As revealed during DC FanDome last October the Monkey Prince is set to headline is own 12-issue miniseries from writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Bernard Chang, the same creative team who introduced the new character to the DC Universe in this year’s Festival of Heroes one-shot featuring Asian and Asian-American characters from across the DCU. The first issue of the Monkey Prince miniseries is set to arrive on February 1, 2022 which happens to coincide with the Lunar New Year. To celebrate the well-timed release, DC Comics announced that it has has created “Lucky Red Envelope Foil Variants” for the first issue.
Orders for Monkey Prince #1’s “Lucky Red Envelope Foil Variant” are due December 12 and will arrive in stores on February 1! The Lunar New Year Lucky Red Envelope Foil Variant is the only Monkey Prince #1 variant on Final Order Cutoff this Sunday, December 12. The remainder of the Monkey Prince #1 covers, including the main cover, the open-to-order variant cover, and 1:25 and 1:50 incentive covers will FOC on January 9.
The character Monkey Prince is inspired by the Monkey King, the hero of the 16th Century Chinese novel Journey to the West. In his debut story, Monkey Prince teamed with Captain Marvel to battle Dr. Sivana and a Chinese deer demon spirit.
Learn how Yang and Chang shared their insights on the creation of the character and check out preview art below:
Marcus Sun moves around a lot because his adoptive parents are freelance henchpeople, so this month he finds himself as the new kid at Gotham City High School, where a mysterious man with pig features asks Marcus to walk through a water curtain to reveal himself as who Marcus really is…someone who has adventured through The Journey to the West, can transform into 72 different formations, can clone himself using his hairs, and is called…the Monkey Prince!
What is the personal importance of introducing this character?
Gene Luen Yang: It’s a thrill. There’s a lot of overlap between the Monkey King and the American superhero genre. 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.
Bernard Chang: My family immigrated to the US when I was six. Immediately, I took a liking to American comic books like Batman and Superman. They helped me learn English, but also taught me a lot about values. So, when my dad saw I was consuming a lot of superhero stuff, he wanted to introduce me to an original Chinese superhero and got his hands on a Monkey King book. He would read to me a few pages each night, and I would go to sleep dreaming about these amazing and fantastical adventures.
How did the Monkey Prince come to life for you?
Yang: We wanted to firmly ground our character in the DC Universe. We wanted it to feel like a story that couldn’t be told anywhere else. The main character isn’t the Monkey King himself, he’s actually his son—that’s why he’s called the Monkey Prince. Second, we wanted to tie him into DC heroes and DC conventions. We wanted a relationship between the character and the heroes and villains that already exist in the DC Universe.
Chang: Monkey Prince is all about attitude and character. My initial reaction to the original Monkey King character is that he’s a rebel, a mischievous figure who defied the gods and wanted to do things his way. So, bringing that element into the design was a key factor.
Monkey Prince #1 (of 12) by writer Gene Luen Yang 楊謹倫, artist Bernard Chang 張伯納, colorist Sebastian Cheng 鍾偉傑, and letterer Janice Chiang 蒋慧珍 will publish on February 1. DC’s Jessica Chen 陳穎珊 edits Monkey Prince.