology one-shot.

In fact, Marcus Sun is the son of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King and hero of the story Journey to the West. Oddly enough, despite being a hero himself, Marcus was raised by two villainous henchmen of the evil Doctor Sivana, and so carries some prejudice against the concept of 'superheroes' in the DC Universe.

Monkey Prince will be written by Gene Luen Yang 楊謹倫 with art from penciler/inker Bernard Chang 張伯納, colorist Sebastian Cheng 鍾偉傑, and edited by DC's Jessica Chen 陳穎珊. 

"There's a lot of overlap between the Monkey King and the American superhero genre," Yang says about the book. "They both are heroes, they're battling for the fate of the world, they're both dressed up in fancy, colorful costumes, and they both have these fantastical, superhuman powers. It felt good to bridge that gap between those two loves - American superheroes and the legend of the Monkey King."

Check out a preview of the debut issue:

Chang has drawn the primary cover to Monkey Prince #1, with variant covers planned by Stanley 'Artgerm' Lau, Anand Radhakrishnan, Dustin Nguyen, Zao Dao, and Zu Orzu (a Things from Another World exclusive). Check out all of the variant covers revealed thusfar here:

DC is also stepping up to celebrate the Lunar New Year with a special gold-trimmed lucky red envelope edition of Monkey Prince #1, which will be inserted into custom-printed Lunar New Year envelopes and distributed for sale as variant covers. DC has shared with us what these envelopes will look like.

"Chúc mừng năm mới!" the envelope's back inscription reads. "Happy Lunar New Year! We hope 2022 will bring you peace, prosperity, and good fortune! From your friends at DC Comics"

'Chúc mừng năm mới' is Vietnamese for 'Happy new year,' and used frequently in celebrating the Lunar New Year.

Red envelopes (known as 紅包, hóngbāo) are a traditional gift given (and received) every Lunar New Year. Customarily a gift (or just plain cash) is inside the envelope, but for many, the importance is in the envelope itself - as red symbolizes prosperity and good luck in Chinese and other East Asian cultures. 

The early adventures of Monkey Prince reveal he hates superheroes - read all about it

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)