Legendary Chinese determine Sun Wukong — far more typically known in English as the Monkey King —  is one particular of the inspirations guiding the recently-released “DC Competition of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration” from the home of Batman, Speculate Lady and Superman.

DC has unveiled a new character named Monkey Prince as component of a exclusive “one-shot” anthology developed to rejoice Asian Pacific American Heritage Thirty day period in May well.

From DC’s official launch: “Debuting in a tale prepared by award-successful writer Gene Luen Yang (Superman Smashes the Klan, Batman/Superman, New Super-Guy) with art by Bernard Chang (Teenager Titans, Batman Past), Monkey Prince is impressed by the Monkey King, famous hero of Chinese mythology and the common tale Journey to the West. In Yang and Chang’s primary 12-site story, ‘The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes,’ Monkey Prince battles and teams up with Shazam to defeat both the evil Dr. Sivana and a Chinese deer demon spirit!”

The 100-site “commemorative anthology” will also characteristic Grasp of None writer Aniz Ansari generating his comic e book debut and a team of people “asked to safeguard an Asian American and Pacific Islander group celebration towards likely violence from a white supremacist group.”

The Monkey King has been through quite a few, lots of guises more than the years. The tale of Sunshine Wukong very first appeared in the Song dynasty just before it was popularized by the 16th century novel Journey to the West. Attributed to Wu Cheng’en, the tale of the Monkey King’s (mis)adventures and his trip toward enlightenment is one particular of China’s 4 terrific vintage novels.


The Several Faces of the Monkey King: How the Legend of Sunlight Wukong Life on in Well known Culture

It’s a tale that is been retold countless instances, with the Monkey King starring in animated motion pictures and are living-action Television set demonstrates, featuring on particular themed aeroplanes and clothing, and possessing his story turned into an opera by Gorillaz creators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlitt. Final 12 months, Lego released a selection of toys dependent on the character entitled Monkey Child.

The prevailing sentiment on Chinese microblogging site Weibo seemed to be largely unfavorable in reaction to the information, judging by the most upvoted reviews on posts about the forthcoming release. Likewise, comments on arts and entertainment-oriented user evaluation platform Douban mostly accused DC of messing with IP that they “don’t understand” or basically criticized the imagery as “ugly.”


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In the meantime, an completely different superhero-ification of the Monkey King is also riling up netizens — a feature film by John Woo dependent on Stan Lee’s “Monkey Master” has been criticized for staying “stereotypical.”

Most likely everyone should really wait around until eventually the full tale has been published ahead of rushing to judgement. And if it aids go on the push towards sustained (rather than token) endeavours for greater representation of Asian figures on comedian guide internet pages, we’re all for it.

Go over graphic: nikkimeel on DepositPhotos